Throughout quarantine, I took it upon myself to get healthier. During my journey, I’ve encountered quite a few articles stating that I should be taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement if I’m not getting those nutrients from my diet.
But what’s so good about omega-3 fatty acids? Let me tell you.
According to healthline.com, there are 17 science-based benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.
1. They can fight depression and anxiety. There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids: ALA, EPA and DHA. EPA is the one that appears to be the best at fighting depression. One study found that EPA is as effective against depression as a common antidepressant drug.
2. They can improve eye health. One of the three types of omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, is a major structural component of the retina. Getty adequate omega-3s is linked to a reduced risk of macular degeneration.
3. They can promote brain health during pregnancy and early life. It’s crucial for children’s development to get enough omega-3s during pregnancy and early life. Higher intelligence and a lower risk of several diseases is linked to taking omega-3 supplements.
4. Omega-3s can improve risk factors for heart disease. They can help reduce triglycerides; reduce blood pressure levels in people with high blood pressure; raise “good” HDL cholesterol levels; keep blood from clumping together, which helps prevent blood clots; keep your arteries smooth and free from damage; reduce the production of some substances released during your body’s inflammatory response; and also can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol for some people.
5. They can reduce symptoms of ADHD in children. Omega-3s help improve inattention and task completion and help decrease hyperactivity, impulsiveness, restlessness and aggression.
6. Omega-3s can reduce symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a collection of conditions, including central obesity, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, high triglycerides and low “good” HDL cholesterol levels.
7. They can fight inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to infections and damage, but too much of it for a long time, can be chronic. This can lead to heart disease and cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the production of molecules and substances linked to inflammation.
8. Omega-3s can fight autoimmune diseases. Studies show that getting enough omega-3s in the first year of life is linked to a reduced risk of many autoimmune diseases, including Type 1 diabetes, autoimmune diseases and multiple sclerosis. They also help treat lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis.
9. They can improve mental disorders. Studies suggest that omega-3 supplements can reduce the frequency of mood swings and relapses in people with both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They also may decrease violent behavior.
10. They can fight age-related mental decline and Alzheimer’s Disease. Multiple studies link higher omega-3 intake with decreased age-related mental decline.
11. Omega-3s may help prevent cancer. Studies show that people who consume the most omega-3s have up to a 55% lower risk of colon cancer.
12. They can reduce asthma in children. Severe asthma attacks are caused by inflammation and swelling in the airways of your lungs. Several studies have linked omega-3 consumption with a lower risk of asthma in children and young adults.
13. They can reduce fat in your liver. With the obesity epidemic, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease has become the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the Western world. Supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids reduces liver fat and inflammation.
14. Omega-3s may improve bone and joint health. Studies indicate that omega-3s can improve bone strength by boosting the amount of calcium in your bones. They may also treat arthritis.
15. Omega-3s can alleviate menstrual pain. Studies have repeatedly proven that women who take omega-3s have milder menstrual pain.
16. Omega-3 fatty acids may improve sleep. Sleep deprivation has been tied to many diseases, including obesity, diabetes and depression. Low levels of omega-3s are associated with sleep problems in children and sleep apnea in adults. Studies have shown that supplementing with omega-3 increases the length and quality of sleep.
17. Omega-3 fats are good for your skin. DHA is a structural component of your skin, responsible for the health of cell membranes, which make up a large part of your skin. A healthy cell membrane leads to soft, moist, wrinkle-free skin. EPA also benefits skin by managing oil production and hydration, reducing premature aging and reducing the risk of acne. Omega-3s also can protect skin from sun damage.
After hearing about all of those benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, I wonder why more people aren’t talking about them. As with any supplement, you should consult your doctor before adding them to your regimen.