Benefits of Omega-3
The supplement aisle at the grocery store seems to be longer every time you go grocery shopping.
Some supplements you've heard of, like iron and calcium, but some supplements seem less than legitimate.
Supplements to supercharge your brain, supplements to supercharge your workouts, and even supplements to supercharge the bedroom.
How do we know what we actually need? How do we know what our bodies aren't producing enough of?
And how can we be sure the supplements can actually do what they claim to do?
It's one of the most heavily researched supplements on the market today, and it has several proven benefits.
Omega-3's are essential to a healthy body, and that's not just some marketing claim. Science has proven it.
In the article below, we will talk about six science-based benefits of omega-3 supplements.
Table Of Contents
- What Is Omega-3?
- Fight Inflammation
- Fight Autoimmune Disease
- Fight Age-Related Mental Decline and Alzheimer's Disease
- Improve Bone And Joint Health
- Fight Depression And Anxiety
- Are Omega-3 Supplements Worth It?
What Is Omega-3?
Omega-3, or omega-3 fatty acids, are a family of essential fatty acids that play important roles in the human body.
Humans are incapable of producing them on their own, so we have to get them from our diet.
There are three important types of omega-3's:
- ALA (alpha-linolenic)
- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).
ALA is mainly found in plants while DHA and EPA are found in meats and algae.
Omega-3's are essential if we want our bodies to function at an optimal level, and can also provide many more powerful health benefits.
Common foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are fatty fish, fish oils, flax seeds, chia seeds, flaxseed oil, and walnuts, just to name a few.
Now that we know what they are, what are some of the most powerful benefits of omega-3 fatty acids?
1. Fight Inflammation
Inflammation is a natural response to infections and damage in your body, so it is vital for your health.
However, inflammation can persist for a long time, even without any infections or injuries.
If this happens, you have chronic, or long-term inflammation.
Omega-3 fatty acids are able to reduce the production of molecules and substances linked to inflammation, such as inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines.
Studies have consistently observed a connection between higher omega-3 intake and reduced inflammation.
2. Fight Autoimmune Diseases
When you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system mistakes healthy cells for foreign cells and attacks them.
Type 1 diabetes is an excellent example of autoimmune disease because your immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas.
Studies have shown that getting enough omega-3s during your first year of life is linked to a reduced risk of many autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
Omega-3s can also help treat lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease.
3. Fight Age-Related Mental Decline and Alzheimer's Disease
A decline in brain function is an unfortunate and inevitable consequence of aging.
Several studies have linked high omega-3 intake to decreased age-related mental decline and a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease.
A review of controlled studies suggests that omega-3 supplements may be beneficial at disease onset when the symptoms of Alzheimer's are very mild.
More research is needed in this area, but studies so far have been promising.
4. Improve Bone And Joint Health
Osteoporosis and arthritis are two common disorders that affect your skeletal system.
Studies indicate that omega-3s can improve your bone strength by boosting the amount of calcium in your bones.
There is also evidence that omega-3s can treat arthritis. Patients with arthritis taking omega-3s have reported reduced joint pain and increased grip strength.
5. Improve Sleep
A good night's sleep is the foundation for optimal health.
Studies have tied sleep deprivation to many diseases, including:
Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids are associated with sleep problems and obstructive sleep apnea in adults.
Low levels of DHA are also linked to lower levels of the hormone melatonin, which helps you fall asleep.
Studies in children and adults reveal that supplementing with omega-3 increases the length and quality of your sleep.
6. Fight Depression And Anxiety
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the entire world.
Symptoms of depression are sadness, lethargy, and a general loss of interest in life.
Anxiety, another common mental disorder, is characterized by constant worry and nervousness.
Even more, when people already with depression or anxiety start taking omega-3s, their symptoms improve.
EPA appears to be the best at fighting depression.
One study in particular even found that EPA is as effective against depression as a common antidepressant drug.
Omega-3 fatty acids are vital if we want our bodies to function at an optimum level.
Getting them from whole foods like fatty fish at least twice a week is the best way to ensure robust omega-3 intake.
Taking an omega-3 supplement is the next best thing, and there are plenty of great options on the market.
In any case, supplying your body with omega-3 is healthy and significantly beneficial.
If you are deficient in omega-3, or just want to be sure you stay as healthy as possible, supplementing omega-3 is a cheap and highly effective way to improve your health.
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