5 reasons you need the health benefits of omega 3sNutrition
By pH health care professionals
We hear a lot about healthy fats and how good they are for our bodies. In fact, they’re a mainstay of the praised Mediterranean diet, with staples like olive oil, whole grains and avocado. One of the reasons the Mediterranean diet is often recommended is due to the healthy omega-3 and omega-6 ratio, with more omega-3s in the diet than omega-6s. The typical Western diet gets plenty of omega-6s, but not enough omega-3s, and this can cause inflammation and disease.
So what’s the big deal about omega-3s?
Here is a sample of what omega-3s do in your body:
Your brain. Omega-3s are good for your brain’s performance, memory and behavior. Afterall, your brain is composed of around 60 percent fat. Some of that fat is in gray matter (gray matter may be related to intelligence!), and some of that fat is in neuron cell membranes (neurons are nerve cells that send messages throughout the body through electrical impulses, and membranes are their outer wrappings). One specialized kind of membrane is myelin, a protective sheath that covers communicating neurons. The myelin insulates the neuron, allowing for faster communications in your nervous system. It is composed of 70-85 percent fat.
Your heart. Inflammation can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease and strokes. That’s why omega-3s are often recommended for heart protection; they are anti-inflammatory. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may your lower high blood pressure, raise the good HDL cholesterol, and also decrease blood clotting, abnormal heart beats and your heart disease risk (including sudden cardiac death).
Inflammation. Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, meaning they reduce inflammation. This means you may not only have a lower risk of heart disease, but also lower risk of health conditions like cancer and arthritis.
Feeling your best. If you don’t have enough omega-3s, you may experience symptoms of a deficiency, including fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings, depression and poor circulation. Make sure you are including omega-3s in your diet so you can feel sharp, happy and have smoother skin.
A healthy pregnancy and baby/child development. Pregnant women need more DHA, in particular, because this omega-3 is so important for fetal brain development. DHA content of the developing brain increases 3-5 times during the last trimester. And it’s good for mama, too! Low levels of DHA and fish consumption have been associated with postpartum depression, so eat up, expecting moms. Choose fish that are low in mercury (larger predator fish tend to have higher mercury levels).
All omega-3s do not share the same health benefit. DHA vs. EPA makes a difference. To ensure you are taking the one for the benefit you want, read our blog on the subject here.
Want to learn more about omega fatty acids? Click here.
Enjoy Your Healthy Life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. To learn more about the pH Health Care Team, click here.