Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of essential fatty acids which carry out important functions in the body. These fatty acids cannot be synthesized by the body on its own and thus have to be acquired from dietary sources. Here are some of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.
The retina is made up of of docosahexaenoic acid which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Taking omega-3, therefore, protects eye health. It also prevents macular degeneration which may lead to vision problems and ultimately cause blindness.
Promotes the development of the brain during pregnancy.
Omega-3 plays a major role in brain development during infancy. Studies show that taking omega-3 during pregnancy leads to better brain development thus better cognitive functions as well as eyesight. It also reduces the risks of developmental delay, ADHD, autism, and cerebral palsy.
Promotes cardiovascular health.
Cardiovascular conditions are the world’s leading cause of death. Taking a diet rich in omega-3 has been shown to reduce the risk of strokes or heart attacks, which may occur as a result of the accumulation of fats in the blood vessels. Omega-3 is able to reduce the levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood.
Controls symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur concurrently increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type-2 diabetes. It may be accompanied by high blood pressure, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. It poses a serious health concern as it may increase the risk of other diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids significantly reduce resistance to insulin as well as heart disease risks in people with metabolic syndrome.
Inflammation is an autoimmune response used by the body to fight against harmful things such as infections, injuries, and toxins in an attempt to heal itself. This process is initiated when body cells are damaged, it includes the release of antibodies and proteins as well as increased blood flow to the affected area. Chronic or long term inflammation is responsible for chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Omega-3 has been shown to inhibit the production of molecules that cause inflammations. These include inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines.
Protects against autoimmune diseases.
An autoimmune reaction occurs when the immune system mistakes normal body cells or tissue for foreign cells and starts attacking them. This type of reaction is responsible for type-1 diabetes where the immune system attacks cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. Getting sufficient omega-3 during infancy has been shown to reduce the risk of autoimmune diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
Cancer is a group of chronic diseases characterized by abnormal growth of cells with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the risk of some cancers such as colon, prostate, and breast cancers.
Reduces fat in the liver.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a disorder characterized by the accumulation of excessive fat in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol. Taking enough omega-3 significantly reduces liver fat and inflammation in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Boosts bone health.
Taking enough omega-3 fatty acids significantly boosts the strength of bones. It provides bones with calcium reducing the risk of bone diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis.