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An Essential Fatty Acid Food List

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Fatty acid food is often ignored in a world obsessed with a lean look and diet food. Fat is every bit as important in your diet as are other nutrients. Sixty percent of your brain is fat. Fat and foods rich in fatty acids allow your nervous system to function well. The various types of cells in your body, including the cells in your eyes, brain and your heart require fat in order to survive and function properly. Fat is also necessary to keep your immune system working and keep a host of diseases away from your body.

Symptoms of Fatty Acid Deficiency

Symptoms that you are not getting enough of fatty acids in your food include:

  • allergies
  • depression
  • hyperactivity
  • high blood pressure

Fatty Acids for Expecting Mothers

If you are an expecting mother, this list is a very important resource for you. Consuming foods rich in fatty acids during the course of pregnancy reduces the chances of birth defects drastically. Defects related to the brain and spine can be reduced and also the deficiency of folate in the mother's body can be reduced.


Fish oil and oily fish are the corner stone of any healthy diet program. Although these fish oils from cold water fish are slightly high in calories, they help weight maintenance in the long run. They are known to have benefited people suffering from heart disease and other weight conditions. The fish oil in cold water fish are called Omega-3 essential fatty acids and are found in oily fish. The two types of omega 3 essential fatty acids are called Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Fishes that contain fatty acids include:

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Trout
  • Tuna
  • Pilchard

Folic Acid

Ladies who are expecting children need to take at least an additional 400 micrograms of folic acids from food. A lack of folic acids can lead to spina bifida, a birth defect in a child in its developmental stages. Ladies need to develop their stores of folates before child birth, owing to the fact that children need this folate intake in their developmental stages. Some foods that contain folic acids in large quantities include:

  • Breakfast cereal
  • Black eyed peas
  • Spinach
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Okra
  • Pineapple juice

Conjugated Linoleic Acids and Their Importance

This is a family of 28 different types of isomeric acids, found in meat and dairy products. CLA are double bonded and are known to have many antioxidant and anti cancer properties. CLA may be classified as a Tran's fatty acid. The richest source of CLA found so far is Kangaroo meat. Other sources of CLA include beef from grass fed animals and eggs.

Most essential fatty acids come from different types of fish, so it is important to ensure you are eating enough. Folic acid, too, is vital, especially for expecting mothers.

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