Fatty acids are fat soluble substances that are necessary for the health of the vital organs. They help the body transport oxygen through the bloodstream and therefore get O2 into all the tissues, cells and organs. People have mostly heard of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but there are many kinds.
Fatty acids also help lubricate the cells and join with proteins and cholesterol to form membranes that actually give the cells their shape. Fatty acids also produce an abundance of ATP or adenosine triphosphate, a large molecule that gives the cells energy. Unsaturated fatty acids also help regulate blood clotting and break up cholesterol that has accumulated on the walls of the arteries. In this way, fatty acids are vital for the health of the cardiovascular system. Fatty acids also nourish the skin, nerves and mucous membranes.
Fatty acids can be unsaturated or saturated. Unsaturated fatty acids are found in vegetable oils that are usually liquid in at room temperature, while saturated fatty acids are usually found in solid animal fats. The body metabolizes saturated fatty acids more slowly than it does unsaturated fatty acids. Unsaturated fatty acids also work with Vitamin D to make calcium available to the tissues. They also help the body absorb phosphorus and turn Vitamin A into carotene, which is its usable form. Fatty acids are also important for a healthy reproductive system.
Humans can’t manufacture the unsaturated essential fatty acids, which include linoleic, linolenic and arachidonic fatty acids. These fatty acids need to be gotten from foods like wheat germ and vegetable oils. These oils include olive oil, corn oil, sunflower and safflower oil, palm oil, hemp oil and canola oil. Other fatty acids, like EPA and DHA, which make up the omega-3 fatty acid, can be gotten from cold water fish like salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel and tuna. It can also be obtained from flaxseeds.
Quick Flax Facts:
*Rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids
*Loaded with antioxidants
*Rich in Fiber
*Regulates Blood Sugar
*Reduces Risk of Liver Disease
*Reduces Hot Flashes
So… who would have thought that anything starting with the word “fatty” could be so good for us! I use different types of oils for cooking and I also love fish and flaxseeds! What is your favorite source of fatty acids?