Omega 3 fatty acids are part of the polyunsaturated fats found in fish oils or oily fish. Fish oil contains omega 3 fatty acids which are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) & docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) while plant-based foods contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). These are the essential nutrients that manage different kinds of diseases, balance our hormones, keeps our cells healthy and have anti-inflammatory properties. It is the healthy fat that support the functioning of the brain, heart, healthy eyes and many more others.
HOW DOES OMEGA 3 PLAY A ROLE IN OUR BODIES?
MANAGES HEART DISEASES
For people with existing heart diseases, omega 3 will lessen the risk of sudden cardiac death.
It reduces the chance of abnormal heart rhythm and stroke.
It lowers blood pressure. Please note that it manages risk factors of heart diseases and not prevent heart attacks.
People with a higher intake of omega 3 fatty acids are said to have a better memory. They are vital in maintaining normal brain function from pregnancy, early childhood and throughout all stages of our lives. It can fight age-related mental decline like Alzheimer’s disease and also beneficial for bipolar disorder.
Depression is a mental disorder and people suffering from depression seem to see improved depressive symptoms when supplementing with omega 3 according to a clinical study. It was also found that people who suffer from depression have lower omega 3 fatty acids in their bloodstream. More research suggests that omega 3 improves the effectiveness of some anti-depressants.
PROMOTES HEALTHY EYES
Vision problems may arise if you lack omega 3. Omega 3 can reduce permanent eye damage and blindness. If you suffer from dry eyes you should increase your fish oil intake and it is also known to improve eye vision.
Omega 3 fatty acids can lessen the production of substances that are linked to inflammation. Higher intake of it can reduce long-term inflammation that can contribute to other diseases including cancer and cardiovascular/heart illnesses.
REDUCE LEVELS OF TRIGLYCERIDES
Triglycerides are the most common fats found in our body and omega 3 fatty acids can help to lower their levels. Excess of these fats found in the bloodstream can cause the risk of cardiovascular diseases and obesity. Omega 3 may assist others to stop putting on weight or to lose weight. Women are more likely at risk of heart diseases should they have high levels of these fats in their bloodstream.
It provides nutrients and proteins to hair follicles promoting hair growth while preventing factors that contribute to hair loss. It will nourish the hair and support the hair thickening. Fish oil is a healthy fat that prevents dry and flaky scalp. People with locks will love to know that omega 3 fatty acids mainly found in fish can help with growing long and lustrous locks.
Omega 3 can benefit your skin by protecting it against sun damage and also help with premature skin aging. No woman is happy to see wrinkles on their face no matter what age they may be. It manages oil production of the skin and reduces the risk of acne. It can been beneficial for other skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis.
REDUCES SYMPTOMS OF ADHD IN CHILDREN
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder affects children with lower blood levels of omega 3 fatty acids. If you have a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD you will know that diet is very important and you will be advised to supplement them with omega 3. It improves concentration and allows children with ADHD to focus a bit more than they would.
BRAIN HEALTH DURING PREGNANCY
Omega 3 has a lot of benefits for the unborn child which are better eyesight, decreased risk of ADHD, higher intelligence and overall good brain development. The child often develops good social & communication skills and that simply means a reduced risk of Autism.
ALLEVIATE MENSTRUAL PAINS
Severe menstrual pains can be any woman’s nightmare disruptive of everything. A study has determined that women who supplement with omega 3 have milder pains and that omega 3 is more effective than taking the pain killers we normally use for this kind of pain.
- May improve sleep
- It can fight autoimmune diseases
- It can reduce fat in the liver
- It can fight asthma in children
- It can reduce symptoms of metabolic syndrome
- May improve bone and joint health e.g arthritis
- May assist in the prevention of cancer
BEST SOURCES OF OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS
The plant-based foods that are rich in ALA include soybeans, kidney beans, walnuts, spirulina, seaweed, and algae.
Try leafy greens like broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts.
Seeds that are a good source of omega 3 are chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds
For fish oil, you can eat more salmon, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, sardines and herring.
Omega-3 supplements have some side effects that are usually mild & they include bad/fishy breath, nausea, headaches, heartburn, smelly sweat and diarrhea. Consuming too much fish oil that is more than 3 grams can lead to other side effects such as the increased risk of bleeding and high blood sugar. Discuss with your doctor about how much daily fish oil supplement is safe or right for you.
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fats for our health and our body are unable to make them. We have to provide ourselves with external sources and that will be the correct diet as well as supplements. If you don’t eat fish go for leafy greens and if that is not for you there are seeds, nuts and supplements, no excuse at all.
**GIVE YOUR BODY A GIFT OF LOVE BY DOING YOUR PART IN KEEPING IT HEALTHY**