Omega-3, or omega-3 fatty acids, provide key nutrition to the body that can serve your health and your body well. You can obtain these acids through various kinds of foods or you can take supplements that can improve your intake level. Find more about the omega-3 health benefits below.
Either way, these acids can have several benefits, although it is important to take them in recommended doses without overdoing it as this could then end up doing more harm than good.
Let's learn more about omega-3 now.
What Is Omega-3?
Omega-3 is a kind of fatty acid or polyunsaturated fatty acid that forms an important part of your regular diet. These nutrients can provide energy and structure to several parts of your body so that they can keep functioning efficiently.
There are certain kinds of omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for your body. In particular, consuming α-linolenic acid (ALA) along with foods rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can provide essential support to several body functions.
Most commonly, these acids are found in foods such as fish oils and plant oils that you can obtain from a range of foods.
Omega-3 Health Benefits
There are several health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids that you can obtain by consuming them in the appropriate quantities. You can go through some of these benefits below, based on which you can undertake measures to improve your intake of these acids in your diet.
DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, forms an important component of your retina that can help provide structure and visibility to the eye. In case there are low levels of DHA in your retina, this can lead to poorer vision, gradual degeneration as well as blindness in extreme cases.
Omega-3 fatty acids can also have significant contributions to your mental health. Healthy amounts of these fatty acids can reduce the symptoms of depression as well as other disorders such as anxiety and bipolar disorder.
However, other factors, treatments and therapies are also essential for this to be fully effective with further research required in this respect.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the healthy development of infants. It can lead to several structural building blocks when it comes to developing the vision and neurology of infants. It can further lead to a reduced risk of ADHD and autism once the infants grow older.
Inflammation in the body can either be short term or chronic and can also increase the risk of various diseases in your body. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce this kind of inflammation by limiting the growth and production of elements associated with inflammation, thus reducing the risk of encountering severe diseases.
These fatty acids can benefit cardiovascular health to a considerable extent by reducing blood fat levels, regulating blood pressure, improving good cholesterol, preventing blood clots, protecting arteries and leading to reduced risk of major heart diseases due to a culmination of these functions.
Metabolism And Immunity
Omega-3 can help improve overall metabolism and immunity in your body by preventing or reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome by regulating weight, maintaining blood pressure levels as well as reducing inflammation.
All of these can also improve your body’s response against external harm, improving your overall health.
There are several other benefits that you can expect from these nutrients that include reduction in joint pain, reduced risk of asthma, reduced risk of age-related cognitive issues, reduced risk of cancer and more. Overall, however, further research is essential to obtain conclusive evidence of these benefits.
Foods With Omega-3
There are several foods that contain omega-3 that you can consume in better amounts to feel the benefits on your health. Some of these foods include the following fish and plant foods:
- Soybean oil
- Chia seeds
You can improve your consumption of these foods by including them in your diet on a regular basis. It is likely that some foods are likely to contain more of a particular kind of omega-3 fatty acid, although several foods, fish oils and plant oils such as the ones mentioned above contain both EPA and DHA.
Daily Recommended Dose Of Omega-3
You should try to eat fatty fish as well as other nuts and plant oils at least twice a week to obtain their full benefits. On a daily basis, around 250 mg – 500 mg per day can be beneficial, although this dosage can vary considerably depending on the kind of disease or disorder that you have or are at higher risk of.
You should speak to your doctor to get prescribed doses in case you need to take supplements.
How To Take Omega-3
Ideally, you should take omega-3 fatty acids through whole foods so as to maintain a healthy level of these acids in your body. This can provide you with all the essential benefits that your body can make full use of.
These whole foods can include fish meat, fish oils, plant-based products such as nuts as well as plant oils.
Make sure you consume these foods several times a week to take advantage of them. Combining them with other foods in your meals and overall diet can provide you with a good balance of nutrients.
You can also take omega-3 through supplements, although make sure that you speak to your doctor about the dosage requirements.
Side Effects Of Omega-3
There can be certain side effects of omega-3 if you consume these fatty acids too much. Some of these include:
These side effects are unlikely in healthy individuals, although too much of it can still have an impact. In case you already have certain diseases or disorders, then it is important for you to take omega-3 only if your doctor prescribes it.
Omega 3 Health Benefits: Summing Up
To sum up, omega-3 fatty acids are mainly found in fish oils and plant oils that you can consume whole. You can also take supplements based on prescribed doses. Make sure you consume these foods on a regular basis to obtain the full benefits.