Essential fatty acids are nutritional elements which your body cannot produce. So you need to take them from your diets.

The major polyunsaturated fatty acids are divided into two groups. They are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are contained in fish oils and some plant oils. Omega 6 fatty acids are contained in plant oils.

Omega-3 fatty acids include:

• Alpha-linolenic acid
• Eicosapentanoic acid (EPA)
• Docosahexanoic acid (DHA)

Omega-6 fatty acids include:

• Linoleic acid
• Arachidonic acid

Alpha linolenic acid is important for wound healing, energy metabolism, brain development and for cardiovascular health.

EPA and DHA are found in cell membranes, in the brain cells, nervous system and receptor in the eye. These are also important for cardiovascular health because of their positive effects on platelet aggregation, blood lipid profiles and blood pressure.

Your food must contain all the three omega-3 fatty acids and all the three are important.

Omega-3 fatty acids can be destroyed by exposure to light, air and heat.

Omega-6 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development.

Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, and some omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation.