- Omega-3 fatty acids offer several health benefits for your body and brain
- You can get high amounts of omega-3 fats from fatty fish
- Omega-3 fatty acids have long been linked to better heart health
Omega-3 fatty acids offer several health benefits for your body and brain. Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important for our body. They have all sorts of powerful health benefits for your body and brain. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential components of the membranes that surround each cell in your body. DHA levels are especially high in eye(retina), brain and sperm cells. Omega-3s also provide calories to give your body energy and perform many functions in your heart, blood vessels, lungs and immune system. You can get high amounts of omega-3 fats from fatty fish, algae and several high-fat plant foods.
According to the Delhi based nutritionist, Pooja Malhotrs, ''Omega 3 includes essential fatty acids like ALAs, DHAs and EPAs. These are ‘essential’ because our body needs them but cannot manufacture so we must obtain them from our diet. Omega 3 fatty acids perform various important functions in our body. They are anti inflammatory, they are important for the health of our eyes and brain. These also improve the risk factors for high disease, help reduce triglycerides, blood pressure and help improve HDL cholesterol. They prevent the development of plaque in the arteries too. They are crucial for brain development in infants.''
5 surprising benefits of omega 3 fatty acids you should know:
1. Asthma: A diet high in omega-3s lowers inflammation, which is a key component in asthma. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the production of IgE in asthma patients.
2. Healthy heart: Omega-3 fatty acids have long been linked to better heart health. The American Heart Association recommends eating oily fish like salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, lake trout, herring or sardines at least twice a week to lower the risk of coronary heart disease, cardiac arrest, heart failure, heart attacks and stroke.
3. Better sleep: It is believed that children who took an omega-3 supplement slept for longer and woke up less during the night. The same would be the case with adults as well. As an added benefit, omega-3 helps the body make substances involved with helping you fall sleep, such as the hormone melatonin.
4. Boost memory: Including omega-3 rich foods in your diet can sharpen your memory. It is also believed that the DHA found in omega-3 fatty acids helps nerve cells communicate better with each other.
Food sources that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids:
The nutritionist further adds, '' Some important food sources of omega 3 include seafood especially fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines), nuts and seeds (walnuts, flax seeds and chia seeds), oils (flax seed oil, soya bean oil and canola oil).''
(Pooja Malhotra is a Delhi based nutritionist and an author)
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