Omega-3 fatty acids being one of them.
There are 3 types. Words that I can’t spell or pronounce alert!
Elcosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
Alpha-linolenic Acid (ALA)
EPA helps to reduce Inflammation in the brain.
DHA is 8% of the brain’s weight and is responsible for normal brain function. It helps to improve the elasticity of your cell membranes. It also helps to prevent LDL cells, i.e. ‘bad’ cholesterol, going into cells into your membranes.
ALA provides energy for the body.
Ideally, you need all 3 types for your health.
The Health Benefits.
1. EPA and DHA may help to reduce stiffness and joint pain.
A while ago, my partner was advised to take fish oil supplements to help his arthritis. He rarely experiences joint pain.
2. Lowers Inflammation.
Even though more research is needed, a diet high in Omega-3 fatty acids may lower inflammation.
3. May help to boost your mood.
Some research shows that cultures who eat high levels of Omega-3 have lower cases of depression. In one study, EPA has been found to be as effective against depression as antidepressants! Also, there are studies out there which suggest that Omega-3 supplements can reduce the frequency of mood swings and relapses in people with both Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorders.
4. May help to protect you from Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
It could help to slow down memory loss.
5. Can help to lower the risk of macular degeneration, one of the world’s leading causes of permanent eye damage and blindness.
6. Can reduce your blood pressure.
7. Increases ‘good’ cholesterol.
8. Helps to prevent the formation of harmful blood clots.
Omega-3 helps blood platelets from clumping together.
9. Can help to treat Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, Psoriasis and Type 1 Diabetes.
This is because of its inflammatory effects.
10. Can help to reduce the risk of certain Cancers such as colon, prostate and breast.
11. Can reduce fat in the liver, particularly in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
12. Lowers your risk of Asthma.
There are studies that link Omega-3 consumption with a lower risk of Asthma in children and young people.
13. Helps to relieve menstrual pain.
One study showed that Omega-3 supplements were more effective than Ibuprofen in treating severe pain during menstruation.
14. May help to improve sleep.
Studies in both children and adults revealed that taking Omega-3 increased the length and quality of sleep, especially DHA.
15. Both DHA and EPA are good for skin health.
DHA is responsible for the health of cell membranes which constitute a large part of your skin.
While EPA manages oil production and hydration of your skin. It also helps to block the release of substances that eat away at the collagen in your skin after sun exposure.
Therefore, they help to reduce the risk of acne and premature ageing of your skin!
Food Sources of Omega-3
- Oily fish
- Pumpkin seeds
- Vegetable Oils like rapeseed and linseed.
- Soya & soya products like milk and tofu.
- Green leafy vegetables.
- Omega-3 enriched foods like eggs, bread and some brands of milk.
Finally, ideally, all 3 types of Omega-3 needs to be consumed to get the above benefits. ALA is quite common in our food but the other two are not.
The best source of DHA and EPA is oily fish. If you don’t like fish then a supplement would do, just check that it has them both in it.
If you’re a vegetarian like me then maybe consider taking algae supplements like spirulina, for example.
webmd.com, healthline.com, bda.uk.com