A nutrient essential for human survival, omega-3 is a fatty acid found in plants as well as animals. The human body is incapable of manufacturing these essential fats on its own. Hence, it is important to consume foods or supplements rich in omega-3 to strengthen your health. Fish are considered to be amongst the best sources of these fatty acids. Besides, you will also find the nutrient in several natural and manufactured sources.
The health benefits of omega-3 intake are very widely known. Along with cognitive assistance, it also facilitates cardiovascular health and immune function. Moreover, it plays a crucial role in the formative years of a child. Omega-3 helps infants develop a strong vision and better skin besides creating better perceptive abilities.
The nutrient also procures multiple benefits for the elderly. It is useful in dealing with age-related health issues, ranging from heart to physiological ailments. Therefore, it is an important part of your diet for maintaining fitness.
This article provides detailed insights about omega-3 and its role in the body. Read ahead to know more about the benefits, sources, and dosage of omega-3 in your diet.
Benefits of Omega-3
Omega-3 plays a multi-functional role in the body. It is a polyunsaturated fat that offers several health benefits. Besides being an essential fat, it aids in the proper development and health of various systems. Here are a few benefits of maintaining proper levels of Omega-3 in the body:
The research underlines the importance of seafood in your diet to take care of your heart. Omega-3’s anti-inflammatory properties prevent any large-scale damage to the blood vessels that can potentially harm your heart. Besides, omega-3 also aids in alleviating the count of triglycerides or fatty deposits in your arteries. These unhealthy fats ultimately lead to a heart attack.
Omega-3 facilitates cognitive development and good health. As per studies, human brain is composed of 60% fat material and omega-3 acts as the building blocks of a healthy brain. It fights off inflammation, thereby creating a safe passage for brain signals without any disruption. Furthermore, it is helpful for older people to deal with the decline in their cognitive abilities due to increasing age.
Bone and Muscle Health
Omega-3 intake helps younger people develop stronger bones and muscles. This is important for mobility and flexibility. At the same time, it maintains strong joints, even for senior citizens. It enhances the absorption of calcium into the body, thereby strengthening all bones. Besides, it eliminates inflammation and pain that older people experience with age.
Studies suggest that inflammation is one of the most common immune responses of a human body. However, this can create large-scale damage for many organs, particularly the heart. Chronic inflammation owing to a disease or simply the lifestyle is very harmful to your body’s health and fitness. Omega-3 tackles this problem with its anti-inflammatory properties. It restricts the level of the immune response to a balanced limit.
Omega-3 nutrient not only maintains your fitness internally but also keeps you healthy externally. It enables you to lose weight in multiple ways. One of these ways is to reduce your appetite, allowing you to succeed in your weight loss regime. On the other hand, omega-3 helps increase your metabolism, hence, burning more calories than usual. You lose more weight with more calories burnt.
3 Important Omega-3 Acids
Omega-3 comes in 11 different variants, of which 3 are the most important, viz. ALA, DHA, and EPA. While ALA comes from plant sources, the latter two are available in animals.
- ALA (alpha-linolenic acid): Most commonly available omega-3 source is first converted into DHA or EPA for consumption. In humans, this conversion process is not very efficient. This results in a small intake of omega-3 acid and high deposition of fats. Therefore, ALA consumption incurs both benefits and dangers.
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid): The intake of EPA manufactures facilitative molecules for physiological needs and anti-inflammation role. Therefore, this omega-3 fatty acid helps prevent or fight against a range of diseases, from cardiovascular to cognitive. It is known as marine omega-3 owing to its presence in seafood. It is commonly available in shrimps, salmon, herring, and more. Also, it is present in anchovies.
- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid): A crucial omega-3 nutrient for eyes and brain, DHA serves many purposes for children’s growth. It provides a stronger vision, greater cognitive development, and enhanced skin among children. Besides, it helps deal with diseases like diabetes, arthritis, and more. DHA is found in fatty fish and other animals.
Right Dosage of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Even though the nutrient produces benefits for people of all ages, its consumption must be regulated. Your correct dosage depends on your age as well as any health condition that you have.
A healthy individual should consume an average of 6 to 8 ounces of fish in a week. Wild fish species contain high omega-3 content. Therefore, fishes like mackerel and salmon are good for weekly intake.
