Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for your health, helping to improve brain function, metabolism and keeping your heart healthy. Two types of Omega 3 fat sources can be identified: one from plants (alpha-linoleic acid) and one from animals (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid), the latter being the most beneficial for your health. Omega 3 fatty acids are known as polyunsaturated fats, which are extremely good for you and should be included more frequently in your diet.
However, plant based Omega 3 is also good for you and can be found in nuts, seeds and oils or oily spreads. The animal based fatty acids can be found in fish, squid and krill, which also includes fish and krill oil. Studies have highlighted the importance of getting sufficient Omega 3 fatty acids from your diet, or through supplementation as it helps to prevent multiple diseases and keeps you in a healthy condition.
Here are the top 10 reasons to get your Omega 3’s in:
1. They Lower Cholesterol
Studies have shown that a diet rich in fatty fish and healthy fats helps to increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which is excellent in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.
2. They Reduce Blood Pressure
Research has demonstrated that a diet rich in oily fish and fish oils helps to reduce high blood pressure, formally known as hypertension. It acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory and improves the quality of your most vital fluid.
3. They Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
A diet rich in oily fish and fish oils helps to reduce the level of triglycerides in the blood, which has been proven to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, stroke and heart failure. It also helps to prevent the hardening of arteries, known as atherosclerosis by limiting the development of blood clots and plaque buildup, which helps to keep arteries unclogged.
Diabetics often have a low level of HDL (good cholesterol) and a high level of triglycerides, which means a diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and particularly from oily fish can help to prevent diabetes, as well as manage it. Plant based Omega 3 has been found to be less effective than animal based Omega 3 due to the way that it is converted and absorbed by the body.
5. They Soothe the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Clinical studies have proven that supplementing with Omega 3 fish oils helps to significantly reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, which usually causes inflammation in the joints and morning stiffness. It acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory and helps to strengthen bones and joints, even being linked to reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
6. They Protect Your Brain
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for proper brain functioning and studies have shown that regular intake helps to prevent dementia, memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. It helps to protect nerves, nerve transmission and promotes the health of brain cells.
7. They Keep Your Skin Healthy
Getting sufficient Omega 3’s may help to prevent multiple skin diseases, such as psoriasis, eczema and fungal infections. It helps to reduce the hyper-proliferation of skin cells as well as giving skin tissue plenty of anti-inflammatory power, which has shown to reduce irritation by as much as 60%.
Macular degeneration can lead to night blindness, cataracts and blurry vision, something that Omega 3 fatty acids help to prevent. Multiple surveys were able to demonstrate a decrease in the risk of macular generation when fish and fish oil was increased in the diet, which is great news for maintaining excellent eyesight.
9. They Help to Prevent Cancer
Studies are inconclusive and ongoing but have proven that regular intake of Omega 3 fatty acids helps to reduce the risk of cancer. It prevents the proliferation of cancer cells in the breast, prostate and colon and reduces the risk of the spread of cancer cells, even during chemotherapy.
10. They Reduce the Symptoms of PMS
While the reason is not clear, the results are in: a diet rich in fish and fish oil helps to reduce the symptoms of PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome), likely due to its powerful anti-inflammatory compounds.
How to include Omega 3s in your diet : The Institute of Food and Medicine has recommended that an adult female gets at least 1.1 grams of Omega 3 fatty acids per day and that an adult male gets at least 1.6 grams. Eating oily fish at least twice a week will meet this requirement, and if supplementing with Omega 3 capsules it’s important to follow the recommendations for dosage and directions.