At some point in your life, you might have come across terms like omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 and how a perfect balance between them is crucial for your overall health. However, there is also a chance that you have heard that omega-9 is not an essential fatty acid compared to the other two.
Are you curious to know why? Well, in this article, we will discuss omega-9 fatty acids, their food sources and their benefits.
What Is Omega 9?
Let us first start with the basics – fats in our body are not always bad; certain fats help to reduce cholesterol and heart diseases. The molecular structure of a fatty acid consists of a chain of carbons and hydrogen atoms. Fatty acids can either be saturated or unsaturated; the difference is that unsaturated fatty acids have one or more double bonds.
Omega-9 acids have a monounsaturated molecular structure. Mono means single or one, while unsaturated means double bond. So, the omega-9 fatty acid has one double bond as the molecular structure. Omega 9 fatty acids are also known as oleic acid and are known to have numerous health benefits. A few of them will be discussed further in the article.
How Is It Different From Omega-3 and Omega-6?
Even though omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 are unsaturated fatty acids, the first two are polyunsaturated fatty acids and have more than one double bond. This is one of the significant differences between these two omega fatty acids and omega-9 fatty acids.
The difference is also seen in the location of the double bond. In an omega-3 fatty acid, the double bond carbon is three carbons away from the methyl end of the fatty acid, whereas it is six carbons away for omega-6 and nine carbons away for omega-9 fatty acids.
Some of the best omega 3 capsules include WOW Omega-3 Capsules, Neuherbs Deep Sea Omega-3 Fish Oil and TrueBasics Omega 3 Fish Oil Capsules.
Food Sources Of omega-9 Fatty Acids
Here, we will talk about why we do not consider omega-9 as an essential fatty acid. Our body can produce enough omega-9 fatty acids through a well-balanced diet. Unlike omega-3 and omega-6, we do not need to consume additional capsules for our body to get omega-9 fatty acids.
We get omega-9 fatty acids from sunflower oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, soya oil, olive oil, oats, acai palm, sesame seeds, rapeseed, mustard seed, almonds and other nuts, olives, cucumber, fruits, vegetables, and so on. Flaxseed oil, sardines, salmon, cod liver oil, walnuts, tune, and so on provide us with omega-3 while corn oil, poppyseed oil, soybean oil, sesame oil, walnuts, etc. give us omega-6.
8 Amazing Benefits Of Omega-9 Fatty Acids
Now, let us look at some of the benefits of omega-9 fatty acids.
1. Reduces The Risk Of Cardiovascular Diseases
Omega-9 helps to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol. A higher level of LDL increases the risk of heart diseases and stroke. Also, it increases the level of good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein (HDL). This eliminates plaque build-up, prevents oxidization of LDL, and stops blood from clotting inside the arteries. Blockage in the arteries is one of the reasons for heart attacks.
2. Less Prone To Inflammation
Omega-9 has certain anti-inflammatory properties that control bacterial growth and protect your body from pollutants in the environment. Along with this, it also helps the cell membranes to develop and function to their fullest.
3. Helps Fight Cancer (Research Still Going On)
This might come as a surprise to you, but a few scientists believe that omega-9 might be a future cancer-fighting agent. Most of the research aims to find a way for omega-9 to function as a cancer-prevention method. However, researchers are still midway, but they believe that omega-9 affects how cancerous cells grow and multiply.
4. Enhances Brain Function
Brain tissues start to develop even from the fetal stage. Omega-9 helps the growth of new brain cells, so it plays a huge role right from when we are in the womb. Apart from this, it also boosts our memory, intellect, and overall cognitive functions like acquiring knowledge, retaining information, and logically reasoning. It also acts as a therapeutic agent to help Alzheimer’s patients by enhancing memory disabilities.
5. Reduces Risks During Pregnancy
As mentioned above, the development of the brain cells happens from the fetal stage, and omega-9 is essential for it. If the availability of omega-9 is less for a pregnant woman, then it will directly affect the unborn child. Sometimes, this can lead to complications for the mother and the child and, in extreme cases, even lead to miscarriage.
6. Enhances Our Mood
According to a study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that an increase in consumption of omega-9 fatty acids was directly proportionate to the increase in physical activities performed by a person. This means that the person has more energy and a means to relieve frustration and anger. This positive mood helps to fight depression and mood swings.
7. Skin And Hair Benefits
Not only is omega-9 an excellent choice for stronger hair, skin, and even nails, but it is highly effective when it comes to acnes and most of other skin diseases. The best source for omega-9 for healthy skin and hair is argan oil, as it provides the proper nutrients for your skin and hair.
8. Helps With Weight Loss
Omega-9 increases the metabolism rate in our body reduces the sugar level in the blood, and burns calories quicker. Thus, it helps with weight loss as well.
You May Also Like To Read:
We mentioned that omega-9 is not an essential fatty acid since our body can produce it, but we do consume it. The question is, why? The main reason is that omega-9 has a lot of health-related benefits like a lower chance of heart diseases, inflammation, miscarriage, and so on.
Do you consume omega-9 food supplements? Have you found them beneficial? Let us know in the comment section below.