What is an Omega?
Omega is basically a form of unsaturated fat. Generally, all fatty acids have an even number of some carbon atoms which are attached to each other in the form of a chain. Well, some have single bonds between the carbon atoms—those are called saturated fats. For example-butter. Those carbon atoms which have double bonds are considered to be unsaturated. For example, Omega-3s, -6s, and -9s.
As a matter of fact, experts suggest consuming more of unsaturated fats than the saturated ones.
What is Omega 3?
Omega 3, popularly known as Omega 3 Fatty Acids, are an excellent powerhouse of nutrients, which have been proved to be extremely beneficial for heart and mood health. Of all the kinds of omega-3s, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and are the most praiseworthy. They are much longer than the other omega3s like ALA, thus making our cell membranes molten, helping our eye, brain and nerve cells to function better in turn.
Some of the best natural sources of Omega 3 are the following common foods-
- Peanut butter
- Salmon/ Other cold water fish
- Chia and Flaxseeds
- Canola oil
- Mustard seeds
- Red Lentils, etc.
Which is better?
Omega3 v/s Omega-6-9
Omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids are all crucial dietary fats pertaining to several health benefits. But it is mandatory that one balances the correct amount of omega in their diet. It should be remembered that omega 6 and omega 9 should not be consumed much, as they might cause inflammation.
Thus one should amp up their omega 3 intakes to derive the available advantages.
Health Benefits of Omega 3
1. Controls Blood Sugar
Diabetes, being a health-destroying disease can be healed by the consumption of omega 3 fatty acids. As a need of the hour, sugar and diabetes patients should increase their insulin resistance to strengthen their well-being. Well, when you have omega 3 in your diet, you don’t need to worry, as it does the work for you!
An observational study conducted by Harvard University, says that consumption of omega 3 increases the levels of adiponectin, a hormone which boosts insulin sensitivity. As per researchers, increase the levels of this hormone would help to prevent diabetes type I and heal diabetes type II.
Eating more of walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, fish, red lentils, etc would escalate the levels of EPA and DHA in our bodies, while having more of spinach and other edible plants would amp up the levels of ALA, in turn controlling blood sugar, reducing blood glucose levels and even preventing diabetes.
There are strong shreds of evidence of omega 3 working as a miracle to reduce inflammation after the scientists of University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine conducted a successful research. They declared that eating foods plentiful in omega-3 fatty acids, such as plant-derived nuts and oils, fish or even taking omega-3s as some dietary supplement reduces the inflammation and lowers the risk of other cardiovascular ailments.
For this, consuming fish oil can be an amazing source, to make wonders happen.
3. Controls Cravings
Omega 3 has proved to control hunger and enhance fat burning in severe cases of obesity. Experts recommend patients of obesity to intake more of omega 3 in natural forms, to control their cravings and induce weight loss.
People who include omega 3 fatty acids in their meals feel less hungry after two hours, while people who don’t, keep having hunger cravings even while they are distracted. Thus, in order to prevent belly fat, obesity, and heart diseases, one must eat more of omega 3 with their foods.
4. Lowers ADHD in Kids
Today several children suffer from a behavioral disease called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD). Researchers have found that such kids are low on omega 3 fatty acids in their diet and blood levels, compared to other healthy kids of similar or same age group.
Scientists have discovered that fish oil supplements are the healthiest and most promising option to cure ADHD, as omega 3 has properties which reduce aggression, hyperactivity, restlessness, and impulsiveness while increasing attention in them.
5. Fights Depression and Cures Anxiety
Depression and anxiety include symptoms such as sadness, loss of interest, hypertension, panic attacks, worry, lethargy, nervousness, etc.
These severe mental disorders can be fought and cured to great extent with the help of omega 3 fatty acids and by deriving the benefits these fats provide. Natural foods containing omega 3 and other omega 3 supplements balance the levels of metabolism, reduce hypertension, fight panics and conform mental strength so as to fight depression effectively.
6. Improves Eye Health
The consumption of omega 3 is directly linked to the eye health as DHA, a component of omega 3 fatty acids, is already present in the brain and retina of our eye. So, when we are deprived of DHA and consume less of omega 3, eye problems tend to arise. Not only does the power increases, even cataracts and color blindness tend to happen more.
Thus we should include more of fish, canola oil, peanut butter, spinach, walnuts, chia and flaxseeds in our diet to maintain the health of our eye.
7. Promotes Brain Health
The components of omega 3 fatty acids and especially ALA have the properties which complement brain growth and work toward’s the development of an individual in terms of intelligence quotient, mind sharpness, etc.
Including more omega 3 in diet and medicine routine helps in developing a healthy brain and reduces the risk of ADHD, development delay, autism, etc. It also enhances social and communication skills and keeps one’s mind charged up.
8. It is Amazing For Pregnancy
Experts and doctors have said that omega 3 fatty acids have vital nutritional components which contribute to enhanced pregnancy health. Omega 3 undoubtedly plays a key role in flourishing pregnancy and healthy development of a baby.
