Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids which are an important constituent in the human body and play a major role. The human body can produce most of the fat it needs from raw materials or other fats. However, omega-3 can only be consumed from the diet as it is not produced inside the body.
These fatty acids have several double bonds(polyunsaturated) in their chemical structure
The three types of Omega-3 are linoleic acid (ALA) which are found in plant oils, Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); both commonly are found in marine oil.
Why do we need Omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are required for optimal function of the body. They act as the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction, and relaxation of artery walls and inflammation. They also take part in binding the cells that regulate genetic function. Due to these roles, omega-3 fats provide numerous health benefits:
Some of the benefits include
- It can fight depression and anxiety
- Can improve eye health
- Omega-3 fatty acids can promote the health of the brain during pregnancy
- Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce ADHD symptoms in children
- It can also reduce symptoms of metabolic syndrome
- Good against inflammation
- It can fight against autoimmune diseases
- It can fight against Alzheimer’s and other old-age related mental decline
- Studies show that it may help prevent cancer
- The omega-3 fatty acid can reduce asthma in children
- Fat in your liver can be reduced due to Omega-3
- Bone and joint health can be improved
- Menstrual pain will be alleviated through Omega-3
- Studies show that it may help to improve sleep
- Omega-3 makes skin soft, moist and wrinkle-free
Let’s look at the food sources rich in Omega-3 fatty acids:
- Chia seeds
- Brussels Sprouts
- Algal Oil
- Hemp seed
- Flax seeds
- Perilla Oil
- Canola Oil
- Cod Liver Oil
Eating fatty fish is a good idea, however; some fishes have high levels of mercury, PCB or other toxins. Pregnant women and children should avoid these kinds of fish. Adults can have not more than seven ounces of these type of fish a week.
Is supplement a good option?
It is always better to have the food in its natural state than a supplement. Before you take a supplement to consult your doctor first. He/she might have specific recommendations or warnings depending on your health and give you a prescription for the right dosage of supplements.