In today's fast paced life where we stay indoors, work long hours,face strenuous working conditions and lead a sedentary lifestyle, our health and wellness takes a back seat. However, after the wrath of the pandemic, people have become aware about the importance of having a good immune system and leading a healthy lifestyle. So in order to achieve these health goals, the best solution recommended by experts is to take the help of the all-round nutrient- Omega-3 fatty acids!
Why is Omega-3 considered special?
People often tend to run away from anything that consists of fats but Omega-3 fatty acids are an exception to the general rule that fats are bad. They are essential fats that play a very crucial role in boosting immunity and preserving our body’s wellness. While the body is equipped with the power to produce most types of fats on its own but once again, Omega-3 fats are an exception to this rule. These necessary fats can’t be produced by the body and must be obtained from food items like fish, vegetable oils, nuts, flax seeds, flaxseed oil and green vegetables.
There are three main types of Omega-3 fatty acids found in different food sources:
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA):
They are commonly referred to as marine Omega-3s which help lower inflammation, support heart health and cognitive functions.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA):
They are commonly found in theWestern diets which include vegetable oils and nuts. These fats are essential to boost energy and brain function.
What makes Omega-3 fats crucial for the body?
If you’re wondering what the hype about Omega-3 is, here’s what you need to know: Omega-3 fatty acids play a huge role in the body’s functioning. While they have numerous significant health advantages for your body and brain but most important is its role in powering the immune system. They strengthen cell walls and enhance its functioning, including the membranes of the immune cells. DHA and EPA improve the activity of the white blood cells created to combat pathogens and prevent disease. They also provide the basic building blocks for inflammation-resolving substances that promote the subsiding of inflammatory reactions. Additionally, they contribute to the chemokine synthesis that draws immune cells to the site of infection. So with a better immune system one can boast of a healthier living too.
Some other benefits of having good Omega-3 levels include:
Supports heart health
Omega-3 fatty acids may benefit various aspects of heart health such as lowering triglyceride levels, lowering the risk of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), improving outcomes for heart disorders including heart attack, and slowing the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
Helps improving brain function
The brain is responsible for overseeing every system in humans, thus sustaining its health and functioning is crucial. A balanced Omega-3 diet is needed to promote adequate cerebral blood flow as it results in greater cognitive performance and reduces the risk of dementia.
Helps improve bone density
Studies show that Omega-3 can improve bone quality by reducing bone degradation and boosting mineralization which may decrease occurrence of bone fractures. Not just that, it can also inhibit vascular calcification and micro-calcification in cancer tissues.
Numerous age-related chronic disorders including cancer, osteoarthritis, heart diseases, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease have been linked to chronic inflammation. Omega-3fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA, possess potent anti-inflammatory properties that aid to lessen chronic inflammation.
Improves hair and skin
Omega-3 fatty acids also have significant effects on your hair and skin. Good Omega-3 intakecan decrease acne breakouts, control the skin’s oil production, and boost hydration. They also aid in building the skin barrier which leaves your skin glowing and healthy. Numerous studies also show that Omega-3 nourishes and promotes hair growth.
Improves overall performance
Omega 3 fatty acids have proven beneficial in elevating moods and reducing anxiety, tension and sadness. Taking fish oil supplements or eating foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids can promote a calmer, more collected mood which ultimately enhances your mental health as a whole.
Signs you might be low on Omega-3
The symptoms for Omega-3 deficiency may be mild but it shouldn’t be ignored as low Omega-3 levels could also compromise your immune system. Here are a few signs to look out for:
Without optimum Omega-3 intake, you may notice an increase in dry skin, rough, scaly skin and a red, swollen, itchy rash.,
Poor vision and eye health:
The retina of your eye is largely made up of DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid. Hence, vision issues could be a sign offorlow DHA levels. Having low Omega-3 levels is also associated with a higher risk of macular degeneration, one of the main causes of blindness and permanent eye damage.
It is believed that joint stiffness due to inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus can be a sign of low Omega-3 levels in he the body.
Low circulating levels of EPA and DHA could cause severe fatigue.
Not able to drift off into a sound sleep? Studies found that better sleep quality and duration were associated with higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA.
Omega-3s are highly tied to cognitive functioning so poor memory may also be a symptom of deficiency.
Low Omega-3 intake may predispose certain people to depression. Since the brain relies heavily on fatty acids to function, a lack of them may contribute to the development of depression.
Supplements to try
As we know, the Indian diet is usually critically low in Omega-3, supplementation may be worth considering, especially if you're looking to boost your immunity. Common supplements that give great results are:
- Fish oil
- Fish liver oil
- Krill oil
- Algal oils
Now that you’ve discovered all you need to know about the goodness of Omega-3 and the role it plays in boosting your wellness and immunity,ensure that you’re not low on Omega-3 levels ever again. Get your levels tested today and take the right supplements needed for a happier, Healthyr future.