It has a vast number of incredibly important benefits to the brain and body. Here's how to consume more good quality Omega 3!
What is Omega-3?
Omega-3 fats are a hot topic and you have probably heard that eating foods rich in omega-3 could help to keep you healthy.
Omega-3 is a family of fats that are important for health. These fats come in different forms:
ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) cannot be made in the body so must be eaten in our diet. It has important functions and is needed to make other omega-3 fats. ALA is found mainly in vegetable oils, rapeseed and linseed (flaxseed), nuts (walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts) and green leafy vegetables.
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are long-chain fats that can be made from ALA in our bodies. They have the most direct health benefits.
1. EPA Omega 3 For Depression, Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Our first Omega 3 health benefit is very topical right now. If you suffer from any kind of low mood, you’ll know how it affects every aspect of your life from energy levels to productivity, even your work and relationships.
We’re not saying that a daily omega-3 fish oil will instantly reverse your depression, but a growing body of evidence suggests it could help.
Omega 3 from fish plays a major role in the body. It nourishes and protects the brain, which improves concentration and memory. Getting little or no DHA in their diet is linked with Multiple Sclerosis, depression, PMS, ADHD, schizophrenia and hyperactivity. Omega 3 fish oils improve mood by boosting levels of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin.
2. DHA Omega 3 Boosts Eye Health
Next on the list of Omega 3 health benefits relates to one of our most important body part, your eyes. The DHA fatty acids in omega 3s are an important structural component of our retinas. If your diet doesn’t include the right amount of DHA, you could even be at higher risk of macular degeneration.
Given that macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness across the world, that’s got to give you peace of mind.
Metabolic syndrome is a fancy name for the group of lifestyle diseases we all need to think about. Obesity, belly fat, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and insulin levels are a big threat to growing numbers of people in the UK. And for good reasons - these factors massively increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
3. Brain Health For Babies And Toddlers
The omega-3 fatty acids in a good fish oil can boost fertility in women and men. An Omega 3 health benefit that I was not particularly aware of relates to sperm health. DHA is important for sperm health (some studies even found it changes dysfunctional sperm into strong ones with correct shaped heads!) (4)
It’s been shown time and time again that omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for brain growth in babies and brain development in toddlers. Not surprising when you consider that DHA makes up 40 percent of the polyunsaturated fatty acids in the brain.
Experts think that the benefits of supplementing with a good quality omega-3 fish oil start during pregnancy (3). Benefits to the child include better communication and social skills, fewer behavioural problems, less risk of developmental problems, ADHD, and autism, and overall higher intelligence. And omega 3 fish oils will benefit your child’s eye health, too.
4. Omega 3's For Fertility Health
The omega-3s in fish oil benefits women’s fertility, too. It can balance important hormones, regulate your menstrual cycle, and reduce problematic inflammation in the body. Fish oil has even been effective in the treatment of PCOS and endometriosis.
We’ve already mentioned the importance of taking an omega-3 supplement during pregnancy. But it’s not just the developing baby who will benefit. Mum will, too, because the body gets depleted of EPA and DHA during pregnancy.
5. Fish Eating Populations Have Low Rates Of Heart Disease
It’s not cheery reading, but the facts are clear: heart attacks, heart disease, and strokes are the number one causes of death for men and women all around the world.
Anything which protects your heart health should be top of your priority list. Step up, omega 3s!
Ever since experts started looking at why fish-eating populations had low rates of heart diseases, the evidence has been mounting up. Omega 3 fish oils can reduce triglycerides, and raise HDL (“good cholesterol”) levels. They can also reduce high blood pressure, prevent dangerous blood clots, protect arteries from plaque build-up, and reduce cardiovascular inflammation. (5)
A daily fish oil supplement might not directly impact your risk of a heart attack, but it can improve so many risk factors.
6. Tackle Belly Fat And Metabolic Issues
Fish oils help put more distance between you and metabolic syndrome. How? Omega 3 fish oils reduce inflammation in the body, and this can bring down your insulin resistance and improve your heart health. (6)
If you’re at risk of type 2 diabetes, daily fish oil supplements could help prevent cognitive and cardiovascular problems further down the line. (7)
The take home? Include the best omega 3 fish oil supplement in your diabetic nutrition plan.
7. Omega 3's To Fight Chronic Inflammation
Long-term inflammation is a serious issue. We're not talking about muscle soreness here. This is the kind of persistent cellular inflammation which can contribute to our most horrible diseases, including the Big C and heart disease. Getting the right amount of omega-3 in your diet can reduce your body's production of inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines (8)
Most of our diets contain too much in the way of omega-6 fats, and not enough omega-3 fats. Health experts say the ideal ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats would be 1:1, most people have a ratio of around 25:1! Why is this a problem? Too much omega 6 can increase inflammation in your body - which is the last thing you want if you suffer from health problems or want to feel great!. Omega 3 fats help to support healthy levels of inflammation.
