What Are Fatty Acids?
Fatty acids consist of carbolic acids that are either “saturated” with atoms or “unsaturated” with other atoms to slightly change how they function in the body and interact with cells during physiologic processes.
Fatty acids that are containing one or more carbon-carbon double bonds are called “unsaturated” and are usually liquid at room temperature – like olive oil. Fats, in general, tend to get a bad rap, so to speak, because saturated fats in particular, or fats that are usually solid at room temperature like lard or butter, can cause cardiovascular problems when consumed in excess or when consumed at all by someone with a hereditary predisposition for heart disease. They can accumulate inside blood vessel walls, and lead to problems like high blood pressure and coronary artery disease – leading to stroke, heart attack, or in severe cases, even death.
How Do Essential Fatty Acids Help Your Body
It is understood that fatty acids are a great supplementary addition to diet to adults, children, and pregnant women, because humans can not make their own fatty acids, and have to get them through diet somehow.
The fatty acids that are unsaturated, poly-unsaturated, or mono-unsaturated are liquid at room temperature, and sometimes harden when cold (in the fridge or the freezer). Mono-unsaturated fats contain oleic acids. These foods are olive and canola oils, avocados, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, and seeds -as well as the oils that come from all of those foods.
Regarding this kind of fatty acid, many studies have shown that they can decrease the LDL cholesterol in the body (the kind of cholesterol that leads to heart attack and stroke) and increase your HDL cholesterol levels (the ‘good’ cholesterol that is beneficial to the body in regards to heart disease).
Polyunsaturated fats contain omega-3 fatty acids. They are found in salmon and other fatty fish, flax, chia seeds, and sunflower oil, also high in polyunsaturated omega 3 oils, which can help lower triglyceride levels, which is good for heart health.
Nervous System Health
Since the human brain is composed of over 60% fat, the connection between essential fatty acids and normal brain function is closely connected. Studies on rats in recent years have shown delayed neurological function when essential fatty acids that are normally obtained through diet were not available to the rats as food.
All of the fatty acids we need are obtained through our diets since the human body cannot synthesize them. It is known that “fatty acids are among the most crucial molecules that determine your brain’s integrity and ability to perform”, and the effects that are directly linked between nutrition and brain function are still being determined through testing. In the meantime, a diet that is very rich in fatty acids is essential for optimal neurologic health.
As science finds new and exciting links to how fatty acids affect the brain and nervous system, continuing to add plenty of fuel for the brain via essential fatty acid supplements and foods that are rich in them is a great way to supplement neurological health for your future.
Why Take A Supplement?
In the past few years, a new essential fatty acid was discovered that is extracted from a flowering plant from the mustard family that is native to China. Since this edible plant is not widely cultivated outside of China, the easiest way to benefit from it is to take the fatty acid supplement that is made from extracting essential nutrients from the plant.
Most fatty acids occur in edible plants, as well, but in order to utilize a therapeutic dose of the essential fatty acids within the plant in question, the easiest way is to get a dietary supplement that is ready for consumption.