Do you enjoy eating fish? You’re getting a lot of healthy Omega-3s!
You’ve probably heard that omega 3 is good for your brain and heart, and you’d be right – omega 3 fatty acids have a plethora of health benefits! Here are some of the most recent discoveries about these long-chain polyunsaturated fats, as well as where to find them and how to make sure you’re getting enough of them.
What is Omega-3?
Omega-3 is a type of essential fatty acid that plays important roles in your body and may offer a variety of health benefits. Because your body cannot produce them, you must obtain them through your diet.
People who do not consume enough of these foods’ nutrition are often advised to take an omega-3 supplement, such as fish oil or algal oil. Fatty fish, fish oils, flax seeds, chia seeds, flaxseed oil, and walnuts are all high in omega 3 fatty acids.
What are the types of Omega-3?
ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and EPA are the three most important types (eicosapentaenoic acid). ALA is found primarily in plants, whereas DHA and EPA are found primarily in animal foods and algae.
What are the benefits of Omega-3?
Hundreds of studies show that EPA and DHA are beneficial to heart health. According to a 2020 review published in the International Journal of Molecular Science, those who consume more EPA and DHA in their diet have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and death from any type of cardiovascular disease.
Triglycerides, blood pressure, and heart rate variability are all improved by EPA and DHA. They also aid in the reduction of inflammation and the improvement of blood vessel function. The American Heart Association found that 1,000 to 3,000 mg of EPA and DHA provided heart health benefits.
When it comes to improving your Gastrointestinal (GI) tract’s microbiome, most research has focused on fibre, pre- and probiotics. Newer research, however, indicates that long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (including DHA and EPA) improve the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
This means that omega-3 fatty acids can help your immune system fight off infections and other illnesses. The intestinal wall of the GI tract interacts with the microbiome and immune system cells, as intestinal wall disruptions can result in abnormal immune responses.
Numerous studies, like those on heart health, show that diets high in omega-3 fatty acids can help keep your brain sharp as you age. According to research, people who consume more omega-3 fatty acids have better memory and cognitive function as they age.
According to the American Heart Association, when EPA and DHA were given as supplements to people with heart disease, those who received the supplements had better cognitive outcomes than those who did not.
DHA is essential for the maintenance of photoreceptors in the retina of your eyes. It protects your eyes from light damage and acts as an antioxidant to prevent cell damage that occurs in some eye disorders.
According to research, eating enough DHA may help protect against age-related macular degeneration and other age-related conditions that can lead to vision loss and blindness. The AREDS 2 study, which was funded by the National Eye Institute, used a supplement containing 350 mg DHA and 650 mg EPA. Individuals with the highest DHA and EPA levels had the lowest severity rating of age-related macular degeneration.
Skin and hair growth
Numerous studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids nourish and support hair growth, as well as reducing the inflammation that is sometimes associated with hair loss. Aside from making your hair look healthy and shiny, omega-3 acids can make your skin look more hydrated and youthful.
Don’t want to get your omega-3s from fish? Flaxseed oil is an excellent vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids. If you can’t find flax oil, buy whole flaxseeds and grind them up with a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder before adding them to smoothies or cereal.
What Omega-3 does to your body
Omega-3s are a component of cell membranes throughout the body and influence the function of cell receptors. They serve as a starting point for the production of hormones that regulate blood clotting, artery wall contraction and relaxation, and inflammation.
Moreover, they also bind to cell receptors that regulate genetic function. Likely due to these effects, omega-3 fats have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke, may help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis, and may play protective roles in cancer and other health conditions!