Omega-3 Fatty Acids – What Are The Benefits?

olives-are-a-rich-source-omega-3-fatty-acids

Fats are an essential part of any diet, whether vegan, vegetarian, paleo or omnivore; despite the bad reviews fat gets, it can be very good for you.

We look at what omega-3 fatty acids are precisely and some of the many benefits they provide.

We’ll also look at some best food sources and think about how best you can ensure you are including adequate amounts in your diet.

Click the link you want to start with or, by all means, continue.

What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

The fat contained in the food you eat comprises fatty acid chains that combine carbon and hydrogen atoms linked together.

The two primary fats that we generally consume are saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.

Unsaturated fatty acids are string type formations bonded together; those with one double bond are called monosaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).

Unsaturated fatty acids with more than one double bond are called polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).

Omega-3s A Closer Look

Omega-3s are usually unsaturated fatty acids, PUFAs.

Fatty acids are involved in the normal healthy function of your immune system and every other aspect of your body’s health.

Omega fatty acids also significantly impact the flavour and texture of food, such as eggs, cheese, milk, nuts, salmon, and avocadoes before and after cooking.

avocado-eggs-cheese-fatty-fish-nut-seeds-spinach-are-all-rich-in-omega-3-super-foods

Can Fat Be Good For You?

Despite the bad press, fats such as omega’s are incredibly healthy for you.

Omega-3s help to reduce high blood cholesterol levels, significantly lower the risks of developing heart disease.

Saturated and unsaturated fats are the two primary fatty acids we generally consume. Although some foods might be associated with only one kind of fat, they usually contain a blend of both saturated and unsaturated.

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are much more solid at room temperature than unsaturated fats.

Omega-3 fatty acids are in animal products such as meat, dairy, hydrogenated vegetable oils and tropical oils such as palm and coconut oil.

Unsaturated Fats

Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature found in vegetable, plant-derived oils and animal products like meat, dairy and fish.

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that are incredibly beneficial not only to your physical health but to your mental health too and are in both animal and plant foods.olive-oil-is-the-healthiest-fat-on-earth

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that are incredibly beneficial not only to your physical health but to your mental health too and are in both animal and plant foods.

There Are Three Types of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) 

Alpha-linolenic acid is the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids; your body cannot produce ALA naturally, so you must make sure to eat foods containing it.

  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) 
  • Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)

Both EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids provide the most benefits that contribute to good overall physical and mental health.

Omega-3 Supports the Immune System

Omega-3s, along with another essential fatty acid, omega-6, support your immune system and both do so in very different ways.

Omega-6 fatty acids stimulate the immune system, whereas omega-3 fatty acids, also referred to as anti-inflammatory, dampen down the immune system’s response.

The omega-3 fatty acids also support and promote the infection-fighting components of immunity.

Brain Food

a-little-girl-in-front-of-a chalkboard-omega-3-is-essential-for-brain-health

Everyone, especially children, students and the elderly, requires extra brainpower and the occasional boost.

Many studies have shown that consuming adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids help fuel brain cells so that they can function better.

They have also shown that omega-3s can help prevent and slow down the development of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Studies have also shown that children and adults who suffer from ADHD and depression can benefit significantly by adding more omega-3s to their diets.

Omega-3 & Eye Health

Eye and vision health is something we sometimes forget until problems develop; omega-3 fatty acids have improved vision problems by fighting inflammation.

Omega-3 also helps keep the retina of the eyes lubricated; eye problems could indicate that you may need to incorporate more omega-3 into your diet.

Hair Growth, Wrinkle-Free Skin & Strong Nails

If you suffer from dry and damaged hair, nails that break easily and wrinkle-free skin, you could try consuming more omega-3 fatty acids instead of resorting to lotions and potions.

A study held in 2018 found that omega-3s, specifically fish oil, stimulated hair growth in rodents.

Researchers isolated rat whisker follicles and treated them with fish oil from mackerel containing omega-3 fatty acids.

After 14 days, they noticed that the hairs growing from the treated follicles were longer than those of the untreated follicles.

Want Better Sleep? Omega-3 Helps

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Low omega-3 levels in the body can be associated with problems with sleep; if you want to improve your nervous system and sleep better, you should take more omega-3 regularly.

Low levels of DHA can result in lower levels of the hormone melatonin, which helps you fall asleep.

Studies in both children and adults show that omega-3 supplements increase the quality and duration of sleep.

Fertility Issues & Omega-3 Fatty Acids

If you are having problems conceiving a baby, omega-3s can help raise your chance of accomplishing your goal.

Studies have shown that omega-3 may improve ovulation by increasing progesterone, which regulates the uterus lining essential to pregnancy.

Omega-3s also increase the strength of the sperm, giving them a better chance of reaching their destination quicker.

Omega-3 & Cancer

Studies have also revealed that omega-3 can help prevent certain types of cancer such as colon and breast cancer, reducing the risk by up to 50% with consuming omega-3, DHA, EPA and ALA fatty acids.

fish-oil-is-a-rich-source-of-omega-3-fatty-acids

18 More Benefits – Omega-3 Fatty Acids

There are so many benefits to omega-3 fatty acids that it would take forever to list them all.

