If you are wondering what omega-6 does and whether you should be consuming more of it, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to provide a breakdown of which fats are good (including omega-6 fatty acids), what some of its benefits on your body are, and whether you need to increase your intake. Keep reading to find out how omega-6 can help you.
You know about fats in foods and are aware that some are good while others are bad for you. For a quick refresher, here is a rundown of some facts you should know about fats. Firstly, trans fats and most saturated fats (like those found in processed, fried, and sugary foods) are the kind you want to avoid, as they have no health benefits and consuming too much of them can actually lead to dangerous health concerns. Fats are one of the three macronutrients making up your food, along with protein and carbohydrates, so you do want to have a diet full of the good kinds of fats. These good fats are unsaturated ones like polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. They provide nutrients and support wellness.
Another way to refer to fats is as fatty acids, which is what your body turns the fats you eat into when it digests them. Both unsaturated and saturated fats (the “good” and the “bad”) are broken down in your body and they can either provide you with nutrients or lead to health complications. The omega fatty acids are ones that are both important and beneficial. Omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 are all healthy unsaturated fatty acids that do your body good; they each have variating types of fats, such as APA, GLA, EPA, etc. These are acronyms referring to subsets of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, each slightly different.
Some of these omega fatty acids can be naturally created by the body (like omega-3 and omega-9) while omega-6 should be consumed through your diet, since your body can only produce a certain amount of it. Even though your body can produce more omega-3s, you should eat a combination of both omega-3 and omega-6.
The reasons why you should take omega-6 are found in what it does for your health and wellbeing. There are numerous amazing benefits believed to be associated with omega-6 fatty acids that your body will thank you for. Additionally, people of any age can consume this nutrient and be better off for it, so there’s no reason to put off increasing your intake. Here are just a few of the benefits of omega-6 fatty acids.
Mental Clarity and Development
Fatty acids have long been praised for their ability to support brain functioning. In fact, many people take fish oil to help stimulate their daily cognitive functioning, including focus and memory, as fish oil is a concentrated source of fatty acids. Another associated link of omega-6 and cognitive processing is the healthy aging of the mind in older adults; it is believed to delay the symptoms of memory loss and help keep adults’ and seniors’ minds clear and sharp. On the other hand, people feed their babies and children omega-6 fatty acids in order to strengthen their still developing brains.
Support Heart Health
Opposite from how most saturated fats have damaging effects on your heart (and your whole cardiovascular system), omega-6s support a healthy heart by helping protect against common heart dangers like cardiovascular disease.
Supports Reproductive Health
Just as babies can receive the benefits of omega-6 after they’re born, taking omega-6 while pregnant can support both the pregnant mother and the baby while it’s still in the womb. While omega-6 may also support fertility, it is known to maintain the health of the reproductive system and aid in the baby’s growth.
Supports Healthy Metabolic Function
It’s important to have a healthy metabolism in order for your body to regulate its weight, produce energy, maintain cell health, protect you from disease, and keep you functioning properly. Omega-6 fatty acids support your metabolic health so you can experience daily wellness.
Omega-6 fatty acids can be received through diet as well as in supplement form. There’s no single answer for how much you should be eating daily, but it’s a good practice to increase your daily intake of both omega-3s and omega-6s due to their many health benefits. Some foods that naturally contain this nutrient are corn, nuts, soybeans, tofu, and plant oils. Of course, choosing a high quality supplement is the most secure and easiest way to ensure you’re getting enough omega-6 every day.
Everyone can benefit from the health benefits provided by omega-6 fatty acids, and should work to increase their intake so they can partake in the positive results this nutrient brings. Whether you choose to add omega-6 supplements to your routine or to consume more foods containing this ingredient, you’ll be thankful for the positive results!