Omega three is a fatty acid that is essential to your body. However, many people these days dread hearing the word fats in their foods, especially when one is looking to burn more calories. It is important to make the distinction between healthy fatty acids and saturated fats or trans fats that are harmful to one’s health.
Saturated fats are obtained from dairy, eggs and meat while trans fats are traced in junk foods such as French fries, cakes and biscuits. On the other hand, fatty acids are found in fish, vegetable oils, different types of nuts and dark green leafy vegetables.
Types of Omega 3
You will find omega three in three different forms. The first one the alpha-linolenic acid or ALA found in plant sources such as flaxseeds and green leafy vegetables like spinach. The second and third types are the docosahexaenoic acid or DHA, and eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA. Both are found in different kinds of fish and are noted to be the most needed by a human body.
The good news is that ALAs are partly converted to EPA and DHA during food processing, so vegetarians are not entirely left out. Algae supplements also offer a dose of DHA though one ought to be careful not to eat wild algae which are often poisonous.
Difference between Omega three and Omega six
When the body is not getting enough omega three, you are likely to be taking more of omega 6 which is found in vegetable oils and also meat. Though omega 6 is also essential to the body, too much of it often causes inflammation leading to health issues such as heart diseases and arthritis.
To stop this, you need a balance between omega three and omega six. Taking fish supplements is a great approach to increasing the omega three intakes.
Keeping your omega three concentration up is one of the most beneficial health habits. Only a few other nutrients have been researched on as much as omega three. Here are five amazing benefits of the fatty acids in omega three.
1. It’s a Mental Health Supplement
Not many people know this, but what you eat can significantly affect your mental health. One of the common mental health complications in the world today is depression, followed closely by anxiety. Depression symptoms include loss of interest in well being and life in general, deep sadness and lethargy. Anxiety is characterized by nervousness and constant worry.
Several studies have proven that people with a regular intake of omega three are less likely to fall into depression. Also, people who have suffered from depression before have noted some improvements just by increasing their omega three intakes.
Although all three types of omega three are useful when fighting depression, EPA appears to be more effective. This is why antidepressants such as Prozac have EPA.
2. Pregnancy and Early Life Benefits
Kids’ brains are in the dominant developing stages, and omega three is essential at this period. 40% of the polyunsaturated fatty acid in the brain is DHA which also makes up 60% of the eye’s retina. It is probably why omega three is also great for improving one’s eyesight.
An expectant mother is encouraged to take an adequate amount of omega three to benefit the child. Some of the benefits include better social and communication skills, higher intelligence, less risk of development delays, ADHD, cerebral palsy and autism.
Lack of enough omega three consequently causes poor eyesight, low intelligence and increases the risk of a child having several health complications.
3. Benefits to the Heart
The highest percentage of deaths in the world today is due to strokes and heart complications. Early research showed that people in communities where fish is a staple food have lower cases of heart failures and strokes. A good percentage of this advantage was linked to omega three. Taking omega three supplements helps to reduce triglycerides to at least 15 to 30%. It also helps reduce high blood pressure.
HDL cholesterol is one of the proper kinds of cholesterol needed in the human body. Supplementing the body with omega three raises HDL levels which is beneficial to the heart. In some cases, omega three has helped lower LDL, which is the wrong form of cholesterol.
Regular intakes of omega three also help prevent inflammation, plaque and blood clots making blood flow naturally.
4. Reduces Symptoms Caused by Metabolic Syndrome
Obesity, high triglycerides, high blood pressure and low HDL, are some of the symptoms that make up Metabolic Syndrome. This condition is a high risk to the human body because it leads to other terminal diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases.
Thanks to its ability to reduce inflammation and insulin resistance, omega three reduces the risk of heart diseases and other risk factors that follow people with Metabolic Syndrome.
5. Benefits to Women
Women are highly advised to take omega three for various reasons.
PMS has always been an issue for most ladies, especially cramps and abdominal discomfort. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega three help soothe menstrual pains and stabilize moods.
Another benefit of omega three for women is alleviating rheumatoid arthritis. Though men also suffer from this condition, it is more prevalent in women. Reducing inflammations helps to reduce joint stiffness and pains, thus helping to reduce rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoporosis, loss of bone density is another condition that women are at higher risk compared to men. This too can be reduced or prevented by taking omega three. Though research is still on-going, there are chances that omega three also reduces the risk of one getting rectal and breast cancer.
The benefits of omega three could go on and on. There are even pieces of evidence that show it helps reduce asthma in kids and reduce fat levels in the liver. However, before one decides to take omega three to cope with some of these diseases, it is advisable to seek medical recommendations from their doctors. You can always get enough omega three fatty acids from whole foods, but if you are not good at such diets, supplements are also quite beneficial.