Apart from that, individuals suffering from any heart condition should take 1 gram of EPA and DHA combined. This is a daily dosage requirement. Besides, people with high levels of unhealthy fats need a higher dosage. They will need around 2-4 grams of EPA and DHA combined daily.
According to the health claim regulation, the daily dose for a positive effect on the heart is 250 mg of DHA so that should be adapted.
Omega-3 Deficiency: Potential Symptoms
As already mentioned, omega-3 fatty acids are vital for human survival. In case of a deficiency, the effects will be visible on the inside without any prominent symptoms externally. Therefore, you will need to monitor every subtle sign and get medical assistance straight away.
- You might feel some dryness in your skin or a condition of inflamed skin called dermatitis.
- Higher levels or repeated occurrence of inflammation in your chest and stomach is a sign.
- Your nails and hair might also feel fragile.
- Fatigue, restlessness, or sleep disorders are among other symptoms.
- Loss of concentration and inability to build focus is also an indication.
- You may experience high levels of anxiety and problems in sleeping properly.
- Pain in the muscles or joints, along with cramps in the legs are also some warning signs.
- Women experiencing heavy bleeding during menstruation are also deficient in omega-3.
Omega-3 vs. Omega-6
Both omega-3 and omega-6 are unsaturated fats that are healthy for your body. The human body produces none of these nutrients. Thus, it is essential to consume these fatty acids in your diet through either food items or supplements.
As per the comparison studies that have been conducted, there is not any major difference between the two nutrients. However, omega-3 and omega-6 differ in the kinds of health benefits they offer. The former is important for cognitive and cardiovascular health besides benefits for bones, skin, eyes, and immune system. On the other hand, the latter plays a pivotal role in strengthening immunity, avoiding blood clotting, and regulating the genes.
Apart from that, the sources for these two nutrients are also different. Omega-3 is primarily found in marine sources like fatty fish. Additionally, it is also available in walnuts, flaxseeds, eggs, soybean, and more. Omega-6, however, occurs in sunflower oils and corn. It is also available in meat and poultry besides nuts, soybeans, and seeds.
Natural Sources of Omega-3
There are many natural food items that you can include in your diet to increase omega-3 intake.
- Mackerel: it is a fatty fish that offers vitamin B-12 as well, along with omega-3.
- Salmon: it is one of the most popular sources of omega-3. It comes into two variants of farmed and wild.
- Seabass: it is a Japanese fish. Besides, omega-3, it is a rich source of selenium and protein as well.
- Oysters: a common snacking option and a great choice of seafood, oysters contain all 3 important omega-3 types.
- Sardines: it is a small fish that is usually considered a snack for breakfast.
- Shrimp: it is eaten worldwide as an appetizer and offers potassium, omega-3, and protein.
- Algae: different varieties of algae, like seaweed and chlorella, offer a good dose of DHA and EPA.
- Chia Seeds: these are amazing plant sources of ALA along with proteins and fibers.
- Flaxseeds: rich in ALA nutrients, this is another plant source rich in multiple nutrients.
- Walnuts: these are nuts offering high ALA content.
- Soybean Oil: this ALA-rich oil contains several key nutrients, like vitamin K, riboflavin, potassium, and more.
These are a few natural sources of omega-3 that you can include in your diet. Besides, you can also find some great dietary supplements to increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
Supresa Natural Omega-3 Plus Capsules
At Supresa Natural, we have created a dietary supplement in the form of omega-3 capsules. Exclusively manufactured from fish oils, our capsules offer a high dosage of these essential fats with 1000mg omega-3 in each capsule. Besides, we offer some of the highest doses of both EPA and DHA in our capsules.
Our high-quality capsules are free of any potentially harmful substances like GMOs and magnesium. We have also made it free of sugar, gluten, and lactose to make it suitable for consumption for everyone.Apart from the capsule content, we pride ourselves on our sustainable means of production. We use anchovies for producing omega-3 capsules through sustainable fishing. Moreover, independent labs properly monitor and control every aspect of our production process. We produce all supplements in compliance with the standards prescribed by the GMP and HACCP.