17 Omega-3 Health Benefits
Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly called omega-3s and are vital for a lot of things that your body needs to do. Omega-3s and make of a few double bonds in their chemical makeup which means that are called polyunsaturated. It should also be noted that there are a couple of different kinds of omega-3s, but there are three that you really want to focus on. Those three are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). All of these types of omega-3 are loaded with omega-3 health benefits!
Foods that Contain Omega-3s
Your body does not make omega-3s, so it is essential that you get them from different kinds of foods. You are most likely to find APA omega-3s in a lot of seeds, oils, grains, and veggies. So you should look into foods like the ones below. To learn more about any of the foods, click their link (if applicable).
- Soy and soy products
- Flaxseeds and their oils
- Walnuts and their oils
- Canola Oil
- Chia seeds
If you are in need of EPA or DHA, then you are going to want to find animal products. Things along the lines of the foods listed below in this category.
Omega-3 Health Benefits
A lot of people who follow the Mediterranean diet include walnuts in what they eat. This is because the omega-3 in them lower the bad cholesterol leaves (LDL) and raise the good cholesterol levels (HDL). If you find that you are not a fan of walnuts, that is perfectly fine. You can just get the fatty acids from flaxseed oil instead.
Heart disease, in part, is caused by too much trans and saturated fats. That does not mean that your body does not need fats. IT does, just of a healthier kind. The kind that your body needs are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which means that omega-3 is exactly what you need.
Omega-3 can help a person that suffers from asthma because the fatty acids strengthen the lungs while lowering the amount of inflammation. For battling asthma with omega-3s, you are going to want to use ALA from perilla seed oil.
High Blood Pressure
Studies have found that people who have hypertension and include more ALA in their diets suffer from high blood pressure less. By adding ALA to your diet, your chances of high blood pressure drops by 30 percent.
Anxiety and Depression
Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental disorders in the world. Omega-3 has those three main acids that were mentioned. They all work together to fight off the anxiety and depression. EPA has been found to be the most effective acid out of any of them when it comes to depression, though.
DHA is hugely important for infants. About 40 percent of your brain is DHA while it also makes up 60 percent of the retina of your eye. Make sure that you if do not breastfeed your child that you get a formula that is fortified with DHA.
If you are currently pregnant, then be sure that you yourself are getting enough omega-3 and DHA because it can help the development of your baby.
DHA has been found to help children with the following:
- Few behavioral issues and better social skills
- Lower chances of cerebral palsy, ADHD, and autism
- Greater intelligence
As already mentioned, DHA makes up 60 percent of your retina. Not only does omega-3 help your retina, but it also lessens the chances of suffering from the world’s leading cause in blindness and permanent eye damage: macular degeneration.
8 Children ADHD
ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a very common behavioral disorder that is found in both children and adult, but it is more common among children. The usual tell-tale signs of ADHD are being impulsive, having trouble pay attention, and being hyperactive.
Studies have been finding that children with ADHD have a lower amount of omega-3s in their systems than children without it. And by furthering those studies, the children’s ADHD got better when they started getting more omega-3 into their bodies.
Autoimmune diseases come from your body’s immune system confusing healthy body cells that are supposed to be therewith invading cells so the immune system starts taking them out. This how people suffer from things like multiple sclerosis or MS (when your body slowly destroys the myelin sheath in the brain) and diabetes (when the body rejects its own insulin).
During early onsets, omega-3 help to keep some autoimmune under control or to at least slow them down. Omega-3 also helps to fight off psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
Anxiety and depression are not the only things that omega-3s can help with. It has also been tested that omega-3s help to calm violent behavior that is commonly linked with schizophrenia and antisocial behaviors. It also calms mood swings caused by bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder as well as schizophrenia.
It is not fully known why or how omega-3s help people’s bodies when it comes to cancer, but studies have shown that it does help. For example, eating more omega-3s has been found to help decrease the chances of colon cancer by 55 percent. It also lessens the chances of breast cancer along with prostate cancer.
Mental Decline by Age
A fairly common age-related health issue is dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It has already been proven that omega-3 is vital for brain health. The amazing things that it can do continue still. By eating more omega-3, it increases the amount and the health of gray matter in your brain. The gray matter is very important because it where the brain understands memories, information, and emotions.
For many women, menstrual cramps are an inconvenience and can even more or less cripple the person with how strong they are. The cramps can span across the lower back and abdomen, your thighs, and through our pelvis.
Because of the anti-inflammatories in omega-3, the fatty acids helps to lessen the cramps by omitting some of the inflammation that comes with the overall process of the menstrual cycle.
Joints and Bones
Omega-3 can seriously boost the amount and the health of your bone and joints because it helps your body with the amount of the vitamin C. With healthier bones and joints comes smaller chances of arthritis, a stronger grip, less pain, and a reduced chance of getting osteoporosis.
The kind of omega-3 you are going to want for your skin is EPA. This is because EPA helps to keep your skin soft and free of wrinkles because all while helping to keep your skin cell membranes strong and healthy. But the things that EPA does for your skin does not stop there. It can also help your body with the following:
- Lessening your chances of acne and blackheads
- Keeps your skin hydrated without being oily
- Stops or slows signs of aging
- Repair and or stop sun damage
Metabolic syndrome shows itself through high blood sugar, blood pressure, and triglycerides. If the metabolic syndrome is not treated or looked after than it can lead to things like strokes, heart disease, and diabetes. Taking omega-3 can calm some the systems and keep your heart clean and healthy.
According to different studies, not getting enough omega-3 is linked to lower amounts of melatonin and lower amounts of both can make it harder to sleep. Maybe you have ADD, ADHD, or depression and the racing thoughts are just not letting you sleep. A lack of omega-3 has also been tied to sleep apnea. So if you have been trouble getting real sleep lately, talk to your doctor about omega-3 supplements or just add more omega-3 heavy foods to your diet.
With everything that omega-3 does for your body, it might make it seem that you cannot go wrong with it. That it is not the case. Too much anything is bad for your body and omega-3 is not exempt from this. It is advised that you do not intake more than three grams of fish oil a day because it can issues such as:
- A greater risk of bleeding
- Bad breath
- Stomach aches
- Loose stool
- A lingering fish-like taste in your mouth
Another thing to consider is that eating too much can be terrible for you. Some fish like tuna, shark, tilefish, and swordfish have high amounts of mercury which can lead to mercury poisoning. It is suggested that you do not consume more than 12 ounces of fish in a week.