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Omega-3 Benefits, Sources, and Usage

Omega-3 Benefits, Sources, and Usage

What are Omega-3’s?

Chances are that even if you’re new to the world of supplements, you’ve probably heard about Omega-3’s. These are the fatty acids that make seafood, seaweed, seeds, nuts, legumes, and avocados so healthy for us. Yet the truth is, most Americans are still missing out on all the benefits of omega-3’s, which support just about every aspect of our health. There is a simple solution, but before we get to that, let’s discuss why Omega-3’s matter.

Omega-3 Benefits:

Omega-3’s Help Enhance Mood and Memory*

The first thing to know about omega-3’s like EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) is that they are amazing for brain health. They support healthy mood, focus, and performance. This is because these omega-3’s are part of the literal structure of your brain. In fact, the brain is actually made of over 60% fat, and the best fat for that make up is Omega-3’s. Long-term studies of omega-3’s have found them to be supportive in mood concerns and maintaining mental alacrity as you age.

Omega-3’s Provide Fat Reducing Support*

The next thing you should know about omega-3’s is that they actually help you maintain a healthy weight. It can certainly feel counter-intuitive: a dietary fat supplement helping reduce stubborn fat, but that does seem to be the case. When combined with simple walking for 45 minutes, three days a week, a trial of 81 overweight adults found significant improvement in their body composition1. Since omega-3’s support the body in multiple ways, including supporting healthy hunger responses, it’s no surprise that we also see improvements in overall metabolic health.

Omega-3’s Promote Heart Health*

This is probably what omega-3’s are best known for. They support healthy blood lipids, which is indicative of overall metabolic health, including heart health. They also support healthy blood pressure and soften plaques in our arteries. Our cardiovascular system relies heavily on omega-3’s to support the health and flexibility of your blood vessels, which in turn impact every part of your body. With diets high in omega-6’s from foods such as red meat, vessels are prone to becoming stiff and rigid, which can lead to a host of negative impacts on your health. Meanwhile, omega-3’s can actually reverse some of this rigidity when combined with an overall healthy diet and lifestyle plan4. If there’s any one nutritional support that’s best for your heart, it’s definitely omega-3’s.

Omega-3’s Support Skin and Cell Health*

Your skin is the largest organ of the body and every cell that makes up your skin requires omega-3’s to maintain their health and function optimally. Therefore, omega-3’s are a necessary requirement of any proper skincare routine. They support healthy elasticity, protection from irritants common in air pollution, help the skin bounce back from blemishes, support tonification, and help prevent new eruptions of redness and irritation2. What’s more, is for those with psoriasis and eczema, omega-3’s have been found to be even more beneficial3.

How Do I Select My Omega-3 Supplement?

All the cells of our body require omega-3 fatty acids to be healthy and vibrant, which in turn help you to be healthy and vibrant. A lot of times, getting in enough omega-3’s through food can be challenging. By supplementing your daily wellness routine with omega-3’s you get easy, effective, and safe access to all the benefits they have to offer. However, not all omega-3 supplements are made equally. Since fish oil is the most popular source of omega-3 supplements, it’s important to be mindful of how it’s sourced due to environmental concerns. In this case, it is important to find an omega-3 supplement that explicitly states that it comes from sustainable sources. Secondly, oftentimes you cannot tell from the label or product description how the omega-3’s made it into the capsule you’re about to take. Words like “molecularly distilled” assure you that the lowest amount of heat was used to make the supplement. Heat is bad for omega-3 oil, and if you can’t tell, and if it’s a very cheap supplement, chances are the oil in there isn’t optimal and you won’t reap the benefits. Lastly, check to make sure there is mention of testing for purity, as this makes sure you know you’ve got a reputable source for this essential nutrition!

Omega-3’s help support foundational health down to the foundation of every cell in your body. So if you’re not on an Omega-3 supplement yet, you might say, now’s the time to dive in!


Resources:

1) Hill, A. M., Buckley, J. D., Murphy, K. J., & Howe, P. R. (2007). Combining fish-oil supplements with regular aerobic exercise improves body composition and cardiovascular disease risk factors. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 85(5), 1267–1274.

2) Lin, Z., Niu, Y., Jiang, Y., Chen, B., Peng, L., Mi, T., Huang, N., Li, W., Xu, D., Chen, R., & Kan, H. (2021). Protective effects of dietary fish-oil supplementation on skin inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers induced by fine particulate air pollution: a pilot randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The British journal of dermatology, 184(2), 261–269.

3) Bittiner, S. B., Tucker, W. F., Cartwright, I., & Bleehen, S. S. (1988). A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial of fish oil in psoriasis. Lancet (London, England), 1(8582), 378–380.

4) DiNicolantonio, J. J., & O'Keefe, J. H. (2020). The Benefits of Omega-3 Fats for Stabilizing and Remodeling Atherosclerosis. Missouri medicine, 117(1), 65–69.

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