You’ve probably heard multiple times about omega-3, and that it’s good for your health. The question is, do you know why Omega-3 is good for your health? Most times we just see something highlighted on the package of something we’re buying and we might not know exactly why it’s good for us, but we’ll take their word for it.
Don´t worry, if you don´t know the health benefits of Omega-3 then keep on reading and you’ll discover why it is such an important fatty acid. Yes! You heard right, omega-3 is a fatty acid, but this fat is actually really good for you and out of all the fats that you need to cut back on, omega-3 is definitely not one of them.
It is absolutely crucial to keep your body functioning like normal and no! It won’t make you fat, so don’t worry about those calories or about the fat. Here are the benefits of Omega-3
Proven Health Benefits Of Omega-3
It Fights Depression
We’re living amidst a global epidemic of depression. According to statistics from the United Nations, there approximately 350 million people worldwide living with depression. You need to give your body foods that will not only prevent certain illnesses but also fight them once they come to affect you.
Several studies have suggested that omega-3 can help smooth out the mood swings of bipolar disorder. In another study performed by Andrew Stoll, MD, and colleagues it was reported that 60 percent of the 30 manic-depressive patients who took 10 grams of fish oil per day for four months reported a noticeable improvement in their symptoms.
It Helps Asthma
Omega-3 is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, inflammation being a key component in asthma. Further studies have also suggested that omega-3 improves lung function and helps a person cut the amount of medication they need in order to control the condition.
Note: please consult your doctor before making changes to your medication.
There is strong evidence that suggests that the polyunsaturated fatty acids found in omega-3 can have potential uses in the treatment of epilepsy.
In a research project lead by Prof. Christopher DeGiorgia of the Department of Neurology at UCLA, it was found that omega-3 can be particularly useful to treat epilepsy patients who no longer respond to medication. In the study, it was found that low-dose of omega-3 reduced seizure by more than 30% in patients who stopped responding to antiepileptic medication. Furthermore, the team discovered that omega-3 has been linked to reducing brain cell excitability among epileptic patients, which may curb seizures, this according to an article published in Medical News Today.
Helps Rheumatoid Arthritis
The fatty acids found in omega-3 have the capacity of blocking inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins. They are actually converted in resolvins, which are powerful anti-inflammatory chemicals.
Improves Heart Health
This is actually not even new because for years the American Heart Association has recommended people of all ages to add omega-3 to their diet if they want to improve or maintain their heart health.
According to the American Heart Association, omega-3 reduces arrhythmias which can lead to sudden death. This fatty acid also has the benevolent benefits of decreasing triglyceride levels, slow growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque and lower blood pressure.
Reduce Risk of Heart Attach and/or Stroke
As we saw in the previous benefit omega-3 is an important helper in improving heart health by bringing several benefits related to the heart. But on the other hand, it can also help our brains at the same time. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends adding fish and/or omega-3 to your diet to prevent stroke. This is thanks to the DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and the ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid) which are components in omega-3. The DHA is what helps reduce the triglyceride levels which are related to strokes.
Improve Eye Health
Remember that we mentioned DHA? Well… you probably didn’t know this, but this type of omega-3 is a huge structural element of the brain and retina of the eye. Not getting enough DHA can cause vision complications to arise. Omega 3 has also been known to reduce the risk of macular degeneration, which is one of the world’s leading causes of permanent blindness.
This comes as a surprise right? I bet you didn´t think that omega-3 could be good for something like your kidneys, it´s usually associated to be an amazing brain food, but it´s good for other organs as well. Studies are being done about the benefits of omega-3 and kidney function and so far it´s been shown that omega-3 can bring renoprotection in IgA nephropathy.
Reduce Symptoms of ADHD
If you´re dealing with a child that has ADHD but you don´t want to treat him/her with harsh drugs, you can opt for omega-3. Omega-3 is completely natural and it has been shown to help reduce anxiety, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, restlessness, and inattention in children. Children with ADHD have shown lower levels of omega-3 in their bloodstream compared to children who don´t have ADHD.
Foods That are High in Omega-3
After reading all the wonderful benefits of omega-3 you´re probably asking yourself, “where can I get omega-3?” You can find it as a supplement or you can add it naturally to your diet. The best part about omega-3 is that even if it´s highly associated with being a fatty acid that comes from fish, you can actually find great, and I really mean GREAT sources of omega-3 that come from seeds or other vegetarian/vegan sources, so you don´t have to go carnivorous if you don´t want to. Check out the list of the foods that are rich in omega-3! You´ll realize that it is pretty easy to add it to your diet, and delicious of course!
- Chia Seeds
- Walnuts and Walnut Oil
- Fish Oil (Salmon)
- Mackerel (It’s a small, fat fish)
Omega-3 is a great super food, but still you want to be a bit careful since it can interact with some medications or some ailments. You should consult your doctor before taking omega-3 if you are taking any of the next medications or you have any of the ailments mentioned below.
- If you´re taking anticoagulants.
- If you´re taking a beta-blocker, estrogen or a thiazide diuretic.
- If you have hypothyroidism.
- If you have blood clotting problems
- If you´re allergic to any of the foods that have omega-3
- If you´re breastfeeding or are planning to become pregnant.