Omega-3’s are fatty acids that are really good for us as they bring important health benefits to our bodies. Our bodies don’t produce omega-3’s on their own, so we need to get them from the food that we eat.
The three most important types of omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which are mainly found in plants, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are mostly found in animals and algae. The most common foods that contain high omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish, fish oils, chia seeds, flax seeds, oils, and walnuts.
If you’re not already taking omega-3 fatty acids, here are 13 good reasons why you should start incorporating them into your diet:
1. Help reduce the risk of heart disease
According to the Mayo Clinic, omega-3’s help reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing high blood pressure, increasing good cholesterol levels, preventing blood clots, keeping arteries smooth, and reducing the production of substances that are released during the body’s inflammatory process.
2. Fight depression and anxiety
Studies show that people who take omega-3’s regularly have a reduced risk of getting depressed. Those who take omega-3 supplements have shown fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety. Out of the three types of fatty acids, it’s the EPA that appears to have the best effect on alleviating depression and anxiety.
3. Enhance brain health during pregnancy
If you take omega-3’s regularly during pregnancy, scientific research indicates that your child may have a higher intelligence level, fewer behavioural issues, better communication and social skills, reduced risk of development delay, and fewer chances of acquiring conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy, or ADHD.
4. Fight inflammation
The body’s natural response to infection is inflammation, and while inflammatory reactions are very important in combating infections, they can be harmful if activated too strongly and become chronic. This can then contribute to the development of certain conditions such as heart disease. Omega-3 is known to reduce the production of molecules and substances that cause inflammation.
5. Improve eye health
The fatty acid DHA is a major component in the structure of our eye retinas, which help prevent the degeneration of the eye’s macular that causes vision impairment and blindness. Needless to say, the regular intake of omega-3’s help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, keeping your eyes healthy.
6. Fight autoimmune diseases
One of the most common examples of autoimmune diseases is type 1 diabetes, where the immune system attacks the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. Other known autoimmune diseases are lupus, rheumatism, psoriasis, and ulcer. Omega 3’s can fight some of these diseases, and it’s best to start taking them during childhood.
7. Fight Alzheimer's disease
The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is expected to triple in the coming decades and no cure has been found. However, the good news is that studies show that for patients with high omega-3 levels, blood flow in specific areas of the brain is increased.
8. Reduce the risk of cancer
Omega-3’s have long been identified to help prevent certain cancers. According to Healthline, some scientific studies proved that those who consume omega-3 regularly have up to 55% lower risk of colon cancer. While studies vary, omega-3 consumption is also linked to reduced risks of prostate and breast cancer.
9. Lower the risk of asthma in children
Severe asthma attacks can cause some serious damage and even lead to death. Omega-3 consumption has been scientifically proven to help lower the risk of asthma in children and young adults.
10. Ease menstrual pains
Studies have shown that women who take omega-3’s experience lesser menstrual pain. One study even determined that omega-3s’ are more effective than ibuprofen in reducing the pain associated with menstruation.
11. Help promote sleep
Sleep apnoea in adults and sleep disorder in children are often associated with low levels of omega-3’s. The hormone melatonin that induces sleep is also associated with a low level of DHA fatty acids. Consuming more DHA fatty acids will help you counter these symptoms and promote good sleep.
12. Improve bone and joint strength
Omega-3’s boost the amount of calcium in your bones, which helps improve the strength of your bones, reducing the symptoms of osteoporosis. Studies also show that omega-3’s help in the treatment of arthritis, a disease associated with the weakening of joints.
13. Good for your skin
Omega-3’s manage the oil production and hydration of your skin, and are responsible for the health of the skin’s cell membranes. They reduce premature aging and the risk of acne. So keep taking those omega-3’s to help you achieve a youthful glowing skin.
So, there you have it - 13 reasons why omega-3's are really good for us. Get that refrigerator filled with salmon, tuna, or whatever fish you like. And don’t forget to fill your medicine cabinets with omega-3 supplements too.
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