Omega-3s are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids made up of ALA, DHA, and EPA. They are essential to human health for certain vital functions and benefits. However, as the body cannot produce it on its own, Omega-3s needs to be obtained from out diets. ALA it is typically found in plant-based oils, nuts and flaxseeds. On the other hands, EPA and DHA can be obtained from seafood such as salmon and tuna, as well as oysters.
Various research shows that consuming oily fish and other types of seafood as part of a healthy balanced diet may prevent coronary heart disease related death and stroke. Try to aim for oily fish at least twice a week to fulfil dietary requirements!
Health Benefits of Omega-3s
It can ease menstrual pain
Ever experienced severe cramps during that time of the month? If you’re still not getting your daily dose of omega-3s, this may just convince you otherwise. Known scientifically as dysmenorrhea, menses cramps plague women from all works of life. Studies have shown that women who consume the most omega-3s have the least severe of menstrual cramps. In fact, omega-3s were shown to be even more effective than ibuprofen, an over-the-counter painkiller!
It alleviates rheumatoid arthritis
Women are 2–3 times more likely to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) than men, especially during the later years of life. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joints in different areas, resulting in inflammation and pain. Omega-3s reduce production of molecules and substances related to inflammation. As such, it may help to alleviate joint swelling, pain and morning stiffness because of its anti-inflammatory effects.
It is good for your skin
DHA is a structural component of your skin. It is responsible for the health of cell membranes, which make up a large part of your skin. As such, it is important to consume enough of it to keep your skin healthy. It helps keep your skin hydrated, and even reduces the chances of developing acne. Say hello to omega-3s, and goodbye to acne!
It can help with depression
Research has found omega-3 to be effective against depression. Those who regularly ingest omega-3 supplements have been found to be less susceptible to depression. Symptoms of depression and anxiety also lessen after taking omega-3 supplements. While not a complete cure for these mental illnesses, omega-3 offer an alternative treatment option and can help mitigate damage.
It may reduce cancer risk
Cancer has risen to be one of the most prominent diseases worldwide. This is no exception in Singapore, where the top three cancers that affect women are breast, colorectal, and lung cancers. Interestingly, studies have shown that those who consume the most omega-3s seem to have a lowered risk of colon cancer compared to the rest of the population. Omega-3 is also linked to reduced risk of prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. Though results are inconclusive at current time, it seems that omega-3 may have a part to play in keeping cancer at bay.
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