On the multivitamins and supplements shelves of any local pharmacy, you might have seen an omega-3 fatty acids supplement.
This nutrient supplement has seen a rise in popularity over these few years. It keeps membranes surrounding all cells in the body functioning well. They are incredibly important for your body. Omega 3 fatty acids have powerful health benefits for the brain and body.
The human body can make the majority of the fat it requires from other raw materials. However, that is not the case with omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential fats that our body cannot make from scratch but has to get from food. So, we need to include omega-3 fatty acid-rich food in our diet.
In this article, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about omega-3 fatty acids — their health benefits, natural sources of it, and more.
Food High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are numerous. Mainstream health organization recommends adults to consume 250-500mg of omega-3s every day. Here are a few food items that are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Fish or Seafood
Fish and seafood are rich in this nutrient. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
- Mackerel: This is a small fatty fish found in Western countries that is incredibly rich in nutrients, including fatty acids. Also, this fish requires little preparation and is delicious.
- Salmon: This is another fish that is dense in nutrients. The fish is high in protein content and has various nutrients. It also contains a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Herring: This is a medium-sized oily fish that is often pickled or cold-smoked to be sold as a canned snack. In fact, smoked herring is a popular breakfast item in England. Herring is also known to have omega-3 fatty acids.
- Sardines: This is a small oily fish that is often consumed for its rich omega-3 fatty acid content. The fish can be a great source of omega-3s.
- Caviar: Caviar consists of roe or fish eggs. It is primarily used as a luxurious food item. The food item is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and choline.
Some nuts, such as walnuts, are extremely nutritious. They are loaded with fiber, copper, vitamin E, and manganese. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Make sure that you do not remove the skin as it is packed with phenol antioxidants that provide great health benefits.
Flax seeds and chia seeds are known to be rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Flaxseed is often milled, ground, or used for making oil. They are definitely the richest food source that you will come across.
Chia seeds are also nutritious. They are rich in magnesium, manganese, and other nutrients.
There are many other food items that offer omega-3 fatty acids but not in higher amounts are the options given above.
These are pastured eggs, dairy and meat products from grass-feeding animals, omega-3 enriched eggs, vegetables, such as spinach or purslane, and hemp seeds.
Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Consuming too much fatty food might increase your cholesterol or triglyceride levels. However, not all fats are unhealthy.
Omega-3 fatty acids can have significant benefits. In this section, we are going to take a look at the various benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
According to the American Heart Association, strokes and heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the world. Several years ago, studies showed that the fish-eating population tends to have lower rates of heart disease. Later on, the cause was associated with the consumption of more omega-3 fatty acids.
So, there are several cardiovascular health benefits of consuming omega-3 fatty acids. The benefits are,
- Triglycerides: Major reduction in triglycerides.
- Good HDL Cholesterol: Rise in good HDL cholesterol levels.
- Blood Pressure: Reduces blood pressure levels in people who have high blood pressure.
- Plaque: Keeps the arteries free from damage. Omega-3s can prevent plaque from restricting and hardening your arteries.
- Blood Clots: Omega-3s are known to prevent blood platelets from clumping together. So, it can keep your body from forming harmful blood clots.
- Inflammation: Omega 3s reduce the production of some substances, which are released during the inflammatory response of the body.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t reduce the risk of strokes or heart attacks in people with no omega-3 deficiency.
Improved Mental Health
Depression is more common than you think. In fact, it is known to be the most common mental disorder across the world. The symptoms of depression are lethargy, sadness, and a general loss of internet in everything.
Another common mental disorder is anxiety. It is characterized by constant nervousness and worry.
Studies have shown that people regularly consuming omega-3 fatty acids may lessen the risk of developing mental issues, such as depression or anxiety. Moreover, when people with anxiety or depression start taking the supplements of omega-3, they have seen an improvement in their symptoms.
Basically, you come across 3 types of omega-3 fatty acids- ALA, EPA, and DHA. DHA and EPA are the best when it comes to fighting depression. A study has also shown that EPA functions like an antidepressant drug.
