Omega-3: Why You Need It

Omega-3: Why You Need It

Omega-3 fatty acids are unknown invisible heroes that help your whole body. This fatty acid maintains your cell health, boosts your brain function, maintains your blood pressure, and even keeps the largest organ on your body, your skin, glowing. It is so common nowadays to lack omega-3 due to poor diet choices, so taking a supplement will definitely improve your health. Read more to find out how to choose a good supplement, which foods contain omega-3, and the health benefits of this fatty acid.

DHA and EPA: What To Look For In A Supplement

Taking a supplement is the best way to get the benefits of omega-3. Usually an average person’s diet doesn’t contain enough omega-3, so taking a supplement is the best solution for this. There are three types of omega-3: DHA, EPA, and ALA. Most supplements only contain DHA and EPA. You want a supplement that has at least 600 mg of DHA and 500 mg of EPA. There is also a benefit to taking a supplement: there is no way to overdose on omega-3.

There may be some problems with bleeding that can occur with too much omega-3, which we will outline below. To find a great quality supplement, you can look at websites like Reviewy. Experts write reviews of different supplement brands and compare prices. You can find a brand that offers bulk discounts and a 60-day guarantee or longer. If you want to check out Reviewy, click here for more information to find out about different omega-3 supplements.

Signs of Deficiency

How do you know if you need a supplement? Common symptoms of deficiency are:

  • depression
  • sleep problems
  • memory loss
  • trouble concentrating
  • high blood pressure
  • bad circulation
  • joint pain
  • thinning hair
  • brittle nails
  • fatigue

If you have a couple of these symptoms or more, you may have a deficiency. If you can’t change your diet enough to get enough of omega-3, especially if you have trouble absorbing fats, you can just take a supplement to help you bounce back. To check if you have a deficiency, you can take a blood test.

You can even skip a doctor’s visit and get an at-home test called the Opti-O-3 blood spot, which compares the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your blood with the omega-6 fatty acids. While omega-3 is a healthy fat, omega-6 fatty acids are unhealthy fatty acids, and come from meat and vegetable oils that store fat in your body. To metabolize omega-6 fats, you need an equal amount of omega-3.

Salmon And Walnuts: Foods That Are Rich In Omega-3

Omega-3 EPA and DHA is found in oily fish, but large fish like tuna have too high of a mercury content, so limit eating bigger fish to just once every two weeks. There are also foods that are fortified with omega-3, which are listed below. The correct serving amount of omega-3 is determined by your weight and gender. Men should eat 1600 mg while women need 1100 mg. Two servings of fatty fish a week can provide many benefits from omega-3.

Foods that are rich in omega-3 are:

  • salmon
  • oysters
  • herring
  • sardines
  • fresh tuna
  • cauliflower
  • flax seeds
  • chia seeds
  • walnuts

Some foods that can be fortified with omega-3:

  • eggs
  • cereal
  • oatmeal
  • yogurt
  • milk

What Does Omega-3 Do?

Now that you know what to eat, what exactly are the benefits of fish oil supplements? Omega-3 helps your whole body, from your heart to your cognitive function. It lowers your risk of getting diseases like arthritis or cancer, and improves both your mood and your memory. If nursing mothers do not have enough omega-3 in their diet, their infants can develop eye or nerve problems. Keep reading to find out how omega-3 helps your heart, brain, and joints.

Heart Benefits

Omega-3 helps lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, which greatly diminishes your chances of getting heart disease. Research has proven that people who eat fatty fish such as Inuit Eskimos have high HDL cholesterol, or the “good” type of cholesterol. Omega-3 also reduces triglyceride levels, which helps people with high blood pressure. Fish oil has shown to lower your risk of heart attack, abnormal heart palpitations or a stroke.

People who suffer from type 2 diabetes tend to have low HDL levels, and would greatly benefit from omega-3. However, ALA omega-3 cannot be converted in people with diabetes, so consult a doctor before taking an omega-3 supplement. Because it lowers your blood pressure, omega-3 does heighten your risk of bleeding too much, leading to a hemorrhagic stroke. In this case, make sure you are not taking too much omega-3, which can be determined by consulting your doctor.

Brain Benefits

Omega-3 helps boost your brain function, improving your memory has even been shown to help with cognitive disorders like depression, ADHD, bipolar and schizophrenia. DHA is especially important for brain development in infants, but it helps your cognitive function even after your brain has finished growing. Both your short term and long term memory can benefit from omega-3. There have been a few studies comparing the short-term memory of participants who take omega-3 and those who did not take anything.

Omega-3 improved their short-term memories by 23%. Omega-3 also can protect you against debilitating brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. It has anti-inflammatory abilities, which helps protect the brain cells from being permanently damaged. Participants in a study who had beginning stages of Alzheimer’s showed improvements in their memory and overall brain function after taking omega-3 supplements.

It Also Helps Your Joints

Omega-3’s anti-inflammatory powers are especially effective with diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis. It helps reduce joint pain and even reduces stiffness when combined with daily therapy. Omega-3 also has shown to increase joint strength, helping the participants walk faster than before.

Most of these studies, however, took patients that were also taking NSAIDs, or anti-inflammatories, as well as getting regular treatment to work on bending and moving their joints. So far, there has been no research proving that omega-3 can replace a painkiller or anti-inflammatory medication.

Omega-3 Is Here To Help

Whether you have memory loss, unexplained mood swings, or weak and brittle hair, omega-3 fatty acids are here to help improve your health. You can get the required serving of omega-3 by eating plenty of fatty, oily fish, nuts and seeds. There are also foods that are fortified with omega-3 that you can purchase, so check your food labels. Omega-3 helps your brain, heart, and joints, as it has both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory abilities. This supplement is worth it for you to help improve your health.