Omega 3 contains critical nutrients for the neurological, cardiac and respiratory development of a baby, promotes the development of your baby’s cardiac and respiratory systems, develops its visual centers, increases the attention span and cognitive learning in a child. It might also help in preventing premature delivery and pre-term labor.
9. Combats Auto-Immune Diseases–
Autoimmunity has become a prevalent and concerning health problem in recent times. Autoimmunity exists when our immune system becomes extremely uncoordinated, starts considering healthy cells as foreign cells and thus begins attacking itself. A classic example of autoimmune disease is type I Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and psoriasis.
Well, omega 3 has a profound healing impact on autoimmunity. Its ingredients balance the insulin resistance and manage the entire metabolic system of a person, thus keeping him/ her healthy.
10. Reduces Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome comprises various health conditions such as belly fat, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, low HDL levels and high triglycerides. Patients suffering from metabolic syndrome are suggested to consume more of a low-fat diet, which is high on complex carbs and supplemented with omega 3 fatty acids.
DHA and EPA are such unsaturated fats that are extremely good for health, body, and mind. Once they are consumed, they control our entire system and reduces the blood pressure and sugar levels in our bodies.
11. Treats Mental Disorders
Mental disorders are behavioral or psychiatric patterns which cause impairment of personal functioning or significant distress. Some of the common mental disorders are bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, dementia, anxiety disorders, etc.
Well, omega 3 works amazingly in this scenario. It has properties which have proven to reduce relapses and severe mood swings in the past and continue to do so.
12. Might Prevent Cancer
Studies show that people who consume more of omega 3 fatty acids regularly are 50-70% less prone to cancer than people who do not. It contributes positively to the prevention of colon cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, etc.
Fish and plant-derived omega 3 is the best for breast and prostate cancer. It tends to metabolize the hormonal potency of humans and thus prevents diseases by keeping them healthy.
13. Lowers Risks Caused by Asthma
Asthma is basically a chronic lung disease with common symptoms like shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. Generally swelling and inflammation in the airways of lungs tend to cause this disease which at times can turn dangerous.
As omega 3 fatty acids and its components have anti-inflammatory nutrients, thus they are pretty successful and lowering the risks of asthma and other allergies.
14. Improves Bone and Joint Health-
Arthritis and osteoporosis are two main issues associated with bone and joint health. These tend to become severe and cause joint pain and reduction in body mobility. Consumption of omega 3 fatty acids increases the count of the much-needed calcium in the body and increases the grip strength of muscles and bones.
this, in turn, improves bone health and reduces arthritis and osteoporosis.
15. Relieves Menstrual Pain
Menstruation, with it, brings severe pains in lower abdomen and pelvis which often moves to back and thighs. This pain aggravates if proper care isn’t taken during this condition. It is very important to maintain a proper diet, and more crucial is to include omega 3 in it.
Studies have had results that omega 3 supplements have been more effective in alleviating menstrual pains than the painkillers designed especially for them.
16. Improves Sleep Cycle
Sound sleep promotes optimal health and omega 3 promotes sound sleep, Thus ensuring proper health conditions in a person. High levels of DHA increase the levels of the hormone melatonin in children and adults, which actually induces more sleep, thus maintaining a thorough sleep cycle.
17. Brings A Glow in your Skin
Our skin comprises cell membranes which are greatly influenced by DHA. A healthy cell membrane naturally results in the moist, and supple skin. Not only does DHA but EPA also contributes significantly, by managing oil production and hydration of the skin, preventing hyperpigmentation of hair follicles, preventing premature aging of the skin and by curing acne.
Other than bringing immense glow in our skin, Omega-3s also protect it from sun damage. EPA undoubtedly helps in blocking the release of any kind of substance that eats away all the collagen present in our skin after sun exposure.
18. Nourishes your Hair
Omega 3 nourishes the hair follicles, prevents hair loss and definitely promotes hair growth, other than improving the quality of our hair. DHA and EPA contribute to making the hair roots strong and provides the much-needed shine to our hair.
Thus we should keep eating more of omega 3 fatty acids, either in terms of natural foods or fish oil supplements to maintain the health of our hair.
19. Treats Autism
Autism is basically a mental condition which begins in early childhood. It is generally characterized by difficulty in forming relationships and communicating with other people. Experts say that autism is a result of omega 3 deficiency.
Thus a child should be fed a certain amount of omega 3, through seeds, oils, fish, and capsules, so as to stimulate their brain development, the growth of social and communication skills and fade away other symptoms of autism.
20. Prevents Sudden Death
Fish oil and other omega 3 supplements prevent the occurrence of sudden death from cardiovascular diseases and thus lowers its risk. A study has found that raising the omega-3 levels would definitely have about 8 times the impact of actually distributing external defibrillators and twice the impact of implanting different devices. Furthermore, the experts point out that there would also be several benefits from raising the omega-3 levels in certain individuals who do not qualify for implantable devices.
Though, now there are conflicting studies about fish oil and heart’s health, the overall result remains based on the presence of omega 3 in fish oil.
So these were the benefits of consuming omega 3 or including it your diet, which is sure to make your life healthy and more sustainable in the long run. Just remember that if you are not including omega 3 foods in your diet, then be sure to take fish oil supplements.