The Alpha On The Omega – Omega 3 Fats & Its Benefits

Nutrition and health have always been a priority for many, but there are people unaware of the most important things to address. Social media has imbibed various health notions to the young generations.

Some of them are unlikely to be relevant to the crowd and many of them are incorrectly portrayed to understand.

We are here to save your day!  

For decades, one of the most prevalent trends in nutrition is Omega 3 fatty acids.

What is omega 3?

What should one know about it? 

What is the reason behind the craze?

These are some common questions people tend to have.

Let us try and learn more about the omega 3 fats that we need every day.

The Origin

We know everything on this planet burns down to carbon. Similarly, fats are made up of carbon chains, depending on which they are further classified.

One such classification of fats based on structure and bond is Mono/polyunsaturated fatty acids.

One fat that is housed under polyunsaturated fatty acids is the Omega 3 fatty acids that are present in our diet.

Omega 3 are essential fatty acids, they are a component of the membranes of living cells and they take part in the vital physiological functions of the body. 

Omega 3 has various beneficial roles to play in our bodies. From maintaining our cholesterol levels to providing anti-inflammation (lowering inflammation in the body) and pain-relieving properties, omega 3 fatty acids are important for many functions. Let’s do n quick overview…

Omega 3 and neurological, behavioral, and cognitive health: Some observational studies suggest that omega 3 reduces the risks of cognitive decline (Mental incapability) in the elderly population. Diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis were noticed to be prevented with proper nutrition.

Research has shown that omega 3 has impacted even the mental health of teenagers. It plays an important role since childhood. It is very much required for pregnant mothers as well as children of growing age. Dietary balance in omega 3 requirements has shown anti-depressive-like effects.  

We often see advertisements for kid’s food products that contain DHA. This component of omega 3 plays a role in bettering cognition (mental growth) in children.

The immune-boosting effect: The right amount of omega 3 fatty acids can better the production, regulation, and functioning of the immune cells. This means fewer infections and a stronger physique. This aspect is important for all age groups. This is especially important in the scenario of the pandemic. A healthy immune system translates into greater prevention of infections.

Benefits to the heart: These fatty acids can lower the LDL cholesterol, decrease atherosclerosis (the narrowing of the arteries), reduce clotting in the arteries – again something that prevents heart disease, lower hypertension, and improve vascular function.

Thus, it is an effective solution to preventing cardiovascular diseases.

Benefits to the skin and hair: “People from Bengal (a state in India with a high intake of omega 3 rich fish – the Hilsa) have great skin and hair!” is one of the prominent compliments Bengalis hear! All thanks to their diet rich in various fishes high in omega 3. Omega 3 slows down aging and reduces the wrinkling of the skin. It can also help manage skin conditions like dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. It nourishes the hair follicles and promotes hair growth.

Role in disease management: Apart from these, omega 3 has shown positive benefits in the treatment of several diseases. Such as ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), allergies, and cystic fibrosis.

Gut health: Relating to our gut health, omega 3 has various healing functions. Omega 3 promotes the recovery of gastritis and various other diseases related to ulcers and stomach lining. These stomach issues are very common among adults and need to be addressed for bettering well-being. It can better the kind of gut bacteria housed in our intestine, thus leading to health-promoting benefits

Pain relief: Due to its anti-inflammatory effect, these fatty acids reduce pain. Omega 3 intakes have been seen to reduce menstrual cramps and pain from Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis

Omega 3 and Cancer Prevention

We all have heard about the No shave November, but do we know the real motive behind the trend? 

The campaign was started to create awareness and educate people regarding cancer and its prevention. As per the No shave November web organization, November is a cancer awareness month. It is for us to be grateful for being cancer-free. Respecting the cancer survivors and a tribute to their struggle. 

Learning about Omega 3 as one of the ways towards cancer prevention is indeed necessary.  

Risks for cancers of the breast, prostate, colon, and lungs are noticed to be reduced with a good intake of omega 3 rich diets. Various research prompts about the omega 3 benefits in cancer complications as it has anti-inflammatory properties. Unwanted inflammation leads to tumors and several other repercussions. 

Omega 3 – so many benefits … Are you not curious to know then what is to be consumed. Let us look into that.

Recommendation for all healthy adults to consume at least 1 gm of omega 2 oil or its active compounds EPA and DHA – about 250-500 mg of EPA and DHA combined.

Some of the common sources of omega 3 are:-

Oils like: 

Mustard oil

Flaxseed oil

Canola oil.

Soybean oil

Coldwater fatty fish-

Salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines, shellfishes. 

Vegetarian sources like-

White soybean, black gram pulses, seeds like chia, flax, walnuts, and mint leaves are treasures of omega 3.

Incorporating recipes rich in these ingredients can help meet your omega 3 requirements.

Recipes like: 

Vegetable salad with flaxseed oil dressing. 

Walnut and beetroot raita.

Steamed salmon with herbs.

Do let us know some of your innovative recipes to increase omega 3 in our diets.  

People often tend to neglect the smaller changes that can prevent the worsening of health. Your mindful approach towards health will go a long way. Chronic illnesses can be managed and moreover avoided by taking care of such essential nutrients. A balanced diet rich in various good fats can help you achieve your best health. 

With awareness and conscious effort, we help ourselves from unwanted health issues. We at Nutrition with Vibha .com feel that small changes can lead to huge benefits. Omega 3 has been known for the last 50 years – in research and medical and nutritional textbooks. Let us bring it down from the books to our tables and let it impact our health positively. Look up our recipe section for interesting recipes with these ingredients incorporated.

If Wellness seems far-fetched and expensive, you have no idea about the cost of illness!

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