There are many reasons why we need omega 3 in our diet. Your diet should contain plenty of omega 3 for optimal health. You may be familiar with omega 3 if you’ve seen adverts for fish oil supplements, or you’ve heard celebrities championing Mediterranean diets. Omega 3 is a kind of “fatty acid” and a substance that does a great deal of good for the human body.
Fat doesn’t have the best reputation in the modern diet, but not all fats are necessarily bad for your health. Some fats, like Omega 3 fatty acids, are actually incredibly beneficial for improving and preserving your health.
Interestingly, the human body can create most of the fats it needs from other raw materials and molecules, but omega 3 is something we need to seek out in our food.
When it comes to why we need omega 3, simply put, these fatty acids form a foundational part of various cell membranes throughout the body. Omega 3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation (considered to be the reason behind most diseases) and they also help create hormones.
Let’s explore the benefits of Omega 3, and how you can get more of it in your diet:
Omega 3 Benefits and the Different Types of Omega 3
Before you begin searching for the best foods rich in omega 3 to add to your diet, it’s worth identifying the different types of omega 3 fatty acids. Most options fall into one of the following categories:
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA): Used to produce eicosanoids, which help to reduce inflammation and assist with hormone regulation. Most EPA comes from fatty fish.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): A crucial component of skin structure, eye structure, and even brain development. DHA deficiency in early light is often associated with learning disabilities, ADHD, and other cognitive issues.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): Typically found in plant foods, ALA is a precursor of DHA or EPA. This substance is used most often for energy by the human body.
ALA, DHA, DPA and EPA are all important types of omega 3 that we need.
Symptoms of Omega 3 Deficiency
While omega 3 deficiencies aren’t always discussed as often as other nutritional deficiencies, they can lead to a range of symptoms, including everything from trouble concentrating to dry skin. Aside from tests ordered through your doctor, another great way to check whether you might be at risk for an omega 3 deficiency is to get a DNA test. A CircleDNA test will tell you whether you’re genetically more likely to have higher needs of any of the types of omega 3. This way, you’ll know how much to modify your diet.
You can also watch for these symptoms of a potential omega 3 deficiency?
Omega-3 fats are crucial for formulating the cell walls of skin cells and keeping skin hydrated. The more deficient you are, the dryer your skin will appear.
Hair and Nail Health Issues
The same Omega 3 fats making up your skin cells also appear in hair follicles, making them crucial for glossy and lustrous hair. You might even find that low levels of omega 3 lead to brittle and peeling nails.
Studies indicate people with higher levels of Omega 3 in their diet often experience a better quality of sleep.
Trouble Concentrating, Poor Focus, or Brain Fog
Lack of omega 3 can have an impact on the way your mind works. There’s a good chance you’ll experience poor concentration and issues with focus if you’re low on omega 3. A diet without enough omega 3 could also cause brain fog.
Ongoing issues with fatigue can have a range of causes. According to one study, fatigue is also a common symptom of underlying Omega 3 deficiencies. Boosting your diet with fatty oils can have a positive impact on your energy levels.
Omega 3 fatty acids are powerful anti-inflammatory agents, ideal for people living with joint pain. If you have painful joints, consuming the right amount of omega 3 could help you to live a better quality of life with reduced pain while you move.
Considering all these reasons why we need omega 3, we should all be eating more fatty fish such as salmon at dinner time, snack on more walnuts, and put more chia seeds in our smoothies. These are only some of the many ways you can add more omega 3 to your diet and live a healthier life.