Unsaturated fats basically fall into 2 main groups: Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fat is found in a variety of foods from olive oil, nuts and seeds, and have many positive health benefits associated with them.
These include protection from free radical build up due to oxidation damage within the body, to improving your immune system and insulin sensitivity.
Polyunsaturated fats are found in both plant and animal sources such as:
A-linolenic acid (ALA) found in Flaxseed, Pumpkin Seeds, Tofu, Walnuts.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in Salmon, Tuna, Eggs ( recipe )
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) found in Salmon, Tuna, Eggs
Arachidonic acid (ARA) found in Meat, eggs, fish and dairy.
Linoleic acid (LA) found in Vegetable oil, nuts, seeds, meat and eggs.
Y-linolenic acid (GLA) found in Evening primrose, spirulina, hemp oil
Fatty acids are fundamentally important for your inflammatory and immune responses.
The below studies will highlight the importance of Omega 3 with regards to maintaining a healthy and strong immune system.
1. The lipid mediator protectin D1 inhibits influenza virus replication and improves severe influenza.
“Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA)-derived lipid mediator protectin D1 (PD1) markedly attenuated influenza virus replication via RNA export machinery”
1. Anti-HCV activities of selective polyunsaturated fatty acids.
“In this study, we found that several polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) including arachidonic acid (AA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are able to exert anti-HCV activities”
The vast majority of the general public obtain little to no Omega 3’s on a daily basis. And even then, your ability to utilise Omega 3 will largely to due to the specific genes associated, such as APOA5, ADIPOQ, PPARG and FTO to name but a few.
Certain variants of these genes will place you at risk of possible deficiency, so knowing which variants you have could prove extremely beneficial for tweaking your diet to maintain or improving your health.