Omega-3 is a type of essential fatty acid, which makes it vital for our everyday diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are a very important part to proper cell functioning and various other bodily systems. Some food sources are fatty fish, seaweed, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.
There are three main types of omega-3 fatty acids: DHA, EPA, and ALA. Fish and seafood sources of omega-3 tend to be higher in DHA and EPA. On the other hand, plant sources are typically higher in ALA.
Physical Health Benefits Of Omega-3
Eating a variety of omega-3 foods is important for optimal mental and physical health. It is an integral component of cells and helps them in functioning effectively. In addition, they also help form signaling molecules called eicosanoids, which is important for the following:
1. Cardiovascular system
This includes the heart, blood vessels, and blood. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fatty acid that helps in reducing inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the body damages the blood vessels which in turn leads to heart disease and strokes. Omega-3 fatty acids benefit heart health by decreasing triglycerides.
2. Pulmonary system
Pulmonary system is the lungs, airways, and blood vessels. Omega 3 fatty acids helps in reducing bacterial lung infections associated with COPD. The compounds derived from omega-3 fatty acids are those found in salmon which according to doctors is the key to combat lung infections.
3. Immune system
Human immune system includes the bone marrow, spleen, lymphatic system, and white blood cells. Recently, scientists have found that omega-3 fatty acids can help in remodeling the cell membrane or lipid rafts in T-cells , the immune cells. This typically means that consuming omega-3s can strengthen the immune cells.
4. Endocrine system
This includes the pancreas, adrenal glands, thyroid gland, pituitary gland, and hormones. Omega-3 plays an integral role in creating the hormone balance. It primarily happens because of its anti-inflammatory properties. While healthy fat intake is essential for hormone health, focusing on optimising the balance of the Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio is also very crucial for the body.
Mental Health Benefits Of Omega-3
According to a 2020 research, omega-3 also plays an important role in brain development, functioning, and aging. The review reports that polyunsaturated fats or PUFAs make up 20% of the brain’s overall weight.
The study additionally notes that an omega-3 deficiency is linked to an increased risk of developing a range of several mental health conditions. These ailments may include the severity of depression, bipolar disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD.