Omega-3 fatty acids: what are they, really?

These incredibly healthy fats have important benefits for your body... and brain!

Most people that follow a Western diet don’t eat enough omega-3 fats as they should. That’s why here is a guide for you to get all the information you need:

What are Omega-3 fatty acids?

Omega-3, or n-3, fatty acids, are a family of polyunsaturated fats that you must get from your diet. They’re needed for health, but your body cannot produce them as it can other fats.

The “omega” naming convention has to do with the placement of the double bond in the fatty acid molecule. Omega-3s have the first double bond placed three carbon atoms away from the omega end. Science, right?

What are the health benefits?

What are the health benefits?

Omega-3 fatty acids are great nutrients that have amazing powerful health benefits such as:

●    Blood triglycerides. Omega-3 supplements can significantly lower blood triglycerides.
●    Cancer. Eating foods high in omega-3 has been linked to a reduced risk of colon, prostate, and breast cancers. Not everyone agrees and more research is needed. 
●    Fatty liver. Taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help get rid of excess fat from your liver.
●    Depression and anxiety. Taking omega-3 supplements, such as fish oil, can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
●    Inflammation and pain. Omega-3s can reduce inflammation and symptoms of various autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. They’re also effective at reducing menstrual pain
●    ADHD. In children with ADHD, omega-3 supplements can significantly improve various symptoms
●    Asthma. Omega-3s may help prevent asthma in children and young adults
●    Baby development. DHA taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding can improve your baby’s intelligence and eye health 
●    Dementia. Some studies link a higher omega-3 intake to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

Despite improving several risk factors for heart disease, omega-3 fatty acids have not been shown to prevent heart attacks or strokes. The largest review studies found no benefit.

Where can it be found?

Where can it be found?

Although it's mainly found in fish, there are a lot of plant-based sources: seaweed and algae, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, edamame beans, soybean oil, to name only a few! There are also dietary supplements that can help you get all your Omega-3 fatty acids!
 

Peter O Brien

Peter started out his professional life as a restaurant critic but ended up moving to the kitchen, realizing that his passion didn’t only lie in tasting the food, but MAKING it. Follow his delicious recipes, as well as useful articles about the many benefits healthy and delicious food will bring to your life.+ info

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