Omega 3: What is it? What are its health benefits? Do I really need it?

Omega 3 includes a long list of polyunsaturated fats, some of them are considered to be of crucial importance to our overall health; such as alpha-linoleic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

These fatty acids are essential for our body, which means that our body is incapable of producing them alone and the only way to obtain them is by our daily diet. If we don’t incorporate them into diet, our body will develop a deficiency, hence causing various problems for proper bodily functions.

Omega 3: Function and benefits

Omega 3 has many fatty acids that offer many benefits for our overall health.

Improves cardiac heath

Omega 3 helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases by diverse methods:

  • It reduces the triglycerides and cholesterol LDL (“bad cholesterol”) in the blood
  • Omega 3 supplements when consumed in a larger quantity can help to decrease blood pressure levels.
  • Prevents atherosclerosis, which means, it helps to avoid the formation of atheroma plates from building up inside of the arteries that could cause a partial or total obstruction.
  • Reduces the risk of forming blood clots that could cause a heart attack when an artery is blocked.

Protects cerebrovascular health

The fatty acids found in Omega 3 favor a balanced cerebral growth development during pregnancy and the newborn’s first two years of life. Also, it contributes in preventing frequent neurodegenerative diseases in adults, such as Alzheimer and cogitative deterioration associated with old age.

Alleviates joint pain

Individuals who suffer from arthritis notice less joint pain when they take an Omega 3 supplement daily. This is because it contains anti-inflammatory properties.

Improves skin health

The fatty acids found in Omega 3 help to improve your skin’s health by making it more beautiful, preventing acne, improving skin tone, better hydration, improves skin’s elasticity and retards the signs of aging. As a result, your skin looks smooth, hydrated and wrinkle-free.

Improves your vision

Adding Omega 3 to your diet is directly related to your eyesight, because docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is one of the main components needed by the retina of your eye.

Also, Omega 3 intake is known to decrease the risk of diseases related to your eyes such as macular degeneration, which could lead to blindness.

Why eating fish is the best source of Omega 3?

The fatty acids in Omega 3 can be found in a wide variety of foods (fish, shellfish, chia seeds, flax seeds, seed oils, soy, dried fruits and nuts, etc.). However, you should eat fish or seaweed at least twice week, as they have the highest source of omega 3, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Now, if you don’t particularly like eating fish, you can include these fatty acids, EPA and DHA in your diet by taking daily fish oil supplements. There are very easy digest as they have a neutral favor.

Omega 3 can be found in a wide variety of foods
Omega 3 deficiency

As we previously mentioned, our body needs omega 3 and the only way to obtain it is by our diet or supplements. If our body lacks omega 3, it will cause health issues either short term or long term.

Our body needs 250 to 1000 mg of Omega 3 each day. Some individuals will feel the benefits from these fatty acids immediately after consuming them because of their illnesses. But as with any supplements, it is recommended to ask your health care provider before consuming.

Omega 3 deficiency causes:

  • Increased swelling and lower immune system
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Higher risk of cardiovascular diseases
  • Cognitive degeneration in adults and inadequate cerebral development in babies
  • Visual problems
  • Dry, scaling skin
  • Depression, anxiety, fatigue and mood swings
  • Hair loss and brittle nails

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