Omega-3s are a type of fat ESSENTIAL for our bodies. However, our bodies cannot make these nutrients by itself, we must get them from food sources like flax, green vegetables and cold water fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines. And when our bodies are given the proper amounts of Omega-3s… we get amazing benefits as a result.
Omega-3s Reduce Joint Pain
Research suggests that omega-3s reduce joint pain. Many people have experienced amazing results and a lessening of joint pain from arthritis and other injuries after taking omega-3s for as little as two weeks.
Dr. Joseph Maroon, neurosurgeon at the University of Pittsburgh, spent 20 years biking, swimming, and running in triathlons, and all of this movement eventually took a toll on his joints. This is common with many athletes. While sports and exercise are good for our bodies, it is easy to overuse your joints and end up with pain and disability.
Dr. Maroon had one knee in particular that gave him a lot of trouble. He took so much Advil from the pain he developed an ulcer. It was soon recommended that he get a full knee replacement. After conducting his own research, Dr. Maroon discovered fish oils and wondered if they could hold the answer to his joint pain. Sure enough, soon after starting his fish oil supplements, Dr. Maroon was able to get off all of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine he had been taking.
How Exactly Do Omega-3s Help With Joint Pain?
Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically the DHA and EPA inside them, work to block inflammation pathways in the cell. And, they block not one, but multiple pathways in the cell. Now, when it comes to the most common types of joint pain, the inflammation in those joints is one of the common culprits.
Omega-3s Fight Depression and Memory Loss
The next amazing health benefit you will start to see once you begin taking omega-3s is better memory and cognitive function, and even help against depression. Researchers have found that adding Omega-3s into your diet has a profound benefit to your cognitive health, because the human brain is made up of about 60% fat, and your cerebral cortex is made up of about 15% DHA.
The mechanism in play has to do with keeping your nervous cells supple and soft rather than stiff, and also in preventing inflammation in the brain.
When the nerve cells in your brain become stiff and hardened, it makes the normal transmission of information from cell to cell more susceptible to error. Studies are also finding that the older we get, the more omega-3s are needed in order to keep the brain operating at optimum levels and prevent mental decline.
One study in particular showed that mental decline and memory loss could be prevented, and in some cases reversed, through supplementation with DHA, which is contained within the omega-3s themselves. These DHA nutrients even have a positive effect on mood and emotion. In fact, this is the reason why an Omega-3 deficiency can lead to all kinds of depression-related issues.
Omega-3s Keep Your Heart Healthy
Studies suggest that the EPA and DHA found in fatty acids help reduce the risk factors of heart disease, including high cholesterol. Fish oil has also been shown to lower the risk of stroke and even abnormal heart rhythms in individuals who have already had a heart attack.
Fish oil also helps prevent hardening of the arteries by slowing the development of plaque and blood clots which can clog up the arteries.
Omega-3s Naturally Lower Blood Pressure
Several clinical studies suggest that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. The studies found that taking three or more grams of fish oil daily may reduce blood pressure in people with untreated hypertension.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMM), omega 3s may also:
- Improve cholesterol by decreasing triglycerides (the bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL (the good cholesterol) levels. These benefits come primarily from DHA and EPA.
- Improve bone health by positively impacting the body’s calcium levels, thereby reducing the incidence of bone loss, commonly known as osteoporosis.
- Improve skin conditions by helping to alleviate symptoms related to certain disorders like acne and psoriasis.
- Improve bowel health by reducing inflammation of the bowels and helping alleviate symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
- Improve lung health by reducing inflammation in diseases like asthma.
- Reduce the pain associated with PMS and menstruation.
- Help prevent certain types of cancer. Colon, breast, and prostate cancers have all been linked to low levels of omega-3s.
If you suffer from joint pain, memory problems, hypertension, mood disorders, skin problems or a whole host of other problems: it’s important to know that fatty acids, like omega-3, can bring tremendous benefits to your health and may just be the answer you’re looking for.
For example: Have you wondered why so many people are recommending ‘Omega-3s’ for fat loss?
If Omega-3s are a source of fat… isn’t that bad for you? How does it help actually lose fat?
The truth is, contrary to the old wives tales… the good saturated fats do NOT make you fat. Quite the opposite – they are very beneficial to your health and your weight loss goals.
Just What Exactly are Omega-3s Anyway?
