Benefits of Omega-3 Acids
People who eat diets with the optimum balance of essential fatty acids manage to avoid many common ailments. Eskimos in Greenland first brought attention to the question of fat in the diet because they had little heart disease despite a diet high in fat. It’s interesting to note that cultures that have high omega-3 consumption in fish have far less depression than those whose diet is dominated by omega-6 fatty acids. In fact, in one fascinating epidemiological study, fish consumption was the most significant variable in comparing levels of depression and coronary heart disease.
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Prevent cancer. Research is just beginning to demonstrate that omega-3 fatty acids may play a role in preventing both breast and colon cancers.
Prevents age-related macular degeneration. In the Nurses’ Health Study, those who ate fish four or more times a week had a lower risk of age-related macular degeneration than those who ate three or fewer fish meals per month. The most prevalent fatty acid in our retina is DHA, and the primary dietary source of this “good fat” is salmon and other so-called heart-healthy fish. DHA also seems to reduce some of the adverse effects of sunlight on retinal cells.
Mitigate autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Raynaud’s disease. Researchers believe that the anti-inflammatory abilities of omega-3 fatty acids are what help reduce the symptoms of autoimmune diseases as well as prolong the survival of those who suffer from them. Multiple studies have substantiated these results.
Relieve depression and a host of mental health problems. Perhaps the most interesting research on omega-3 fatty acids involved their relationship to mental health ailments such as depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dementia, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer’s disease. Our brains are surprisingly fatty: over 60 percent of the brain is fat. Omega-3 fatty acids promote the brain’s ability to regulate mood-related signals. They are a crucial constituent of brain-cell membranes and are needed for normal nervous system function, mood regulation, and attention and memory functions.