  1. Omega 3 fatty acids significantly reduce the likelihood of heart attack and stroke.
  2. Omega-3 can help reduce blood pressure levels in people with high blood pressure.
  3. Omega-3 gives the nervous system a healthy boost.
  4. Evidence shows that omega-3 helps to reduce inflammation throughout the body.
  5. Omega-3 fatty acids play a significant role in aiding and assisting the formation of cell membranes throughout your body.
  6. Omega-3 helps regulate and maintain sound mental health including depression, psychosis and Parkinson’s disease in those at risk, however, research is ongoing.
  7. Omega-3 helps reduce your LDL or bad cholesterol level, which can result in the formation of plaque that hardens and restricts the flow of blood in your arteries.
  8. Omega-3 can also help prevent blood clots by keeping blood platelets from clumping together.
  9. It provides numerous benefits to people with diabetes; omega-3 can reduce insulin resistance and help combat inflammation.
  10. Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to healthy weight loss and management.
  11. Many studies have repeatedly proved that women who regularly consume  omega-3s have significantly milder menstrual pain than women that do not.
  12. Preventing and treating the symptoms of anxiety and depression using omega-3s has been well established for many years.
  13. Vital to infant brain development and cognitive development.
  14. Significantly helps the prevention, reduction and alleviation of the symptoms of arthritis.
  15. Joints, tendons, and cartilage are kept lubricated by omega-3 fatty acids.
  16. Regular consumption of omega-3s supports the mobility and functionality of bones and joints throughout life.
  17. Omega-3 may significantly reduce the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children.
  18. Studies have shown that children and young adults who regularly consume omega-3 have a much lower risk of asthma than children and young adults who don’t.

omega-3-reduces-the-risk-of-heart-disease

Best Food Source For Omega-3

DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids are most commonly found chiefly in cold-water fatty fish.

  • salmon
  • mackerel
  • cod
  • sardines
  • herring
  • cod liver oil
  • caviar
  • oysters

ALAs, are the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids, so if you are a vegan, these rich sources of omega-3 are perfect for you.

  • olive oil
  • flaxseed oil
  • spinach
  • hempseed oil
  • chia seeds
  • walnuts
  • canola oil
  • soybean oil
  • seaweed
  • algae

Omega Fatty Acids The True Essential Oils

omega oils, especially omega-3 and omega 6-, -7 and -9, are necessary and vital to life.

Without oil, an engine would become, over time, dysfunctional, sluggish, stiff, rusty and eventually cease up and get thrown onto the scrap heap.

It’s the same with your body; getting adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in your daily diet is essential.

girl-taking-an-omega-3 supplement.

If you don’t frequently eat fatty fish, seafood or use olive oil, it may be a good idea to consider taking an omega-3 supplement.

Supplementing your diet is a simple but effective way to improve your physical and mental health and may also significantly help reduce your risk of infection, illness and chronic disease.

You can find easily find omega-3 supplements, including vegan varieties, locally or online.

You can obtain them without a prescription from any pharmacy or general store.

However, I would strongly recommend you do your research, due diligence and seek advice where and when needed.

If you have any underlying health conditions or taking any prescribed medication. Supplements can cause severe side effects if not taken in the correct dosage, so please always seek medical advice.

*Please note the information in this post is intended for the purpose of general information only and should not be used as a substitute for the individual expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals & that I may get a commission for purchases made through links in this post.

6 thoughts on “Omega-3 Fatty Acids – What Are The Benefits?

  1. Dominique says:

    Hi. I love taking care of myself and my body, it’s so good to find your site. Yes, most of us have heard of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids but personally, I never came across more information about it, rather than just the name. Your article was very thorough and precise, made me understand a lot. I’m gonna save it!

    Reply
    1. Mitch says:

      Hi Dominique,

      I was exactly the same as you, I had heard about Omega-3 knew it was important to brain health but that was about it. The benefits go way further than that and they are really important to good health, vitality and longevity. I didn’t realise there was an Omega-6 & -9 and how important the -6, in particular, is to good health.

      I am so pleased I was able to share this information with you and hope you visit again soon.

      Mitch X:-).

      Reply
  2. Sharee says:

    You are right Fatty acids get a bad rep. Until I read your post I didn’t know that Omega 3 Fatty acids were good for you. Your post was very informative and very vaulbale. I’m going to share it on my Pinterest page, and bookmark your site so I can come back to it… Thank you again for this post!

    Reply
    1. Mitch says:

      Hi again Sgaree, yes Omega Fatty acids are really important to the health of our immune system and is also a superfood for cognitive function (brainpower) also rich in vital vitamin D3 which we can only get from the sun and darker shades of skin such as myself find it really difficult read more here >>> bit.ly/3pFRYfT X:-).

      Reply
  3. Dave Hayes says:

    This is an interesting article, which enlightned me a little about Saturated Fats and how they are not all bad for you.

    Looking at the list of foods that these Omega3, which I knew were predominately related to or found in fish, its good from a personal expereience to knwo that the ones listed on your article, I eat salmon mackerell and cod on a regualr basis, along with Spinach which I thought was classed as a vegetable and also Olive oil for cooking.

    Mediterranean people seem to swear by this type of diet and its not hard t see why, overall anything that is good for health has to be good

    I really enjoyed reading this article.

    Reply
    1. Mitch says:

      Hi Dave, I’m so pleased you enjoyed this post, you are so right the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest there is! I especially love Virgin Olive oil sprinkled over a salad X:-).

      Reply

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