You may have been advised by your physician to consume Omega-3 supplements. You may have also seen your favorite fitness blogger raving about the importance of Omega-3 fatty acids.
However, most of us are unaware of what Omega-3 supplements are. How much should you consume daily? And what are the benefits of having these supplements?
What Is Omega-3?
Omega-3s are nutrients you get from supplements (or food) that build and maintain a healthy body. They are a crucial energy source that keeps your lungs, heart, blood vessels, and immune system working as they should.
What Makes Omega-3 So Special?
Your body makes most types of fats it requires from other fats or raw materials. However, that isn’t the case with omega-3 fatty acids.
These are essential fats that the body can’t make from scratch and must get from the food you consume.
Fish, nuts, leafy vegetables, flax seeds, and flaxseed oil are few foods high in omega-3.
Omega-3 forms an integral part of cell membranes throughout the body and affects the functioning of cell receptors in these membranes. They bind to receptors in the cell that regulate the genetic functioning of your body.
Additionally, supplementation provides a much-required path for making hormones that regulate contraction and relaxation of artery walls, blood clotting, and inflammation.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Omega-3?
Soothes Your Skin And Keeps It Hydrated
Omega-3 is a structural component of your skin as it supports the cell membranes that make up a large part of your skin. When skin membranes are healthy, they appear softer, more supple, and hydrated.
The Omega-3 EPA manages the oil production inside your skin and prevents premature signs of aging on your skin as well as protects your skin from the harsh sun rays. This is because EPA stops the substances that eat away at skin collagen after sun exposure by blocking their release.
Helps Autoimmune Diseases
Chronic inflammation triggers various autoimmune diseases. Research suggests that reducing inflammation controls the symptoms and slows down its progression.
Vitamins found in omega-3 help reverse the progression of these autoimmune diseases to lower the chances of injury, infection, and disease.
Reduces The Risk Of Heart Disease
Two major contributors deteriorating your heart health are high cholesterol and blood pressure. Omega-3 supplements have been proven to improve your vascular health by increasing the bioavailability of nitric oxide.
A study confirms that EPA found in omega-3 supplements led to a 25% reduction in cardiovascular events leading to sound heart health.
Improves Eye Health
DHA, a type of omega-3, is a structural component of the retina of your eye. Around 93% of all omega-3 fatty acids in your retina are DHA.
DHA makes up the retina of your eye and gray matter of your brain. It slows down the process of degeneration of the retina, including macular degeneration–the most prevalent form of blindness amongst the elderly.
Consuming adequate amounts of supplements can prevent vision impairment.
Fights Depression and Anxiety
Depression is a serious mental illness that negatively affects how you feel, how you act, and the way you think. Anxiety, on the other hand, is characterized by constant nervousness and worry.
Interestingly, EPA, appears to be the best at fighting depression. Furthermore, moderate intake of omega-3 supplements is associated with fewer occurrences of depression.
How Much Omega-3 Should You Consume Everyday?
Daily consumption of Omega-3 varies considerably from individual to individual. But various nutritional organizations advise 3g is enough, and excess of it might reduce your immune system function.
High doses of supplementation can also increase blood thinning and bleeding time. Also, high amounts of vitamin A in omega 3 can be toxic. Therefore, consult a doctor before you take the supplements.
Take Home Message
Omega 3 is an essential compound that is considered a key building block for cell membranes, especially in the brain. Since our body doesn’t produce these fats naturally, it’s important to consume them externally via supplements.
Consume these supplements (after consulting your doctor) to not only improve your immune system but also to regulate the functioning of your entire body.