Omega 3 benefits not only come from supplements but also from food sources.
Many people all over the world use fish oil and omega-3 supplements as they believe it has various health benefits.
According to the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association, ACC/AHA, eating fish is a part of a healthy diet and helps to maintain insulin levels, triglyceride levels, etc.
Moreover, a diet rich in omega 3 acids can help prevent heart diseases, protect the brain and eye health, and contributes to fetal health.
Omega -3 oil contains both docosahexaenoic acid DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid EPA.
Studies show that it can help to improve blood pressure, reduce the number of triglycerides and slow the development of plaque in arteries, thus making your heart healthy.
Moreover, it reduces the chances of abnormal heart rhythm, the likelihood of heart attack and stroke, and reduces the chance of sudden cardiac death.
AHA suggests that omega-3 foods and eating fish at least twice a week are beneficial for your health.
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, lake trout, and tuna have high fatty acid content.
Food Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
According to many doctors and nutritionists, the best way to consume nutrients is through your daily diet.
However, you can take supplements when they recommend it.
Omega 3 fatty acids come from both animal-based and plant bases.
Animal-based sources of omega 3 are:
- oily fish like sardines, tuna, and salmon
- seafood like oysters and shrimp
- fish liver oils like cod liver oil
- eggs especially the fortified ones.
However, the vegetable-based alternative is:
- flaxseed oil
- chia seeds
- canola oil
- kidney beans
Omega 3 Benefits
Omega 3 fatty acids are very beneficial for your health. They are not only good for your body but also for your brain.
Omega 3 is present in your whole body, especially in your brain, retina, and sperm cells.
Your body does not have the ability to produce them on its own, therefore, you have to obtain them from dietary sources.
Very few nutrients have been studied thoroughly as Omega 3 acids.
Let us discuss the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids along with scientific research.
1. Helps to Promote Brain Health During Pregnancy and Early Life
Omega 3 fatty acids are very important for your brain growth and the development of infants.
Thus, it is no surprise that infants fed a DHA-fortified formula have better eyesight than those who are fed a formula that does not contain it.
During pregnancy, getting enough amount of omega 3 acids have a number of benefits for your child and includes the development of higher intelligence, better communication, and social skills.
Moreover, it reduces the development of behavioral problems. risk of developmental delay and decrease the risk of ADHD, autism, and cerebral palsy.
Learn more about the early sign of Pregnancy.
2. Improves Risk Factors for Heart Diseases
One of the benefits of Omega 3 acids is it reduces the chances of heart diseases in your body.
According to WHO, the World Health Organization, heart attacks, and strokes is the leading cause of death worldwide.
According to researches, decades ago, people who eat fish have low chances of heart diseases. This is associated with the consumption of omega 3 acids.
Sine this research, omega 3 has been tied to different benefits for heart health.
These benefits address the following:
Triglycerides: Omega 3 causes a reduction in triglycerides, usually in the range of 15 to 30%.
Blood Pressure: One of the benefits of Omega 3 is its reduces blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
Good ‘HDL’ cholesterol: It can help to raise good or HDL cholesterol levels.
Blood Clots: Another benefit of Omega 3 is that it prevents platelets from clumping, thus, prevents the formation of blood clots.
Plaque: It helps to keep your arteries smooth and free from damage thus preventing plaque to effect and harden your arteries.
Inflammation: Omega 3 reduces the production of substances that your body releases during an inflammatory response.
However, despite the beneficial effect, there is no convincing evidence that omega 3 supplements can prevent heart attacks or strokes.
3. Reduce the Symptoms of ADHD in Children
ADHA or Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a behavioral disorder that is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
Different studies found that the amount of omega 3 acids in children with ADHA is lower than the healthy peers.
Moreover, different studies observe that omega 3 supplements can reduce the symptoms of ADHD.
Thus the benefit of omega 3 in children with ADHA is it improve inattention and task completion. They also reduce hyperactivity, impulsiveness, restlessness, and aggression in children.
Moreover, recent studies suggest that omega 3 fatty acids supplements are one of the beneficial treatments for ADHD.
4. Fights Autoimmune diseases
In an autoimmune disorder, your immune system attacks its own cells, organs, and tissues by mistake and considers them as foreign bodies.
Type 1 Diabetes is one example in which your immune system attracts the pancreas, the insulin-producing organ.
