Scientists associate omega-3 fats with far-reaching benefits, ranging from a healthy heart to glowing skin. Consider increasing your daily intake of these healthy fats. In this post from Jen Reviews and the 15 Best Omega-3 Foods, read about 15 Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids According to Science.
You may have heard of omega-3 fatty acids before, but you may not fully understand what it is or why we need it. Omega-3 is an essential fat that the body cannot make naturally. That means we have to get it from the foods and supplements that we put into our bodies.
Omega-3 is a polyunsaturated fat, which basically means that it is one of the “good fats”. Polyunsaturated fats are natural and healthy, while saturated fats or “bad fats” are found in highly processed foods and can lead to adverse health complications if consumed in large quantities and over a long period of time.
15 Health Benefits Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 is important for a number of reasons, some of which are;
- Regulation of blood clotting;
- Increasing the relaxation and contraction of the arterial wall;
- Strengthening cell membranes;
- Normalization of the speed at which your heart beats; and
- Brain development and growth.
And that is just the beginning. If you haven’t reached out for a plate of salmon just now, this list is your after.
1 omega-3 fatty acids help fight anxiety
Anxiety disorders are not always easy to diagnose because they can affect different people in different ways. Symptoms of anxiety can be mental and physical, and are sometimes debilitating. The most common symptoms are feelings of fear and panic, palpitations, difficulty breathing, feelings of disconnection from reality, sweating, chest pain, and nausea.
There isn’t always a trigger that leads to an anxiety or panic attack. This is one of the reasons the disorder is so difficult to live with. While medications are widely used and information about coping mechanisms is easy to find, some people prefer a natural remedy.
An Ohio study of the effects of omega-3s on cytokine production in the brain found a surprising side effect of omega-3 fatty acid ingestion by a group of medical students. The students who took the omega-3 supplement showed significant reductions in stress and anxiety compared to the students who received the placebos.
The chemical responsible for regulating our moods and thus our anxiety levels is called serotonin. It’s serotonin’s job to carry messages from neuron to neuron, but when our cell membranes don’t get enough omega-3s, the serotonin gets blocked.
Regular intake of omega-3 fatty acids strengthens cell membranes, which in turn increases the performance of serotonin, which prevents anxiety.
2 omega-3 fatty acids improve eye health
Omega-3s are so beneficial for developing strong, healthy eyes that many baby food companies are adding them to their formula. Omega-3 is recommended for pregnant women for the same reason.
Omega-3 consists of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA occurs naturally in the retina and is supposed to remain healthy and functional there due to its presence. Omega-3 can also be used to fight dry eye syndrome, a condition in which your eyes do not produce enough moisture, resulting in itchy eyes and a burning sensation. Numerous studies have been conducted on infants and adults, and the results have shown that the improvement in visual acuity is undoubtedly related to an increase in omega-3 consumption.
Omega 3 fatty acids can help fight infertility
It is estimated that nearly 10 percent of women in the United States have difficulty conceiving and / or giving birth naturally, and that number only increases as the women age.
While the fight against infertility is a complicated and often expensive process, you can help by increasing your daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acid
- Compensates for irregular menstrual cycles.
- Improves blood flow to the uterus and promotes the development of your uterine lining.
- Improves the naturally produced cervical mucus that helps sperm reach eggs and fertilize them.
- Reduces inflammation in the uterus.
Inflammation of the uterus can be made worse by pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID is an infection in your fallopian tubes, womb, and ovaries. Symptoms include; Pain during vaginal intercourse, unusual bleeding, nausea, back pain, and fever. If you don’t receive treatment, the infection can cause blockages and adhesions in your fallopian tubes. It is recommended that drugs be paired with omega-3s to help reduce inflammation faster.
Omega-3 fatty acids also have important fertility benefits for men. It plays a role in sperm production and increases blood flow, which helps increase blood flow to a man’s genitals.
4 omega-3 fatty acids can be used to treat skin problems
When it comes to maintaining a healthy complexion and treating skin conditions, what you put into your body may be more important than what you put on your face.
