An Overview of Omega 3
This Omega 3 fatty acids overview will provide you with all of the necessary information to be up-to-date and informed about Omega 3 supplementation. Research has shown that Omega 3 fatty acids are an essential part of our diet and important for a healthy body.
Omega 3 fatty acids perform many functions in our body. They help our brain develop healthy cells, improve memory, and maintain our cognitive functions. Omega 3 also improves the health of our cardiovascular system, reduces inflammation, and helps us build new cells. The downside is our body cannot make Omega 3 on its own, and we need to get it from the food we eat. Adding to the issue is that our diets today are seriously lacking in Omega 3 foods. We can turn this around and start eating more foods that are high in Omega 3 fatty acids. If you are not getting enough Omega 3, your body will tell you. You may notice that you have more inflammation. Your memory and thinking may be slower. Emotions can become unbalanced leading to anxiety and/or depression. Your blood pressure may be higher and you’ve already been told that you show signs of cardiac disease. Understanding the symptoms of Omega 3 deficiency helps you make changes quickly to avoid health issues.
Signs of Omega 3 Deficiency
If you are not getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids, you will notice signs in several different areas. Omega 3 is critical to the cardiac system, the immune system and the brain. Here are some of the effects of low levels:
- Memory Loss
- Low Cognitive Function
The Cardiac System
- High Blood Pressure
- Blood Clots
- High Cholesterol
The Immune System
- Joint Pain
If you have any signs in any of these areas, reevaluate your intake of Omega 3 fatty acids!
Omega 3 as a Treatment
Omega 3 can help many major health conditions and doctors are using it more often to compliment other treatments. The health conditions that benefit from added Omega 3 are:
- Heart Disease
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Eye Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Arthritis/Inflammation/Joint Pain
While Omega 3 is not a cure for diseases, it may help to control symptoms. For instance, Omega 3 helps thin blood so doctors may use it to prevent blood clots after heart surgery. For this reason, taking Omega 3 in high amounts with any major health condition must be monitored by a doctor.
Food Sources of Omega 3
Omega 3 fatty acids are found in a variety of foods from both meat and vegetarian sources including; flax, salmon, walnuts, cauliflower, winter squash, tofu, soybeans, and sardines. It is recommended that you try to eat Omega 3 foods at least twice a week. If you eat a Japanese or Mediterranean style diet, you are probably getting enough Omega 3.
Once Omega 3 enters the body, it needs to be converted to EPA or DHA. The fish sources are easier for your body to convert to the usable forms, while vegetarian sources are a little harder for your body to convert.
Another issue is that we eat too much Omega 6 fatty acids. While these are a necessary part of the diet, we need to be eating more Omega 3 than Omega 6 or a 3:1 ratio. Eating too much Omega 6, causes inflammation. Try and eat a good balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6, and if increasing your dietary intake is not possible, use an Omega 3 supplement.
Omega 3 Supplements
Omega 3 supplements are available even if you are unable to tolerate fish or vegetarian sources in your diet. You can obtain a good Omega 3 supplement over-the-counter online and in drug stores. There are vegetarian and fish oil based supplements out there depending on your preference. Vegetarian sources usually come from flax. Fish sources from fish oils should be of a variety low in mercury. Always check your sources carefully to make sure purity and strict standards are used in manufacturing Omega 3 supplements.
In looking at the Omega 3 fatty acids overview, you can see the many health benefits of this essential nutrient. Getting enough Omega 3 in the diet is always best, but supplements are available when that is not possible. Always check with your doctor before starting Omega 3 supplements, especially if you have a health condition.
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