To start with, let us tell you what omega-3 basically means. It is a group of important fatty acids that are essential for your body. Your body doesn't produce omega-3 fatty acid on its own and so you need to get it through a healthy diet. There are several natural foods that are packed with omega-3 like walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseed oil, fish oil, etc (1). For people who aren't big fans of these foods need to rely on omega-3 supplements. Either way, your body needs the presence of omega-3 fatty acid so as to regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls and inflammation (2).
Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acid:
Now that you got to know a little about this healthy fat, it's time for you to know about the omega-3 fatty acid benefits.
1. It Improves Your Eye Health:
One of the best benefits of omega 3 is that it can protect your vision. DHA is a type of omega-3 which is an important structural component of the retina of your eyes (3). When your body is deficient in this component, it can lead to vision issues. Hence, it is recommended to get an adequate supply of omega-3 to reduce the risk of macular degeneration (4).
2. It Helps Battle Anxiety and Depression:
Anxiety and depression are common mental disorders nowadays due to the increase in day-to-day living, office stress and financial ups and downs. The common symptoms of which are sadness, loss of interest in life and lethargy. Consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids or supplements of the same can lower your chances of experiencing depression or anxiety (5).
3. It Reduces Fat in Your Liver:
One of the omega-3 benefits is that it can successfully lower the liver fat or any type of infection causing it (6). You might already know that quite a lot of people are now getting diagnosed with the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease every single year. Hence, it is highly recommended to either include omega 3 fatty acid foods or supplements that can keep you away from any such illnesses.
4. It Can Improve Bone Health:
As you know arthritis and osteoporosis are common joint and bone disorders that severely impact the skeletal system (7). One of the omega-3 fatty acid benefits is that it can help in treating arthritis by improving grip strength and battling joint pain. Taking omega-3 supplements regularly can help in keeping your bones healthy (8).
5. It Can Enhance Your Skin:
One of the greatest benefits of omega 3 is that it can give you soft and supple skin. DHA, a structural component of your skin aids in maintaining the health of the cell membrane, which can benefit your skin health. So when you introduce omega-3 fatty acid foods to your diet, it will result in hydrated skin, lower risk of acne and reduce premature ageing (9).
Foods That Are Rich in Omega-3:
There are various omega 3 fatty acid foods that you should know of in order to include them in your daily diet.
Salmon is a fatty fish that contains high amounts of protein and other nutrients including B vitamins, vitamin D and selenium. So if you are going to regularly costume salmon in your diet, it will help you lower the risk of dementia, heart disease and depression (12).
Flaxseeds are the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids and it is the oil that is usually found in omega-3 supplements. Flaxseeds make for a great source of magnesium, fiber and many other nutrients (13).
These nuts are quite nutritious as they are loaded with fiber. They contain great amounts of vitamin E, manganese and copper along with other important plant compounds (14). When you include walnuts in your diet, make sure to not peel off their skin as it is packed with most of the walnuts' phenol antioxidants that have wonderful health benefits.
Soybeans are omega 3 fatty acid foods that are also a great source of vegetable protein and fiber. They are also packed with vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, & folate (15).
Oysters are the greatest for zinc than any other food (16). They can be eaten in many ways - as a snack, an appetizer or a whole meal. So make sure to include oysters in your diet if you love seafood and if you wish to maintain good amounts of omega-3 fatty acid in your body.
If you love some peanut butter other than natural foods, you can try the Saffola Fittify Original - Omega 3 Peanut Butter. This peanut butter is made from the finest quality of peanuts and is powered with all the goodness of high fiber and protein.
Side Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
While there are many benefits, there are some side effects of omega 3 that you need to be aware of.
- Omega 3 fatty acid supplement side effects are on the milder side that includes bad breath, unpleasant taste, headache, bad-smelling sweat, nausea, diarrhoea and heartburn (10).
- Other lesser-known side effects of omega 3 are dizziness, skin rash, nosebleeds in some cases, cough, bleeding gums, and difficulty with breathing or swallowing (11).
There are many whole foods that contain high amounts of omega-3. These fatty acids can be beneficial for your health in many ways, as mentioned above. If you like to eat the foods we've mentioned in the list, you won't have to take any supplements. But if you feel like your intake of omega 3 fatty acid foods isn't enough, then it's better to consult a doctor and start taking regular supplements to keep your health up-to-date.
What is the recommended amount of Omega-3?
For adults over the age of 20, the average daily amount of omega-3 from foods is 1.59 grams in women and 2.06 grams in men.
Are there any vegetables high in Omega-3?
Vegetables like brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli, algae, etc are packed with omega-3.
Can Omega-3 be taken every day?
Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are considered to be safe for consumption at doses up to 5000 mg a day. If you start to experience any kind of negative symptoms, you need to decrease your intake or switch to omega-3-rich foods.
What are the symptoms of Omega-3 deficiency?
Fatigue, dry skin, heart issues, mood swings, depression, poor memory and poor blood circulation are some symptoms of omega-3 deficiency.
Can Omega-3 help you lose weight?
It is still a debate if omega-3 can help you lose weight. However, reducing abdominal fat with the help of fish oil supplements when combined with healthy life modifications can show some good results.