While too many fatty foods can raise cholesterol and triglyceride levels, not all fats are unhealthy. Omega-3 fatty acids may have significant benefits in reducing the risk of heart disease, the country’s biggest killer. Omega-3 fatty acids can also help protect against depression, dementia, cancer, and arthritis. These essential nutrients are found in larger amounts in foods such as salmon, walnuts, and spinach. Below, we’ll explain in more detail how omega-3 fatty acids combat these diseases and list some other foods that contain them.
There are many forms of omega-3 fatty acids;
There are many forms of omega-3 fatty acids. The types found in fish, called DHA and EPA, have been studied most extensively and appear to have the strongest health benefits. Another form of omega-3 fatty acid, known as ALA, is found in plant oils, flaxseed, walnuts, and dark leafy greens like spinach.
How Omega-3 fights diseases
Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to help combat diseases by reducing inflammation in blood vessels, joints, and elsewhere. High doses of omega-3 fatty acids also lower the risk of abnormal heart rhythm and decrease unhealthy fats in the bloodstream known as triglycerides. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids can slow the formation of plaque in blood vessels. We need to obtain omega-3 fatty acids from food or supplements because our bodies cannot produce them on their own.
Omega-3 and heart disease
Prescribed doses of omega-3 are used to protect the heart after a heart attack. Studies have shown fewer heart attacks and fewer deaths from heart disease among survivors who increased their omega-3 levels. It can also protect cognitive abilities in people with heart disease. What’s the recommended dosage? For instance, the American Heart Association recommends 1 gram of EPA plus DHA daily for individuals with heart disease. Eating fish is the best way, but your doctor might recommend fish oil capsules.
Omega-3 and arrhythmias
Omega-3 fatty acids appear to reduce the risk of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), which can be life-threatening. Common sources of omega-3 include fish, walnuts, broccoli, and steamed green soybeans served in the pod.
Omega-3 and triglycerides
Omega-3 can lower your triglycerides, a type of blood fat associated with heart disease. Before starting to take omega-3 supplements, consult your doctor, as certain types may worsen your “bad” cholesterol. You can also lower your triglyceride levels by exercising, consuming less alcohol, and reducing your intake of sweets and refined carbohydrates. Before starting omega-3 supplements, consult your doctor.
Omega-3 and high blood pressure
Omega-3 can help lower blood pressure, although the effect seems to be modest. One dietary strategy is to replace some red meat with fish. However, it’s best to avoid salted fish, such as smoked salmon. In case of high blood pressure, a doctor might recommend regular exercise, medications, and limiting salt intake.
Omega-3 and stroke
The evidence on whether omega-3 supplements can help prevent stroke is mixed. However, it has been shown that omega-3 fatty acids prevent the buildup of plaque inside blood vessels. Studies suggest that at high doses, omega-3 supplements might increase the risk of a less common type of stroke involving bleeding into the brain.
Omega-3 and rheumatoid arthritis
Studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may improve joint symptoms such as pain and stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, a diet high in omega-3s might enhance the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory medications.
Omega-3 and depression
They may help alleviate mood disorders and enhance the effectiveness of antidepressants. However, the results of studies are currently mixed. Countries with higher levels of omega-3s in their typical diet tend to have lower levels of depression, although more research is needed to establish this link conclusively.
Omega-3 and ADHD
Studies suggest that omega-3 supplements may improve symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). However, the evidence is not conclusive, and dietary supplements cannot serve as a cure-all for ADHD. Nevertheless, omega-3s may offer some additional benefits alongside conventional treatment. We know that omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for brain development and function.
Omega-3 and dementia
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There is preliminary evidence suggesting that omega-3s may protect against dementia and improve cognitive function. In one study, older individuals with a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. However, further research is needed to confirm this association.
Omega-3 and cancer
More research is needed to see if omega-3s could help reduce the risk of colon cancer, breast cancer and advanced prostate cancer;
Omega-3 and children
Parents, be cautious of claims that omega-3s have the ability to “boost brain power” in children. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children eat more fish, but advises against breaded and fried options. Pediatricians also caution against certain types of fish that have high mercury content.
What is the best source?
The best source of omega-3 fatty acids is fish, although different types of fish have varying levels. The top choices include salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, anchovies, and tuna. Tuna, in particular, is a staple in many households and can be a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna has more omega-3s than light canned tuna, but it also has a higher mercury concentration. Different types of tuna have varying levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
If you’re not keen on consuming fish, you can opt for omega-3 supplements. For individuals with heart disease, a daily recommendation is one gram. Consult your doctor before starting treatment, as high doses might interfere with certain medications or increase the risk of bleeding. Some people who take fish oil supplements may notice a fishy taste and breath. Read the label carefully. The amounts of EPA, DHA, and ALA can vary significantly, leading to differences in supplement quality. When choosing dietary supplements, keep in mind international recommendations: 650 mg daily combined EPA and DHA mixture. In our online shop, you can find a convenient package of OMEGA 3, containing 60 capsules of 1000 mg each.
Omega-3 for vegetarians
If you don’t eat fish or fish oil, you can obtain your DHA from algae-based supplements. Commercially produced algae are generally considered safe, although wild blue-green algae can contain toxins. Vegetarians can also get the ALA version of omega-3s from foods like canola oil, flaxseed, walnuts, broccoli, and spinach. Some foods are enriched with omega-3s.
Watch out for information on Omega-3
Nowadays, it’s common for food products to boast about containing omega-3s. However, the actual amount of omega-3s they contain can be minimal, so make sure to check the label. They might contain the ALA form of omega-3s, which hasn’t demonstrated the same health benefits as EPA and DHA. For consistent omega-3 intake, taking fish oil supplements might be a more reliable option.
Omega 6: Another healthy fat
It’s now common for food products to tout that they contain omega-3s. However, the amount of omega-3s they contain might be minimal, so be sure to check the label. They might include the ALA form of omega-3s, which hasn’t shown the same health benefits as EPA and DHA. For consistent omega-3 intake, using fish oil supplements might be a more reliable approach.