Why are Essential Fatty Acids Necessary For Boosting Your Cognitive Abilities?
The brain is one of the body’s most complex organs and indeed one of its most crucial organs. Throughout the lifespan, the brain helps to make sense of the world, oversee daily operations, and life itself . Brain health is a multi-dimensional concept but, overall, refers to the ability to concentrate, remember, learn, play and maintain a clear and active mind.
What Are Essential Fatty Acids?
Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are fatty acids that humans and other animals must ingest because the body requires them for good health but cannot synthesize them.
The term “essential fatty acid” refers to fatty acids required for biological processes but does not include the fats that only act as fuel. Essential fatty acids should not be confused with essential oils, which are “essential” in the sense of being a concentrated essence.
Only two fatty acids are known to be essential for humans: alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). Some other fatty acids are sometimes classified as “conditionally essential”, meaning that they can become essential under some developmental or disease conditions; examples include docosahexaenoic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and gamma-linolenic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid).
How do these Fatty Acids Help
Omega-3 is important for our brain throughout life, from early cognitive development in fetuses to learning and memory in adults. Brain cells with high levels of omega-3 in their membranes are thought to be better at communicating with other cells, an important process for brain function.
Two new studies link patterns of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood to the integrity of brain structures and cognitive abilities that are known to decline early in aging. The studies add to the evidence that dietary intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can promote healthy aging, the researchers said.
Omega-3 fats perform a number of jobs, especially building cell membranes throughout the body and the brain. “There’s evidence they can have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects as well, which means they might promote healthier brain cells and less deterioration of the brain
Omega-6 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat found in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. When eaten in moderation and in place of the saturated fats found in meats and dairy products, omega-6 fatty acids can be good for your heart.
Omega-6 fatty acids are also essential, so you need to obtain them from your diet. They mainly provide energy. The most common omega-6 fat is linoleic acid, which the body can convert to longer omega-6 fats such as arachidonic acid.
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil play important roles in brain function and development. There are also claims that fish oil can improve brain function in people with memory problems, such as those with Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive impairments.
At a normal level, omega-6’s can help to increase good cholesterol (HDL) and decrease bad cholesterol (LDL). However, a diet too high in omega-6 fatty acids can increase inflammation, bringing a higher risk of many chronic diseases. The proper ratio for omega-3:omega-6 is 1:4.