You’ve probably heard the hype about getting enough omega-3 essential fatty acids into your system as a way to battle against chronic health conditions and increase your wellness. You’re probably aware omega-6 fatty acids are also essential for optimal health. Omega-3s and omega-6s don’t get produced by the body, so it’s imperative we include them in our diets. Our bodies do produce omega-9 fatty acids, so the nutritional experts don’t promote these fatty acids as much as the others. However, don’t overlook omega-9; these monounsaturated fatty acids are the most commonly found fat in the cells and are an excellent source of oleic acid, which helps maintain the natural balance of the human body.
Foods Rich in Omega-9 Fatty Acids
Omega-9s are found in both plant and animal products, but you’ll get the most from seeds, nuts, and nut oils. Some of the highest sources of this wonderful fatty acid are avocado oil, sunflower seeds, Macadamia nuts, soybean oil, canola oil, and hazelnuts. Dieticians and doctors don’t place a minimum requirement on omega-9s because our bodies already produce the fatty acid, but consuming more of them is linked to many health benefits.
Fight Heart Disease
The western diet is full of fats that threaten the health of the human body. Convenience and processed junk foods dominate many nutritional profiles. Adding omega-9s to your diet can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Experts conclude omega-9s increase good HDL cholesterol while lowering bad LDL cholesterol. Bad cholesterol is partially responsible for the increase of plaque in the arteries that can lead to strokes and heart attacks.
Importance of Oleic Acid
The type of fats we ingest may play a pivotal role in our cognitive abilities and energy levels. Omega fatty acids are essential to wellness and can provide a plethora of health perks. Oleic acid is an omega-9 fatty acid that can help our bodies reduce high blood pressure, burn fat, and lose weight. Also, oleic acid stops free radicals from causing oxidative stress within cells. There’s research supporting claims that oleic acid may stop the onset of type 2 diabetes and ulcerative colitis.
May Prevent Cognitive Decline
Mustard oil contains a miraculous little monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid known as erucic acid. This acid may help control the collection of lengthy chain fatty acids in individuals with X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, a genetic condition that adversely affects the nervous system, adrenal glands, and spinal cord. In fact, all the omega fatty acids are helpful in slowing down the process of cognitive decline because they help keep the brain healthy and flexible.
Omega-9 in Mice
Studies in mice have shown that the omega-9 fatty acids help prevent breast cancer. Other research on mice illustrates diets high in omega-9s aid pregnant mothers by reducing the risk of fatty liver disease. It’s difficult to say how useful rodent research can be to human health, but the outlook is promising.
Strengthen Reproductive Health
If you and your partner are planning to get pregnant, it’s crucial the potential mother has enough fatty acids in her system to help the fetus develop strong heart, eyes, and brain. Omega-9 fatty acids can help prospective fathers, too, increasing blood circulation in the sexual organs to ensure the potency and health of the seminal fluid.
Inflammation is the source of many illnesses and can cause discomfort. If organ inflammation remains untreated, it can cause serious harm to your health. Omega-9s help fight inflammation; mead acid is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Other fatty acids categorized as omega-9s, such as nervonic, erucic, and oleic acid offer support against arthritis, strengthen the immune system, and promote healthy brain function.
May Prevent Overeating
Eating too much can cause obesity, but it can also be a telltale sign of an underlying health condition that requires medical attention. Omega-9s may stop you from reaching for that second helping at dinner, but don’t rely upon them as a cure-all for increased appetite. Our bodies are best when in balance. An increased or decreased appetite without explanation may be a sign that your body is out of balance. It’s best to discuss your concern with your doctor.
Dangers of Overdoing Omega-9 Fatty Acids
Beneficial as they are, omega-9 fatty acids aren’t without risks. Erucic, oleic, and mead acids all have their lists of potential health dangers. The research isn’t ironclad, but researchers believe there may be a link between excess oleic acid and breast cancer in women with other high-risk factors. There are connections between erucic acid and thrombocytopenia, a condition caused by low platelet counts and lack of blood clotting. The erucic acid may also be harmful to those undergoing chemotherapy. Mead acid may lead to inflamed joints. Inflammation is often the cause of chronic illness. Mead acid may cause individuals to experience heightened sensitivity to pain, blood clots, or raised blood pressure levels. It’s important to discuss any changes to your diet with a medical professional.