Omega 3 can fight some autoimmune diseases and can be especially important during early life.
Moreover, different studies suggest that consuming enough omega 3 during the first year of life is linked to a reduced risk of many autoimmune disorders including type 1 diabetes and multiple scoliosis.
5. May Improve Sleep
Getting enough and good sleep is important for optimal health.
Studies in both children and adults show that supplementing with omega 3 increases the length and quality of sleep in both.
6. Good for your Skin
Omega3 benefits include good skin texture and quality.
DHA is a structural component of your skin and is also responsible for the health of the cell membrane which makes up a large part of your skin.
Moreover, a healthy cell membrane is soft, moist, supple, and wrinkle-free.
Also, EPA benefits your skin in different ways including:
- Prevention of hyperkeratinization of hair follicles
- reduces the risk of acne
- manages oil production and hydrates your skin
- reduces premature aging
Moreover, it can protect your skin from sun damage.
According to studies, EPA blocks the release of substances that eat away at the collagen in your skin after sun exposure.
7. Fights Depression and Anxiety
Depression is a common mental disorder in the world and its symptoms include sadness, lethargy, and a general loss of interest in life.
Studies indicate that consuming omega 3 can help reduce the symptoms of depression.
Moreover, anxiety is another mental disorder and is due to constant worry and nervousness.
Many different studies indicate that people who consume omega 3 regularly are less like to be depressed.
Another interesting fact is that when people with depression or anxiety start taking omega 3 supplements, there is an improvement in symptoms.
The 3 types of omega 3 acids are ALA, EPA, and DHA, out of which EPA is the best at fighting depression according to another study.
Furthermore, EPA is effective against depression as common antidepressant medication.
8. Improves Eye Health
Omega 3 is of three types, DHA, EPA, and ALA, out of which DHA is a structural component of the retina of your eye.
If you do not get enough DHA, there can be problems with your vision.
If you get enough omega 3 fatty acids, then it reduces the risk of macular degeneration, which is one of the leading causes of permanent eye damage and blindness.
Thus, omega 3 benefits include the reduction of development of eye problems and improvement in your vision.
9. Helps to Reduce Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a collection of conditions and includes central obesity, or belly fat, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, high triglycerides, and low ‘good’ cholesterol HDL levels.
Moreover, it tends to increase your risk of many other diseases like heart diseases and diabetes, according to a study.
Omega 3 can help improve insulin resistance, inflammation, and heart diseases in people with metabolic syndrome.
10. Fights Inflammation
Inflammation in your body is a natural response to infections and can sometimes damage your body if it is chronic or long-term.
Thus, it is vital for your health.
If inflammation persists for longer periods of time, even without an infection or injury, it is chronic or long-term inflammation.
Therefore, long-term inflammation can contribute to chronic illnesses like heart diseases and cancer.
According to different observations, omega 3 fatty acids can reduce the production of molecules and substances related to inflammation like inflammatory eicosanoids, anti inflammatory drug, and cytokines.
Moreover, studies indicate the connection between the intake of omega 3 acids and the reduction of inflammation in your body.
Potential Risks and Side Effects of Using Supplements
When you follow a healthy and balanced diet, you do not need extra supplements.
However, omega 3 supplements are not likely to cause severe or adverse effects according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
But, you should consult your doctor before using them, because they might cause side effects like:
- Omega 3 supplements although affect the blood clotting and can interfere with the drugs targeting blood clotting conditions like warfarin or coumadin.
- In case, you have a fisk or shellfish allergy, it can cause an allergic reaction in your body
- Fish oil supplements or cod liver oil contains high levels of vitamin A, can be toxic if you consume it in a large amount.
- It can trigger side effects like gastrointestinal problems like belching, indigestion, or diarrhea.
- You should check for the source of supplements because fish products may contain pollutants from the ocean.
FDA, The Food and Drug Administration do not regulate the quality or purity of these supplements, thus, it is essential to buy them from a trusted healthcare provider.
Omega 3 has a number of benefits ranging from improvement to your vision to preventing chronic inflammation, heart diseases, and mental disorders.
Getting them from your daily diet is the most effective way of getting them, thus taking fish twice a week is good.
However, if you are not getting enough omega 3 from the food source, then you can take it in the form of supplements, but consulting your doctor is important as it might cause certain side effects in your body.