Why Omega 3 Should Be A Part Of Our Diet?

omega 3 diet

Introduction

“Health is wealth”. This phrase is common and yet so unacknowledged. This is because the current generation can be swapped with two adverbs: Instant and Fast. We are obsessed with everything that is ‘instant’- instant coffee, instant noodles, and other instant meals. And everything is fast-paced, as if we are always on the run, round the clock.

A major setback of this lifestyle is that our body is missing out on the nutrients it requires. Hence, people come up with a multitude of health problems, like reduced eyesight, heart problems, cognitive problems, perpetual gastrointestinal issues, minor skin diseases, etc. While we can’t slow down our fast-paced life, we definitely can manage and regulate our dietary habits for greater health benefits. Keeping this in mind, we need to balance our diet by introducing foods rich in Omega-3.

What Is Omega 3 ?

Omega-3 belongs to the family of fatty acids and unfortunately, our body can’t produce them on its own. Hence, they need to be consumed via sources of food. 

One might ask why are these fatty acids vital for our body?

This is because it has health and medical benefits essential for our heart, eyes, brain, bones and even fetus development.

According to nutritionists, Omega-3 has three types of fatty acids:

  1. ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid)
  2. EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid)
  3. DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid)

These are the good fats that our body requires to function properly and maintain physical harmony.

High-Risk Group:

Experts suggest that the age group of 19-35 is considered at high-risk for catching chronic diseases because:

  • This is the prime health and immune system building time in their life and there is a lot of unhealthy consumption. Once the toxin limit is reached in the body, a range of poor health conditions begin to develop.
  • Continuous staring at screens causes eye irritation and dryness in the eyes. Extreme cases of vision mismanagement can even lead to retinal damage.
  • There are a lot of sleep irregularities leading to fatigue, work-shift disorder, and a feeling of being tired all the time. 
  • Plenty of experiments are done regarding specific lifestyle changes and dietary habits, which might not be suitable to the body. If a major portion of your diet consists only of red meat and poultry, then this makes you a high-risk individual (in terms of health of course).
  • The age group is also at the peak risk of consuming excessive alcohol and over-indulgence in illegal drugs.

What can we do to reduce the risk?

Health risk factors will always be present. Thus we need to get conscious of what goes into our digestive system. ‘Instant’ food won’t do us any good as there are hardly any quality nutrients left. Even worse, they are fueled with preservatives and artificial flavours for seem tasty. 

While exercising remains on top of the list to remain healthy, dietary choices come next.

Dieticians always prescribe a balanced diet and additional supplements if our body is lacking some form of nutrition. Lucky for us, omega 3  can be taken both ways:

  • While ALA is found in plant oils, EPA and DHA are found in sea food.
  • An eggetarian diet also helps in increasing your omega 3 intake.
  • Vegetarians can have their fair share of omega 3 by consuming vegetables like spinach and cauliflower. It would be wise to also add nuts and seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds, mustard seeds, walnuts, etc.
  • If you are a vegan, then plant oils like canola and olive oil have the recommended amounts of omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Fish and sea food like salmons, mackerel, tuna are a major source of omega 3.

Omega 3 can also be taken as a supplement in the form of cod liver oil and other forms of fortified foods like yoghurt, juices, specific infant formulas, etc.

How Much of Omega-3 Should I Consume?

This is one of the tricky questions and there is no single answer for it. This is because every person has to cater to their body’s individual requirements. Irrespective of your nutritional requirements, introducing the above-stated sources into your everyday diet can provide sufficient omega 3.

For example, fatty fishes can be consumed twice a week. If you are looking for omega 3 supplements, then make sure they contain EPA & DHA.

It is also important to note that consuming Omega-3 in excess will lead to the build-up of calories. Hence, one must perform exercises so that the extra calories are burnt out. 

A brisk walk for 45 minutes or early morning jogging along with freehand workouts are recommended.

10 Specific Benefits:

Now that the food choices are stated, let us see how Omega 3 helps our body:

  1. It reduces the risk of heart attacks and abnormal heart rhythm. This is done by clearing up plaque formation and reducing the blockage in the arteries. This also helps patients with blood pressure abnormalities. Above all, this helps increase insulin sensitivity among diabetic patients.
  2. An omega-3 diet during pregnancy can significantly improve the health of the to-be born child. Even post-birth, the DHA made in the body can be passed on to the baby through breast milk.
  3. It can reduce liver fat and is also seen playing an important role in reducing waist size.
  4. A regulated omega 3 diet reduces the risk of cognitive problems like Alzheimer’s and dementia. This is evident due to the presence of omega 3 in some anti-depressant drugs that are formulated to tackle depression.
  5. It is an exceptional nutrient choice eye health as it reduces dryness and vision discrepancies. 
  6. It provides the ‘grease’ or ‘oiling’ for our body to function smoothly and prevents joint pains, muscle cramps, and morning stiffness.
  7. Omega-3 Medicine can help reduce painful menstrual cycles in women. This occurs due to the anti-inflammatory properties of omega 3. Even better, omega 3 is known to get a grasp of hormonal fluctuations and control it so as to develop a better mood
  8. An omega 3 diet can reduce the risk of prostate and breast cancer. It enhances the effectiveness of chemotherapy, reduces bodily inflammatory responses, modulates molecular pathways, and plays the role of a receptor agonist.
  9. It reduces excessive ear wax formation thus preventing hearing loss.
  10. It is also an excellent remedy for dry hair, skin, as well as repaiing brittle nails.

Conclusion

From the above-stated facts, one can understand the necessity and the benefits of having sufficient amounts of omega 3 in their diet. Given the current situation of the world with the variety of diseases and sicknesses in the air, maintaining our overall health has utmost importance.