The health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids.
Omega 3 fatty acids are very important nutrients which are essential for a healthy human body. Many people are deficient in these which leads to inflammation and health problems. The body cannot make omega 3-s on its own, so we must get these from foods that we consume.
In this article, we highlight all of the health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids, explain how they work in the body and how you can get more of them into your diet.
1. Brain Health: Omega 3 fatty acids are very important in supporting a healthy brain. DHA, a type of omega 3 is used as raw material to build the structure of the brain and its cells. Getting more of this into the diet has been shown to improve concentration levels, get rid of brain fog and reduce the risk of dementia with age.
2. Depression: If you suffer from chronic depression or other mood disorders then taking omega 3 daily can help. Studies show that omega 3 fatty acids help to improve brain chemistry and nerve health by regulating serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain.
3. Stress: Studies show that taking omega 3 fish oils reduces problems related to stress and anxiety. EPA, one of the main types of omega 3 helps the brain to regulate its stress response in creating feelings of peace. It improves the health of the adrenal glands to keep stress hormone (cortisol) levels down.
4. Heart Health is one of the prominent health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids: Getting more omega 3 into the diet is well known to help strengthen the heart and cardiovascular system. It lowers inflammation in the arteries and blood vessels to allow for normal blood flow, to and from the heart. This helps the heart to pump oxygen-rich blood around the body and keep blood pressure under control.
5. Eye Health: The three main types of Omega 3 fatty acids are called DHA, EPA and ALA. All three of these support healthy eyes, especially in growing children. Consuming Omega 3’s regularly lowers the risk of macular degeneration, vision problems and cataracts with age. Omega 3 has also been shown to help lubricate the eyes for those with dry eye syndrome.
6. Joint Pain: Many people take fish oils on a regular basis to relieve joint pain and arthritis. Omega 3 fats are anti-inflammatory and can reduce swelling in the tissues and joints. Taking a fish oil supplement regularly can also protect the joints and reduce stiffness by increasing blood flow around the body.
7. Inflammation: Many people suffer from chronic inflammation which is linked to obesity, diabetes, depression, heart disease and IBS. Consuming anti-inflammatory foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids like cod liver oil, salmon and sardines can help treat these problems. These fats also help the body to absorb nutrients from healthy vegetables like kale and broccoli.
8. Immunity: If you suffer from cold or flu infections often then taking a good quality omega 3 supplement can help. Omega 3-s support your immunity in fighting off harmful viruses, bacteria and other pathogens from the environment. DHA, one of the main types of omega 3 helps to enhance white blood cell activity in protecting the body from invaders.
9. Skin Health among the top health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids: The skin is the largest organ in the human body and needs lots of omega 3’s to make strong cell walls. Omega 3-s help to moisturise the skin and prevent red, dry or itchy skin disorders like dermatitis. They have also been shown to protect it against sun damage and reduce inflammation to fight pimples and acne.
10. Pregnancy: Omega 3-s are essential for early growth and development and also support the health of the mother during pregnancy. Studies show that mothers who take fish oil supplements rich in omega 3-s improve the intelligence of their children and eye health. Pregnancy is a heavy burden on the body, so eating nutrient-dense foods like wild-caught fish is essential during this time.
11. Diabetes: If you suffer from diabetes, pre-diabetes or obesity then consider taking marine oils on a regular basis. The Omega 3-s within reduce inflammation in the cells of the body and help them to take in insulin and sugar. This effectively reduces insulin resistance and can help in reversing type 2 diabetes.
12. Weight Loss: Those who are following a healthy weight loss plan such as keto or intermittent fasting should add omega 3-s into their diet. Fish oils, in particular, can help speed up weight loss, by allowing your body to tap into its own fat reserves for energy. Omega 3-s support a healthy pancreas in making insulin and help to burn body fat.
13. Liver Health: Many people suffer from fatty liver disease, especially those who are overweight around the belly area. Fish oil supplements have been shown to improve liver function and help it to strip away visceral fat naturally. Eating foods rich in omega 3-s like wild-caught salmon and anchovies are well known for helping people to lose weight.
14. Lung Function: Those who suffer from asthma, bronchitis, shortness of breath, COPD and other breathing problems should be consuming foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids. These lower inflammation in the lung and throat tissues, and also help to oxygenate the body for easier breathing.
15. Menstrual Pain: If you are a woman who suffers from heavy periods and above average menstrual pain then you may need more omega 3-s. These help to naturally alleviate pain and also help the blood to flow more freely. We also recommend Vitamin B12 and eating lots of cruciferous vegetables to balance female hormones.
16. Bone Health Omega 3 fatty acids improve the strength of the bones by boosting the amount of calcium that they store. This reduces the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures with age. We also recommend consuming foods rich in vitamin D and vitamin K2 to further strengthen the bones.
17. Wound Healing Scientists showed that omega 3 fish oils can be applied topically to cuts and wounds to speed up the healing process. The omega 3’s and vitamin A found in cod liver oil can help to restore the structure of the skin very quickly and reduce inflammation.
18. Hair Growth By supporting healthy glands in men and women, omega 3-s can reduce the risk of hair loss with age. Omega 3’s support a healthy liver which regulates sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone, which in turn protects the hair. Studies show that omega 3’s may also boost the speed of hair growth.
19. ADHD More children suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder than ever before due to malnutrition. Omega 3’s are very important for a healthy brain and have therefore been shown to help children with ADHD. Fish oil supplements can improve behavioural difficulties in children including hyperactivity, poor attention, aggression and impulsiveness.
20. Types There are three main types of omega 3 fatty acids, these include DHA and EPA which are found mostly in animal foods like fatty fish and beef liver. The third type is called ALA and is found mostly in plants like flaxseeds and walnuts. The body has to convert ALA to DHA and EPA, yet this conversion is very limited, so it’s important to get lots of animal-sourced omega 3 such as from shellfish. If you are a vegetarian or vegan then you may need to supplement with seaweed.
As you can see there are many benefits of consuming omega 3 fatty acids on a regular basis. The best food sources of these are cod liver oil, wild-caught salmon, sardines, krill oil, anchovies, flaxseeds and walnuts. Omega 3-fatty acids are fat-soluble nutrients, meaning that you need a strong digestive system in order to absorb them. If you suffer from acid reflux, Gerd, heartburn or have had your gallbladder removed then your stomach will struggle to digest omega 3-s. To overcome this, we recommend consuming a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar in a glass of water before meals. This will help to strengthen the stomach in absorbing fat-soluble nutrients. If you have had your gallbladder removed then you will need to take an ox bile supplement daily to help your liver in breaking down fat.