Your brain is made of 60% fat and most of these levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, omega-3 fatty acids are important for normal brain functioning. People with mental disorders, like depression and anxiety, have lower omega-3 levels in their blood.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition with symptoms, such as impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention. Many studies have shown that children having ADHD have low omega-3 fatty acids in comparison to other children.
Many studies have observed that dietary supplements of omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the symptoms of ADHD. It can improve task completion and inattention. It can decrease impulsiveness, hyperactivity, aggression, and restlessness.
A decline in brain health is one of the most unavoidable outcomes of aging. Many studies link higher intake of omega-3 to decreased age-related decline in mental health. It is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.
Enhances Infant Brain Development
Essential fats are important for kids since they play a vital role in their growth and development. Nevertheless, parents are not always sure if omega-3s are necessary or even safer for their kids.
Emerging studies have shown that it can help in improving mood and brain function in kids, especially memory, learning, and brain development. Also, it has been seen that omega-3s can help in preventing mood disorders and depression in children.
Improves Your Eye Health
DHA, a kind of omega-3 is a prime structural component of your eye retina. But if your body doesn’t receive enough DHA, you might experience vision issues. But the good news is omega-3 and fish oil have been linked to reducing the risk of macular degeneration. It is one of the primary causes of blindness and permanent eye damage.
In your old age, the bone might start losing essential minerals. So, they are more likely to break. It can lead to conditions such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
Your bones need vitamins and calcium. However, some studies have also shown that omega-3s can help in improving bone health during old age. If someone has higher omega 3s intake, they have better bone mineral density.
Nevertheless, studies are still to conclude if fish oil supplements can help in improving bone mineral density. A few small studies have shown that fish supplements can reduce symptoms of bone breakdown. This can prevent bone disease.
Omega-3s can improve bone strength by improving the amount of calcium in the bones. Studies have shown that it can improve grip strength and reduce joint pain.
Improves Asthmatic Conditions
Asthma is a chronic lung problem with symptoms, such as shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing. Serious asthma attacks can be quite dangerous. It is caused by swelling and inflammation in the airways of the lungs.
Moreover, asthma rates have only been on the rise in the last few years. Many studies relate omega 3s consumption with a lower risk of asthma in young adults and children.
Many studies show that consuming appropriate amounts of fish oil every week can reduce asthma symptoms, particularly in early life. Also, fish oil supplements during pregnancy and breastfeeding might reduce the risk of allergies in infants.
But more research is needed in this regard.
Makes Your Skin Better
DHA forms a part of a structural component. It is known to be responsible for the cell membrane’s health that makes up a large part of the skin. A healthy cell membrane will lead to moist, soft, wrinkle-free, and supple skin.
EPA and DHA have many benefits for your skin. Let’s take a look at them,
- Prevents hyperkeratinization of the hair follicles that appear as little red bumps that are usually seen on the upper arms.
- Manages skin hydration and oil production.
- Reduces acne.
- Reduces skin’s premature aging.
Omega 3s are also known to protect the skin from sun damage. With EPA, it is easier to block the release of substances eating away the collagen of the skin after exposure to the sun.
So, omega-3s or fish oil can keep the skin healthy safeguarding against damage caused by the sun. You can derive these benefits from dietary supplements.
Cancer is one of the most common diseases that people are developing these days. In fact, cancer is known to be one of the top causes of death in the western world. But omega fatty acids can reduce the risk of cancer to some extent.
Some studies have shown the people consuming omega 3s or fish oil have about a 55% lower risk of developing colon cancer. Moreover, consuming enough omega 3 fatty acids is also linked to the truncated risk of breast cancer in women or prostate cancer in men.
But, more research is needed to conclude this. Thus, it can be said that omega 3s from the supplements might reduce the risk of cancer.
Deficiency, Dosage, and Side Effects of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The daily dose of omega 3s primarily depends on your gender or age. In case you are getting it from the supplements, you need to follow the instructions given on the package.
