What You Should Know About Fatty Acids

By Stepy Kamei

What is a fatty acid? Many of us may be surprised to learn that it's an element found in certain foods which can greatly benefit our health. The words "fat" and "acid" aren't exactly often related to conversations regarding health, proper diets, and healthy living. Yet fatty acids are known by nutritionists and other healthcare experts to be an incredibly beneficial nutrient everyone should be getting in abundance their everyday diets. Many people are unaware of what fatty acids do to help the body, which is a big reason why they aren't brought up in common conversation the way other more well-known nutrients are, such as Vitamin D or protein. Once you understand a little bit more about the nature of fatty acids, you'll be more inclined to find easy ways to incorporate them into your dietary plan.

What are the Two Fatty Acids?

There are two types of fatty acids -- omega-3 and omega-6. These are both polyunsaturated fats which serve to maintain the functions of the brain and nervous system, as well as building healthy cells. Omega-6 fatty acids can be primarily found in sources such as plant oils, seeds, and nuts. Omega-3 acids, meanwhile, come mostly from sources such as salmon, mackarel, tuna, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. 

Why Does Your Body Need to Receive Fatty Acids in Food?

These nutrients are essential and vital to promoting the health of the body, yet they can only be found in outside food sources. The body does not organically create them on its own, even though it needs them, which is why they must be consumed from an outside source such as the ones listed earlier.

Where Can You Get Fatty Acids in Your Diet?

The good news is that there are many ways in which you can get fatty acids from your favorite foods, snacks, and meals. In general, the healthier your food choices are -- meaning you are choosing wholesome ingredients with minimal processing -- the higher the chance that you'll be finding the fatty acids your body needs. Try incorporating more healthy fatty foods into your diet. You can start by preparing your meals using unsaturated oils such as olive or coconut oil. 

Generally speaking, work to replace saturated fats (found in fast food, red meat, and junk food) with unsaturated fats, found in fish and nuts.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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