Omega-3s are part of a group of fats that are called essential fatty acids (EFAs). They are called ESSENTIAL fatty acids because your body requires them for some of the critical biological processes including energy production and even the burning of fat from your body’s fat stores.
Recently Dr. Udo Erasmus, one of the world’s leading experts on the role of essential oils, stated that omega-3 deficiency is the number one deficiency in the world. According to Dr. Erasmus, over 99% of the world’s population is severely lacking in this essential nutrient.
The reason why Omega-3s are called ‘ESSENTIAL fatty acids’ is because your body actually requires good sources of fat for proper functioning – and you can’t get better than Omega-3!
Common Benefits of adding Omega-3s to your Diet
There are countless studies on the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, and many of those studies talk about the role that omega-3s play in fat burning and weight loss. These studies suggest that omega-3s:
- Lower insulin levels by helping you restore your natural insulin sensitivity. This means the extra calories you eat are burned as energy instead of being stored as body fat.
- Suppress the production of cortisol, a stress-related hormone that can also cause you to store instead of burn off excess fat.
- Improve the blood flow to muscles during exercise thus allowing your body to burn more fat.
- Improve your blood sugar levels so you have more energy to use throughout the day.
- Increase your metabolic rate so your body burns fat faster.
- Support you liver – also known as your fat management organ.
- Increase satiety levels – making you feel fuller for longer.
- An excellent source of Natural Energy.
Are You Getting Enough Essential Fatty Acids in Your Diet?
Chances are you are part of the 99% of the world’s population that is currently experiencing an omega-3 deficiency, which is somewhat alarming because every single cell in your body requires these essential nutrients.
So what is the best way for you to get these fatty acids into your body?
Most health professionals recommend consuming more foods that contain omega-3s. Foods such as:
Just one ounce of flaxseeds provides 1,800 mg of omega-3s. The main omega-3 offered by flaxseed is alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, and this your body converts into DHA and EPA. The great thing about flaxseeds is that they are so versatile. You can simply add some to your salads for a nice crunch, stir some into your oatmeal or yogurt, or bake them into muffins.
Walnuts offer more omega-3s than any other nut providing 2,600 mg per serving. They can be eaten raw – a handful makes a great snack before or after workouts – added to soup and salads, or cooked with vegetables to make a delicious and healthy side dish.
Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens all offer about 100 mg of omega-3s per half-cup serving.
Holy mackerel! Yes, we had to say that. Salmon gets all of the omega-3 glory but it turns out mackerel provides more per serving – 2,200 mg as opposed to salmon’s 1,700. Mackerel is a great tasting fish that does well on the grill or BBQ.
For those vegans looking for a meat substitute that contains a good amount of omega-3s, you need only look to the classic and versatile tofu. A 4 ounce serving has 300 milligrams. You can easily replace meat with tofu in your stir-fries, salads, and soups.
You may have had these delicious soybeans as an appetizer while waiting for your sushi, but you should be eating them more often than that if you’re looking for a good source of omega-3s and protein. A serving contains 560 mg of the essential fatty acids.
If you don’t feel like eating flaxseeds or fish oil, no problem, many farmers are feeding these food items to their hens, which in turn lay eggs that contain even more omega-3s. When shopping, look for the cartons that say the eggs are enriched with fatty acids.
Sweet Red Peppers
No one ever talks about these delicious vegetables being a terrific source of omega-3s, but just one cup of sweet red peppers contains a whopping 822 mg!
If you don’t like fish or don’t like consuming a lot of fish or green vegetables, there are many good supplements on the market that are convenient and work just as well as consuming fresh caught fish – and in my next blog post, I’ll explain the difference between good, superior Fish Oil Supplements… and that cheap, knock-off stuff that’s all over the market. I’ll also explain exactly how much you should be taking each day in order to get the MAXIMUM benefits.
(Editor’s note: If you’d rather not wait until tomorrow – here’s MY recommended brand of Omega-3 oil)
For most people, the effects of Omega-3 in your diet start to show immediately. As well as the benefits mentioned above, you’ll also start to notice a decrease in your carb cravings, along with less pain in your joints. The combination of these two alone will help you make better food choices and exercise more… and before you know it, you’ll see the weight just sliding off your body. Essentially, you’ll start to LOOK and FEEL better than ever before.