Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important. They have many powerful benefits for the health of the body and brain. In fact, few nutrients have been studied as thoroughly as Omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients, which means the body cannot make them and they must come from food. Despite the importance of Omega-3s, most people do not consume enough of them. Therefore, it is important to know its function and its effect on the body.
Omega-3 has numerous functions with positive effects on general health. So many of these benefits serve to improve quality of life.
Fight depression and anxiety
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the world. For its part, anxiety, also a common disorder, is characterized by constant worry and nervousness. Interestingly, studies indicate that people who consume Omega-3 regularly are less likely to be depressed.
Also, when people with depression or anxiety start taking Omega-3 supplements, their symptoms improve. There are three types of Omega-3 fatty acids: ALA, EPA, and DHA. Of the three, EPA appears to be the best for fighting depression. In fact, one study found that EPA was as effective against depression as a common antidepressant drug.
Protect eye health
The DHA type of Omega-3 is the main fatty acid that makes up the retina of the eye (a layer of tissue at the back of the eye that detects light and sends signals to the brain so you can see). DHA is essential during pregnancy and during lactation to support healthy eye development in the fetus and infant.
It remains important throughout life for eye health. Research suggests that Omega-3s serve to reduce the risk of eye problems such as age-related macular degeneration (central vision loss).
Reduce ADHD symptoms in children
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Several studies indicate that children with ADHD have lower levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in their blood.
Additionally, numerous studies note that Omega-3 supplements can reduce ADHD symptoms. Omega-3s help improve inattention and task performance. They also decrease hyperactivity, impulsivity, restlessness and aggressiveness.
Researchers recently noted that fish oil supplements were one of the most promising treatments for ADHD.
Reduce symptoms of metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a collection of conditions. It includes central obesity, also known as belly fat, as well as high blood pressure, insulin resistance, high triglycerides, and low levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
It is a major public health problem because it increases the risk of many other diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. Omega-3 fatty acids may improve insulin resistance, inflammation, and heart disease risk factors in people with metabolic syndrome.
Inflammation is a natural response to infection and damage in the body. Therefore, it is vital for health. However, the inflammation sometimes persists for a long time, even without infection or injury. This is called chronic or long-term inflammation.
Long-term inflammation can contribute to almost all chronic Western diseases, including heart disease and cancer. In particular, Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the production of molecules and substances related to inflammation, such as inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines.
Fight autoimmune diseases
In autoimmune diseases, the immune system mistakes healthy cells for foreign cells and starts attacking them. Type 1 diabetes is a prime example, in which the immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
Omega-3s can combat some of these diseases and may be especially important during the first years of life. Studies show that getting enough Omega-3s during the first year of life is linked to a reduced risk of many autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, autoimmune diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.
Omega-3s also help treat lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and psoriasis.
relieve period pain
Menstrual pain occurs in the lower abdomen and pelvis and often radiates to the lower back and thighs. It can significantly affect your quality of life.
However, studies repeatedly show that women who consume more Omega-3 have less menstrual pain. One study even found that an Omega-3 supplement was more effective than ibuprofen in treating severe pain during menstruation.
Sleeping well is one of the foundations of optimal health. Studies link sleep deprivation to many diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and depression. Low levels of Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with sleep problems in children and obstructive sleep apnea in adults.
Low levels of DHA are also linked to lower levels of the hormone melatonin, which helps you fall asleep. Studies in children and adults reveal that Omega-3 supplementation increases the length and quality of sleep.