Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

selection of fruits and nuts for omega-3 blog

Most of us know that you can get Omega-3 from eating fish. But, do we know why Omega-3 fatty acids are good for us? This article will tell you everything there is to know about Omega-3, why it’s good for you and how vegans can get it in their diet.

What is Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of fat that we can get from different food sources. Fish oil is one of the most well known sources of Omega-, however there are some great vegan sources of Omega as well…

Food high in Omega

  • Flaxseeds – rich in nutrients like fibre and magnesium and can be easily added into a vegan smoothie or oatmeal.
  • Seaweed – an important source of Omega-3 for any vegan, full of antioxidant properties
  • Walnuts – contains ‘good’ fats and can be enjoyed on their own or in a vegan snack bar.
  • Edamame – this Japanese bean is rich in protein and Omega-3 making it the ultimate vegan side dish.
  • Kidney beans – the perfect way to bulk up any vegan chilli, stew or rice dish.

Omega-3 benefits

Now we know how we can incorporate Omega-3 fatty acids into a vegan diet, it’s time to learn why. Omega-3 has some amazing benefits for our health and well-being and we’ve rounded up just a few…

1. Omega-3 and immunity

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are two of the Omega-3 fatty acids present in the likes of walnuts and flaxseeds. These important fatty acids have been found to boost our immune system by influencing our immune cells (white blood cells). This means that they can help enhance the immune system’s defence by supporting its natural response to harmful pathogens.

For more ways you can boost your immune system checkout our article on Immune Boosting Foods.

2. Omega-3 anti-inflammatory

Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. Although inflammation is a natural response to your body’s wear and tear, chronic inflammation (lasting a long period of time) could lead to other health problems. That’s why anti-inflammatories like Omega-3 are great for keeping your body in tip top condition.

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, Omega has also been linked to the management of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. This can include conditions like Crohn’s disease or arthritis, which is why you may have heard of cod liver oil as a treatment for arthritis – it contains Omega-3 fatty acids.

3. Can improve heart health

There have been many studies on the relationship between Omega-3 and heart health, with its anti-inflammatory properties set to help with heart disease. EPA and DHA have been found to help lower blood pressure, improve circulation and steady your heart’s rhythm.

Omega has also been found to reduce the amount of triglycerides (a type of fat found in blood) in the body. Triglycerides are important because they are our main source of energy, however too much can cause serious heart conditions or pancreatitis. Omega-3 helps to balance these levels to ensure we are getting the right amount.

For more information on what foods can help improve heart health read our article on the Heart Health Benefits of Almonds which features our Nakd Almond Macaroon bar.

4. Omega-3 for skin

There are many ways that Omega can help improve your skin. Firstly, it has been found to protect against ultraviolet rays which may help to protect against sunburn. But of course, it is not a replacement for sun lotion!

It has also been linked to general skin health by improving the fatty acid composition within skin itself. This can help with a number of areas like acne, ageing and dry or sensitive skin by helping the skin to stay less inflamed. Omega-3 oil for skin health has proven particularly popular.

5. Omega-3 for dry eyes

The Omega-3 fatty acid DHA is considered a major structural component of our eye’s retina. Therefore, a good amount of omega can have a positive effect on our eyes like protecting against dryness or degenerative diseases. Alternatively, a lack of DHA could cause vision problems.

6. Can improve mental health

Omega-3 has been linked to many benefits surrounding the brain, from physical to mental health. The fatty acids have been found to help maintain the normal functioning of the brain by protecting the membrane. This can help with many different things including memory.

However, it has also been found to boost our mood. Some scientific studies have found that Omega 3’s anti-inflammatory properties as well as its effect on serotonin can help with depression. As more focus continues to be on improving and understanding our mental well-being we should start to see more research on this area.

There we have it! All the incredible health benefits one fatty acid can have! From improving both our physical and mental well-being, we can all agree Omega-3 is one clever fatty acid. Great news for vegans everywhere, you can eat lots of yummy nuts, legumes, beans and more to reap its benefits.

For more amazing blogs on everything nutrition, health and well-being checkout our Nakd blog where you can read about Natural Sources of Vitamin D.

 

 

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