Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Your Diet
People who eat diets with a balance of essential fatty acids manage to avoid many common ailments, so we decided to show you what a diet high in omega-3s and low in omega-6s can do for your body.
Eskimos in Greenland first brought attention to the question of fat consumption because they had low rates of heart disease despite a diet high in fat: fish fat. It’s interesting to note that cultures with high omega-3 consumption of fish also have far fewer cases of 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.
Here are some more ailments you may help to prevent by balancing your intake of essential fatty acids:
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.
Mitigates Autoimmune Diseases Like Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Raynaud’s Disease:
Researchers believe that the anti-inflammatory capabilities of omega-3 fatty acids are what help reduce the symptoms of autoimmune diseases and prolong the survival of those who suffer from them. Multiple studies have substantiated these results.
Relieves 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 and mood regulation as well as attention and memory functions.