The imbalance can lead to fatigue, pain, sore joints, skin problems, depression, difficulty concentrating, and irregular bowel movements. What’s more, it can affect how much fat you carry and how much muscle you build. Essentially it leaves you feeling worse and looking worse!
The best, most effective, healthy types of Omega 3 are known as EPA and DHA, and the best sources of these are fish. However, to reach the recommended ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 in your diet, you would need to eat a huge amount of oily fish - not very practical (or cost-effective). This is why fish oil supplements are used by millions of people across the world, and thought to be one of the most important supplements that most people could take.”
8. Use Omega 3 Fats For Fat Loss
This is the one you’ve all been waiting for. Yes, getting enough omega-3 fish oil in your diet really can help you lose weight and keep it off. A 2007 study looked at how effective omega-3s are when combined with a healthy diet and reasonable amounts of exercise.
The results were encouraging: the combination reduced body fat. The people in the study showed lower triglycerides and an increase in healthy HDL cholesterol.
The researchers think that fish oil might encourage the body to use fatty acids for energy. Plus, an omega-3 supplement actually helps you cut back on calories.
If you try to get all your omega-3 from fish, that’s adding plenty of calories to your diet (and probably more fat than you really need). Less food prep, a leaner body, and a healthy heart?
9. A Healthier Immune System
When your immune health breaks down, you know about it. But if you have an autoimmune disease, your misery moves to another level. Omega 3 fatty acids can help fight some autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, Crohn’s, lupus, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis. (9)
If you usually take anti-inflammatory drugs to ease the pain of your autoimmune disease, try omega 3s instead - a 2006 study suggests they are just as effective, and possibly safer. (10)
10. Sleep Better, Look Better
We all know that sleep is the cheapest, best, yet most under-used health and beauty treatment out there. A daily omega-3 supplement can boost your natural levels of the sleepy hormone melatonin (11) and improve sleep apnea (your partner can thank us later!)
A great night’s sleep will make you look better. But omega-3 fish oils actually do that anyway! DHA is an integral part of the skin’s structure and looks after the health of your cells. And EPA helps to balance the hydration, oil production, and moisture levels in the skin.
It can even protect your skin against premature ageing, hyperkeratinization (those painful little red bumps on the back of your arms), and acne. (12)
Do Fish Oil Supplements Tasty... Fishy?
Omega 3 fish oil supplements have come a long way since the pungent oil you had to swallow down (living in fear of the after-burp!) Today’s fish oils - the really good quality ones, anyway - don’t taste like anything at all.
How come? The ingredients are better quality, the processing is more gentle, and we’ve learned how to put your fish oil dose inside a smooth capsule! The result is a fish oil supplement which is so easy to take, you won’t even notice it. And if you do happen to burp afterwards (hey, it happens to the best of us…), no embarrassing fish breath!
How Much Omega 3 Should I Take A Day?
Good question, and something that even the experts cannot agree on!
We've seen folk suggesting absolutely crazy levels of daily intake with people consuming 15+ capsules daily. Admittedly this is due to the low-quality capsules you'll find for sale in the local supermarket.
Instead, you're better off investing in higher quality Omega 3 capsules, with higher potency of EPA/DHA per capsule... Spin the bottle around and look for the combined EPA and DHA mg values per capsule... ideally, you'll looking for 750mg. This'll mean you're only taking 3 capsules per day to get over 2000mg of QUALITY Omega 3s
Will a Supplement Containing Fat Make Me Fat?
Dietary fats don’t automatically lead to added body fat, but it’s a valid concern. Even if you know that your diet needs more omega-3 fish oils, how do you manage your calorie intake? After all, fats contain 9 calories per gram.
Well, this is why omega-3 supplements are a dieter's best friend. It’s much easier to get the precise amount of omega 3 your body needs from a small supplement than it is from fish. Who can be bothered to weigh, chop up, and portion out pieces of oily fish down to 0.1 grams?
Pop a fish oil capsule. It’s much easier. And the only calories you’re adding to your diet are the tiny amount from the omega-3 fats. However, it's my suggestion that you DO eat fish too, as there are a lot of vitamins and minerals packed into this foodstuff.
4g fish oil contains just 40 calories, 4.5g fat, no protein, carbs, or sugar…and bonus Vitamin D!
How To Take Omega 3 Capsules
There are always optimal times to take ANY supplement. However, I'm always of the opinion that you take it when you know you'll consistently remember to take them. i.e. creating a daily habit. Ideally, you want to take them with a meal.
Personally, I take them in the morning with breakfast, as this is the time I've created a habit to take in Omega 3.
STEP 1: Put 250ml cold water in a container or glass.
STEP 2: Normally you can take Omega 3 at breakfast or with your Lean Greens.
STEP 3: Take 3 soft gel capsules of our Good Fats Omega 3 Fish Oils.
STEP 4: Wash down the capsules with your food or water.
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