A diet high in omega-3 fatty acids can be very useful in combating and reducing oily skin, acne, psoriasis, and eczema, to name a few. This is because the fatty acids keep cell membranes healthy. When your cell membranes are healthy, they work efficiently as barriers against harmful substances while allowing nutrients into cells and waste from cells to leak out.
A healthy cell membrane also allows cells to hold more water, which results in hydrated and healthy looking skin.
If you have acne, there may be painful redness and swelling. This is caused by inflammation in the skin. Omega-3 has anti-inflammatory properties.
5 omega-3 fatty acids improve cardiovascular health
Possibly the most important reason for taking omega-3s is for your heart health. Omega-3 offers a wide variety of beneficial and healing effects when it comes to blood pressure and heart disease. Doctors recommend eating at least two servings of omega-3-rich fish a week to keep your heart healthy.
Omega-3 fatty acids are unsaturated. This is the healthy natural fat as opposed to saturated fat found in highly processed foods. Replacing saturated fats for omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids will lower your cholesterol levels.
Inflammation can damage blood vessels and increase the risk of stroke. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 counteract this damage. Atherosclerotic plaque is the calcification of arteries. It occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries. The plaque is made up of cholesterol, cell waste, and excess calcium. As plaque builds up in the arteries, blood flow to the rest of the body is cut off and angina, heart disease, and kidney disease can develop. If a plaque clot comes off, it can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Triglycerides in omega-3 stabilize the process of atherosclerotic plaque formation.
6 omega-3 fatty acids can help relieve menstrual cramps
Menstruation is different for every woman, but many women experience uterine cramps, nausea, back pain, and more on a monthly basis.
A Danish study looked at the effects of omega-3s and vitamin B12 on menstrual cramps and found that they actually provide relief.
A separate study showed that a group of women suffering from extreme menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea reported a marked decrease in pain after taking one omega-3 capsule daily for three months.
The reason for these calming effects appears to be linked to the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids, as the lining of the uterus can become inflamed during menstruation.
7 omega-3 fatty acids reduce fatty liver
About 30 percent of adults in America have what is known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. NAFLD occurs when fat builds up in the liver. Some people suffer from fat in the liver, as well as inflammation known as NASH. If there is fat and inflammation, it can lead to fibrosis or scarring of the liver, and if left untreated, it can eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver.
Some of the symptoms of NAFLD / NASH include, but are not limited to:
- A reddish color in the palms of the hands;
- Swelling in the abdomen;
- Engaged breasts in men;
- Inflated, visible blood vessels under the skin; and
- Yellow coloring of the eyes and skin.
Some causes of NAFLD and NASH are obesity, lipodystrophy (a fat storage disorder), and diabetes. Some drugs are also responsible for the development of the disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids are used to treat NAFLD and NASH as they all have benefits in cardiovascular disease and inflammation. A study is currently underway into the full benefits of omega-3 in this disease.
8 omega-3 fatty acids prevent and reverse insulin resistance
Whenever you eat something, especially carbohydrates, glucose is released into the body. The presence of glucose, in turn, spurs insulin production. Some people have insulin resistance, a pathological condition (in the blood) in which cells in the body do not respond to insulin the way they should.
The best way to improve your insulin sensitivity is through regular exercise and weight loss. Eating a healthy diet is associated with weight loss. Foods high in omega-3 are recommended to improve insulin sensitivity. Several studies are being conducted in rodents and humans to determine the full range of benefits offered.
9 omega-3 fatty acids lower cholesterol levels
You develop high cholesterol because you have too much triglycerides or too much fat in your blood. Eating large amounts of saturated fats, smoking, stress, diabetes, and drinking alcohol have also been linked to high cholesterol.
Constant high levels of cholesterol in the body can lead to atherosclerosis. This is when cholesterol and other debris build up in your arteries and if it loosens or blocks an artery completely, it can cause a fatal heart attack or stroke.
The introduction of omega-3s into the body helps to balance the level of triglycerides and actively lower the level of triglyceride that was last ingested. (Be continued)