What are the health benefits of omega 3?


Felicity Mann
Healthy Eating Advisor
@AVogelUK
Ask Felicity


21 May 2018

What is omega 3?

Omega 3 is called an essential fatty acid for good reason as the body needs it to function properly. There are three types of omega 3 including ALA which is usually found in nuts and seeds, as well as EPA and DHA which are mostly found in fish. The body cannot produce omega 3 so it must be obtained from our food. 

Omega 3 provides the body with polyunsaturated fatty acids which are necessary for a huge range of bodily functions. These fatty acids supply the body with nutrients for example, as well as vitamins. 

Health benefits

Omega 3 fatty acids are important for pregnant women and those breastfeeding as it contributes to the health and development of the baby. However, omega 3 has wider health benefits than just this as it has been known to aid certain conditions.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Omega 3 has been shown to be beneficial for arthritis sufferers as it helps to fight the pain and stiffness associated with joint inflammation.1   

Sleep

A study conducted by the University of Oxford looked at whether or not DHA omega 3 supplements could improve sleep for children. They found that compared to the control group, children who were given omega 3 supplements achieved nearly one hour of extra sleep a night.2 

Skin

There is also evidence to suggest that omega 3 could help skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.3 Once again this may because of the mineral’s anti-inflammatory properties. 

Blood pressure

There has been some investigation into the effects of omega 3 on blood pressure with the overall results looking quite positive. Omega 3 helps blood vessels to expand which means the heart doesn’t need to work so intensely to push blood around the body. This, in turn, helps to lower blood pressure, as well as general heart health. It may also explain why omega 3 is linked to lower stroke rates.4  

Memory

Omega 3 is beneficial for brain function and development so not getting enough of this mineral could affect the brain’s ability to operate.

PMS

Finally, studies have indicated that omega 3 fatty acids could help to combat the emotional symptoms associated with PMS such as anxiety, nervousness, lack of concentration and depression. However, it may also reduce the likes of bloating, headaches and breast tenderness which are also linked to PMS.

Where can you find it?

Omega 3 is available in a whole range of foods including fish, nuts and veggies. Here are a few examples:

It is recommended that we eat one portion of oily fish a week so if you’re looking for inspiration for your next weekday dinner, why not have a look at our website? It has a whole host of recipes, including many fish recipes  that will help you to get your dose of omega 3. I’ve included some of my favourites below! 

We always think it’s best to get your vitamins and minerals from your food and drink but if you feel need a little extra support, you could turn to a natural supplement such as Pharma Nord’s Bio-Fish Oil Omega 3 capsules. This omega 3 is sourced entirely from fish in the North Atlantic Sea so it’s as natural as it gets without eating the fish itself!

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