There have been around 20,000 separate studies showing the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids. Fish is the heaviest source of Omega 3s, and pretty much every health expert out there today will tell you without hesitation that if you could do one thing to improve your health, it would be to consume fish on a regular basis, or at the very least to supplement your diet with fish oil or kill oil. What sorts of benefits can you expect to get from Omega 3 fatty acids?
It’s Good for Your Heart
Heart disease is the number one cause of preventable death in America, leading to heart attacks and strokes that can drop you in a second. Due to our sedentary lifestyles and often poor diets, many of us take for granted just how important it is to have a healthy ticker to keep us going. Fortunately, maintaining a regular intake of Omega 3 fatty acids, whether through fish oil or krill oil, or through eating fish, is a simple way of preventing heart disease. Research has shown that men who consume fish at least once per week have a 50% lower risk of dying from a sudden heart event than those who don’t eat fish regularly.
It Regulates Your Cholesterol Levels
We now know that there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, and maintaining healthy levels of both is a key to a long and healthy life. In terms of cholesterol triglycerides, oils that provide Omega 3 lead to reduced activity of enzymes that cause the liver to metabolize fat. Evidence indicates that maintaining reduced activity of these enzymes can lead to long-term heart health. In addition to this, keeping your cholesterol triglycerides in check can prevent cardiac arrhythmia, thrombosis, and can prevent the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries as well as fight inflammation in joints.
It’s Excellent for Brain Health
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are two acids found in fish, which are a common source for Omega 3 supplements. Maintaining healthy levels of both of these chemicals leads to higher dopamine levels in the brain, which in turn neuron growth in the frontal cortex of the brain while also increasing cerebral circulation. A study of school-age children found that low levels of DHA was linked with memory and behavioral problems in children, as well as slower reading comprehension.
Helps Prevent Cancer
Studying the impact of fatty acids on cancer treatment and the prevention of cancer is on the forefront of a lot of oncologists’ minds these days. While we are starting to see that the overconsumption of unhealthy fats can lead to an array of cancers, like breast, colon and prostate cancer, we are also beginning to understand that counteracting this overconsumption with supplementation of Omega 3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of these cancers. They do this by influencing genes in the body that can lead to cancer cell growth.
Healthy Fats Are Essential For Good Health
Omega 6 fatty acid is found in nearly every food commonly eaten in the mainstream today. It can be found in corn, soy, canola, safflower, and sunflower oils. The average person consumes far too much Omega 6 and not nearly enough Omega 3, which may account for up to 100,000 preventable deaths every year. Omega 3 fights metabolic syndrome, which can lead to a number of ailments, including diabetes and heart disease. On the other hand, the overconsumption of Omega 6 (it’s a pretty safe bet that we are all overconsuming this fatty acid) can lead to these ailments. While both fats are essential for health, maintaining a 1:1 ratio of these fats in our diet is ideal, and will prevent a lot of problems down the road.
You may be wondering right now why you can’t get Omega 3s from plant sources instead of fish, particularly if you’re a vegetarian or a vegan. Omega 3 fatty acids can be obtained from plant-based sources like flaxseed, hemp and chia. However, the acids EPA and DHA can only be found in animal sources, whereas plant-based sources produce alpha-linoleic acid (ALA). This is still a healthy supplement for your body, but most of the major health benefits have been linked specifically to EPA and DHA. A combination of the three is most often recommended by dieticians and medical professionals for those seeking to reap maximum benefits. Still, any Omega 3 is good Omega 3, so do whatever you can to lessen your intake of unhealthy fats and replace them with this essential fat to keep your entire body functioning at maximum capacity.