Heavenman/ShutterstockThere are two types of polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3s and omega-6s, and research suggests the human body was designed to run on an equal balance of both. When that balance tips to too many omega-6s, it could cause inflammation. Western diets often dish out more than ten times as many omega-6s—which are in refined vegetable oils common in processed foods—as omega-3s, which could explain why adding omega-3s can help fight inflammation. Flaxseeds are another good source of omega-3s, specifically alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Throwing flaxseeds into your bowl of cereal in the morning is an easy way to up your intake, says Asha Devereaux, MD, MPH, a pulmonologist in Coronado, California, and co-chair of the American Thoracic Society’s Integrative Therapy interest group.
JUN3/ShutterstockIf you aren’t a fan of seafood, you can get omega-3s from other sources. Contrary to mainstream belief, however, nuts aren’t equivalent to fatty fish, as ALA, the type of omega-3 fatty acid in plant sources, needs to be converted in order for the body to use it and the conversion isn’t very efficient, with only a small percentage of ALA making it all the way to DHA. Nuts are still beneficial, though, and walnuts are the number one nut source. If you’re looking for a non-fish source of ALA and DHA, check out Spirulina, a protein-dense freshwater algae. Here are 12 things you need to know if you want to go vegan.
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