The recommended dosage for omega 3s in kids are according to ALA are;
- Boys 14-18 Years: 1.6gm
- Girls 14-18 Years: 1.1gm
- Boys 9-13 Years: 1.2gms
- Girls 9-13 Years: 1.0gm
- 4-8 Years: 0.9gm
- 1-3 Years: 0.7gm
- 0-12 Months: 0.5gms
You should only consider supplements when your kid doesn’t have food that is rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Studies show 120-1300mg levels of EPA and DHA are beneficial for kids.
When it comes to healthy adults, the recommended dosage is at least 250-500mg of combined EPA and DHA. The amount of omega 3 fatty acids you have to consume depends on what your healthcare professional recommends.
Symptoms of Omega 3 Fatty Acids Deficiency
You can get EPA and DHA from fish oil or omega 3 fatty acids supplements when you notice the following symptoms,
- Irritation and dryness of the skin.
- Depression and anxiety.
- Stiffness and pain in the joints.
- Changes in hair integrity, texture, or density.
- Dry eyes.
Side Effects of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The omega 3s have great health benefits and can fight these issues. However, omega 3 supplements might come with some side effects. So, you should be aware of them before you decide to buy an omega 3 fatty acids supplement.
- A fishy taste in the mouth
- Loose stools
- Stomach upset
Best Omega-3 Fatty Acids Supplements
Here are some of the best omega 3 fatty acids supplements that can fill in the gaps in your diet.
Blackmores have traveled the world to make sure that fish oil products are available to customers in premium quality. They are involved in every step of the product development, from raw ingredient supplements to capsule production. The company sources fish oil from small fish to ensure the best quality. The omega-3 fatty acids go through 30 quality tests before making their way to sales. It is an omega-3 fatty acids supplement that is always tested for pesticide residue. The omega-3 fatty acids in the supplement are quite rich.
This is another omega 3 fatty acid supplement. It has several health benefits, such as reducing the risk of prostate cancer, depression, and improving heart health. The fish oil supplement is rich in EPA and DHA. It is one of the omega-3 supplements that contribute to the maintenance of vision and health. You can take one capsule of the omega-3 supplements or as recommended by your healthcare professional. Apart from reducing the risk of sudden cardiac death, it helps women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Still, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult their healthcare professionals before consuming the fish oil supplements.
It is another one of omega 3 fatty acids and fish oil supplements that contains premium ingredients. The supplement should be taken with a meal. It is one of the fish oil supplements that can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, improve eye health, and reduce the risk of prostate cancer. This softgel capsule contains premium quality omega 3 fatty acids with EPA and DHA. It also contains Vitamin D for improving your overall bone health. The effects of the omega-3 fatty acids in the form of supplements are quite noticeable.
It is the best example of a potent omega-3 fatty acids supplement. The supplement by BioLife comes with many health benefits. The omega-3 fatty acids supplement is available in the form of capsules. It comes with premium packaging. By taking this supplement, there is a reduced risk of many health issues. So, if you don’t consume fish and other omega-3 rich food, this fish oil supplement can be useful.
Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of supplements might contain EPA and DHA but your dosage shouldn’t exceed more than 3000mg per day. So, even if you are taking omega 3 fatty acids supplements you need to be careful. Make sure that you follow the instructions on the label.
It is always better to consume whole foods like fish and nuts. However, if you don’t consume enough in your daily life, you can consider taking supplements.
If you have any questions regarding omega 3 fatty acids, leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Take Omega-3 with Multivitamins?
Yes, you can take omega-3 fatty acids with multivitamins. However, it’s always best to consult your healthcare provider first as certain multivitamins already contain high levels of vitamins and minerals.
Is Omega-3 Good for Losing Weight?
The omega 3 fatty acids present in fish oil have several health benefits and one of them is helping with weight loss.
Is It Good to Take Omega-3 Everyday?
Many healthcare organizations suggest you shouldn’t take more than 3gm of omega 3 fatty acids in the form of supplements or omega 3-rich foods per day.
How Long Does Omega-3 Take to Work?
Levels of omega 3 fatty acids can build up quite quickly in the body as soon as you start taking it in the form of supplements. However, it can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months to show significant effects.