For those who are wondering what is omega 3, the basics are: Omega 3 is a healthy fat and is made up of two long chain fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) with equally long names and lasting health benefits. The richest source of omega 3 food is fish The other not-so-good omega 3 sources are walnuts, spinach, mustard greens, wheat germ, flaxseed (and flaxseed oil), soybean and canola oil. In these different foods, omega 3 is present in these foods in trace amounts, particularly in the form of ALA (Alpha Linoleic Acid) that gets processed into omega 3 fatty acid by the body. To get the requisite dosage, focus on different sources of omega 3 fatty acids rich foods to lower risk of major chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
HOW OMEGA 3 BENEFITS YOUR HEALTH
For most of us, fatty acids come from omega 6, found primarily in cooking oils. This is causing an imbalance in omega 3 and omega 6 ratio and leads to inflammation. In the human body diseases like arthritis, eczema and heart disorders are linked to inflammation. Experts have found that inflammation reduces in people who eat foods with high levels of omega 3 fatty acid which casts a positive effect on your health and wellbeing. The recommended dietary intake for omega 3 fatty acid is 430 mg a day for women and 610mg a day for men. To fulfil this requirement, two meals a week featuring oily fish is mandatory. Since most of us are lacking on essential omega 3 fatty acids to offset the effects of deficiency, omega 3 supplementation is necessary.
1. OMEGA 3 KEEPS YOUR HEART HEALTHY
Omega 3 fatty acid helps decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides (a type of fat) in healthy and obese people at risk of developing diabetes. Howard scientist Jason Ju has reported in the in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism that taking fish oil supplements significantly increased adinopectin levels by 0.37 mcg/mL(P=0.02). Adinopectin is a known marker for insulin sensitivity and has been associated to lower type 2 diabetes and heart disease risk in previous studies. Omega 3 keeps your heart healthy as it prevents blood from clotting in the arteries and lowers blood pressure. It also helps increase HDL (the good cholesterol). Along with a low carb, fat and protein rich diet, omega 3 fatty acid helps reduce risk of stroke, heart failure and irregular heartbeats.
2. IMPROVE YOUR JOINT PAINS WITH OMEGA 3
For fitness enthusiasts and weight lifters, there is a lot of wear and tear on the joints, resulting in joint pain. For seniors, joint pain results from age-related wear and tear and arthritis. It has been scientifically proven that EPA and DHA in omega 3 fatty acid help reverse symptoms of arthritis. In a study group of 293 adults without clinical osteoarthritis, some with and without knee pain, higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids helped decrease the risk of bone marrow lesions.
3. OMEGA 3 BOOSTS YOUR MEMORY AND BRAIN FUNCTION
Did you know 60 percent of your brain is made of DHA, a subtype of omega 3 fatty acid? For children and infants DHA is critical to improve learning ability. In adults, omega 3, particularly DHA helps build brain function and reverses memory loss. In fact, omega 3 fatty acid is essential for the optimal functioning of the brain and helps lowers symptoms of mood disorders, like depression.
4. HEALTHY SKIN AND HAIR WITH OMEGA 3 SUPPLEMENTS
When it comes healthy skin and fabulous hair omega 3 supplements delivers better results than the expensive creams and shampoos. Omega 3 is an integral part of cell membranes and it helps minimize wrinkles, fine lines, dry skin and even eczema and psoriasis. For a healthy skin and hair, all you need to do is to emphasize on the intake of omega 3. As a bonus effect, women on omega 3 rich diet and supplement find themselves better equipped to deal with premenstrual syndrome.
5. OMEGA 3 FOR IMPROVED FITNESS
Omega 3 is an excellent antidote for seasonal infections as it builds your immunity. It also helps lower stress hormone, cortisol, which is linked with fat gain. If you’re strength training, omega 3 intake will help improve fitness by increasing your muscle strength and physical performance and you’ll be able to train harder.
IS OMEGA 3 SAFE
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ruled that the use of EPA and DHA, the primary omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, as dietary supplements are safe and lawful, as long as daily intake do not exceed three grams per person daily from food and supplement sources.
Include omega 3 essential fatty acids in your lifestyle and remain fit, young and healthy.