The health benefits of omega-3s
A healthy body is a happy body. And omega-3s will ensure just that. They keep your insides fit and well, and keep you looking beautiful on the outside, too.
But how do omega-3s actually help the body? Why are they beneficial for optimal health? And which foods contain an ample amount of body-loving omega-3s? Let’s find out…
What are omega-3s?
Omega-3s are a type of nutrient called essential fatty acids, says Warren Maginn, Nordic Naturals Spokesperson. They are considered essential because the body is not able to produce them itself, but sufficient intake of omega-3 essential fatty acids is imperative for proper cell function and overall health.
What are the health benefits of omega-3s?
Omega-3s are generally associated with cardiovascular health, however their benefits go far beyond the heart – research indicates they significantly assist with heart and brain health, cognitive function, joint mobility, eye health, and healthy skin, hair and nails. Warren says the two most important omega-3s are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), as they help to promote key anti-inflammatory pathways in the body, which help relieve conditions often caused by insufficient exercise and inadequate nutrition, resulting in an unhealthy body.
What are the beauty benefits of omega-3s?
Omega-3s provide a number of beauty benefits when it comes to healthy skin. Essential fatty acids help to strengthen and increase the fluidity of the delicate membranes that surround each cell and act as a gatekeeper, explains Warren, helping to keep out toxins while bringing nutrients in, too. Essential fatty acids are also known to increase the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body, while assisting in reducing inflammatory responses, too. This means outwards signs of certain skin conditions – redness, dry skin, eczema, dermatitis and premature wrinkling – are minimised or become less noticeable.
What are some good sources of omega-3s?
We consume omega-3s through food and supplements, and the essential fatty acids of EPA and DHA are primarily found in cold-water fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, cod and herring. Don’t like fish? Plant-sourced omega-3s include soybeans, baked beans, soy and linseed bread, avocado, broccoli and cabbage, walnuts, linseeds, flaxseeds and pecans, and canola oil and spread. Eggs, chicken and beef also contain essential fatty acids. However, if many of these foods don’t feature in your current diet, Warren suggests taking a high-quality fish oil to help ensure we achieve the highest levels of EPA and DHA in our body tissues.
What is a simple way to amp up your daily omega-3 intake?
Other than fish-filled dinners, up your intake from the get-go with Jessica Sepel’s Breaky To-Go-Go smoothie – just throw all of the below into a blender for an instant omega, fibre and protein hit. Then, top with fresh raw almonds, flaxseeds and ½ sliced-up date before consuming.
½ ripe banana
1 tbsp rolled oats
2 tbsp ground flaxseed/LSA mix (or natural protein powder)
1 medgool date
1 tsp almond butter
1 tbsp greek yoghurt
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp stevia/honey
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
½ cup almond milk
Ice cubes – as many as you desire
Did you know omega-3s had so many beauty and health benefits? Do you eat lots of foods rich in omega-3s or take a supplement? Will you from now on?