They are the most popular supplements on the shelves. Their benefits are plentiful and the drawbacks minimal. The research studies are numerous pointing out the ways omega-3s, more commonly known as fish oils, can improve our health and hopefully elongate our lives. When we hear about the benefits of omega 3s, cardiovascular disease prevention is often the first thought that comes to mind–but there are so many other reasons why they are a necessary nutrient in the diet. Alpha linolenic acid (ALA), the only essential omega-3 fatty acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the three major types of fish oils. Below are 3 Benefits of Omega 3s you never knew…
1. Skin Care In those with psoriasis, the amount of compounds causing inflammation is greater than normal. Fish oils inhibit the production of inflammatory compounds thereby improving the health of skin, nails and hair.
2. Depression and Anxiety Research has pointed to the benefit of fish oils in stabilizing mood; this has potential implications for its use in other mental illnesses including bipolar disease and eating disorders
3. Pre-Menstrual Syndrome Eicosanoids seem to be produced in higher amounts during the onset of PMS; since EPA is derived from the Omega 3 fatty acids, supplementing in the form of food or pills can reduce the effects of PMS. The anti-inflammatory effects of fish oil can also help in PMS pain as well as cramping during the actual menstrual cycle.
ALA is found primarily in dark green leafy vegetables, flaxseed oils, and vegetable oils. EPA and DHA are found primarily in oily cold-water fish such as mackerel, herring, tuna, and salmon. Alternatively, supplements can be consumed. The amount necessary to achieve benefits varies with each condition; be sure to consult with your health care provider (physician or registered dietitian) for specific guidelines.