Omega-3 fatty acids are unsaturated forms of fat oils, found most commonly in fish and marine plant foods. Here are a number of health benefits that you could gain from an increased consumption of foods high in this essential substance:
1. Improving Brain Health
Increasing your intake of omega-3 can aid the insulation of nerve cells and thus increase their efficiency in forming connections. Increased nerve cell connections are essential for the maintenance of a healthy brain and memory function.
2. Lowering Your Cholesterol Levels
Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce levels of inflammation within the blood vessels and areas surrounding the heart. Unlike saturated fats, omega-3s do not encourage the growth of atheroma (plaque) or the accumulation of cholesterol within the blood vessels. This can maintain a healthier, lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of developing heart disease and suffering from a heart attack.
3. Reducing and Preventing The Effects Of Arthritis
For those who suffer arthritis, the increased inflammation can cause the degradation of tissue due to an immune system which is working in overdrive. Omega-3 oils can reduce this overly active effect and aid the proper and healthy functioning of the immune system, reducing swelling and preventing a large increase in inflammation.
4. Preventing and Improving Mental Health Conditions
The use of Omega-3 supplements and diets higher in Omega-3 is now a commonly known method for reducing the effects of depression, ADHD and bi polar disorder. Studies have shown that those who have a diet lacking in this essential nutrient, are more likely to develop serious mental health problems and that the increased consumption of omega-3 can improve these conditions with time.
What are the Sources of Omega-3?
Krill oil is a wonderful source of this nutrient and is becoming more commonly known due to issues with the accumulation of toxins and pollutants in large fish such as tuna. Other fish oils and supplements can also be taken to improve your Omega-3 levels, however animal based products and fish are not the only option. Foods such as flaxseed and hemp also have a high Omega-3 content and come with less worry about sustainable harvest and mercury levels. Green, leafy vegetables and winter squash are other foods that contain high amounts of Omega-3. Eating a variety of these foods will provide you with a more diverse range of vitamin and mineral absorption and eating a balanced diet should always take priority over a supplement or tablet form.