You may have heard that choosing oilier fish like salmon and mackerel is the far better choice for your health as they’re chock-full of omega 3 fatty acids. This is very true, but did you know that omega 3 is not only vital for full-body health, but can also offer further benefits for more specific areas of the body, as well as for certain health concerns.
Here are our top 7 health benefits of omega 3.
Omega 3 Benefits for Depressive Moods & Anxiety
More people than ever suffer from depressive moods and anxiety, with symptoms such as sadness, lethargy, excessive nervousness, and a general lack of enthusiasm towards life being a common occurrence. This should come as no surprise as the modern world we live in is so fast-paced, with a seemingly stressful event just waiting around every corner.
Research suggests that individuals who regularly consume sources of omega 3 are less likely to suffer depressive symptoms. A study published in ScienceDirect even states that when people who suffer from depression or anxiety take an omega 3 supplement, they experience a marked improvement in their symptoms.
Omega 3 Benefits for Eye Health
DHA is a type of omega 3 fatty acid found in abundance in oily fish, such as salmon and mackerel, and also happens to be an important structural component of the eye. When you don’t consume enough DHA through your diet, you may experience a decline in the quality of your eyesight over time. Various studies published in PubMed show that sufficient intake of omega 3 is associated with a decreased risk of developing macular degeneration.
It’s important to note that the body can only make a small amount of DHA through other fatty acids, so If you’re not getting enough fatty fish in your diet, make sure you keep your peepers healthy by supplementing with a high-quality omega 3 fish oil supplement.
Omega 3 Benefits for Heart Disease
It’s become common knowledge that communities that consume plenty of fish have lower rates of heart attacks and strokes. These benefits for the heart are often attributed to the large amounts of omega 3 in the fish.
Omega 3 has been linked to a number of health benefits for the heart, such as a reduction in triglycerides, an ability to assist in lowering blood pressure, and an ability to increase “good” HDL cholesterol levels. While omega 3 has many benefits for heart health, it’s important to note that many studies show no evidence that omega-3 supplements can prevent heart attacks or strokes.
Omega 3 Benefits for Inflammation
It may come as a surprise that inflammation actually plays a vital role in the body, it’s the body’s natural reaction to infection. On the flip side, inflammation that persists for a long period of time with no apparent infection or injury is considered chronic inflammation and can put the body at risk of developing a host of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, and even cancer.
Research suggests that a higher omega 3 intake is associated with a reduction in inflammation, so when we’re suffering from a highly inflammatory disease perhaps we need to start looking at the levels of omega 3 we’re consuming, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll be a lot better off for it. It’s always important to remember that a doctor’s opinion is advised for any drastic dietary change, particularly when it comes to chronic conditions.
Omega 3 Benefits for Autoimmune Diseases
Autoimmune disease can be rather frustrating and confusing because your immune system can often mistake healthy cells for harmful ones, unleashing its full wrath on them in an effort to discard them… Yikes!
But it’s not all doom and gloom, numerous studies published in PubMed show that an adequate intake of omega 3, specifically in your first year of life, is associated with a lesser risk of developing autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, autoimmune diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. Omega 3 is also said to assist with other autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and psoriasis.
Omega 3 Benefits for Mental Health
Many individuals who suffer from psychiatric disorders display low levels of omega 3, which begs the question, “Does omega 3 help with mood swings and other unpleasant symptoms of mental health conditions?” Well, studies actually do suggest that taking omega-3 supplements can help to reduce mood swings and relapses in those with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, which is quite impressive.
So what does the research have to say about omega 3’s other mental health benefits? As we now know, our quality of brain function tends to decline as we get older, and while more research is needed with regards to omega 3 fatty acids and brain health, studies do suggest that a higher omega 3 intake is associated with slower age-related mental decline and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Omega 3 Benefits for Skin Health
So “What are the benefits of omega 3 for our skin?”, you may ask. Oh, let us count the many ways! DHA, in particular, is a key structural component of your skin that’s necessary for the health of cell membranes. When the cell membranes of your skin are healthy, you’ll have soft and supple skin.
EPA, another form of omega 3 fatty acid, also offers benefits for the skin, such as keeping oil production under control, and hydrating skin. It also helps to prevent and reduce the risk of acne, premature aging, and hyperkeratinization of hair follicles. Omega 3 helps to guard the skin from the harmful effects of the sun, while EPA specifically assists in guarding against substances that break down collagen after your skin has been exposed to the sun.
Get More Omega 3!
With all of the extraordinary benefits omega 3 has to offer, it would seem that we really ought to be getting more of it in our diets. Don’t love oily fish? Chia and flax seeds are great plant-based sources of ALA omega 3, however, the body still needs to convert the ALA into the ever useful DHA omega 3 fatty acid.If you’re not getting this wonderful mineral through your diet, make sure you don’t miss out on the benefits, and consider taking an omega 3 supplement. You can choose from a variety of omega 3 supplements from high-quality brands, all available online on Health Central.