Why is Omega 3 Fatty Acids Important?
For a long time, fats have been criticized for not being good for our body for all the wrong reasons. This is true especially in Indian households because of the kind of cuisines followed/liked and the fast-food consumption. However, with the increasing dialogue around health, the right nutrition, and fitness, more and more people are coming around to the idea of how good fats are not just beneficial but an essential component of nutrition for our body.
If you are one of those people who are trying to adopt healthy ways of eating and a healthy lifestyle, chances are you’ve heard of omega-3 fatty acids. It is one of those nutrients that is incredibly important for your body's functioning and has some powerful health benefits you can’t ignore.
Let’s dive deeper!
What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential polyunsaturated fats that the body cannot make on its own. They help build and maintain a healthy body and are key to the structure of every cell wall you have. They are also a source of energy and help to keep your lungs, heart, blood vessels, and immune system working efficiently. There are very few nutrients that come close to the essential omega-3 fatty acids in terms of health benefits. Hence, you should make conscious efforts to consume omega-3 in your diet.
Importance of Omega-3 fatty acids for your body
Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most thoroughly studied nutrients. It is known to have various colossal health benefits that are supported by science.
- Increases your lean muscle mass and reduces fat mass: While it is a general belief that a high-fat diet is a contributing factor in excess body fat accumulation, several studies have clearly shown that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may lead to significantly lower total body fat stores. According to studies, supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids may significantly increase lean mass and aid reduction in fat mass. Omega-3 fatty acids support your liver to reduce liver fat in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Omega-3s are also known to potentially reduce symptoms of metabolic syndromes and can improve insulin resistance, inflammation, and heart disease risk factors in people with metabolic syndromes.
- Aides muscle recovery and reduces soreness: Another benefit of omega-3 fatty acids is that it aids muscle recovery and reduces muscle soreness. Studies have found that omega-3 supplementation decreases soreness, which is a marker of inflammation, after eccentric exercise. It could provide amazing benefits by minimizing the post-exercise soreness and facilitating exercise training in all individuals, especially in athletes, people with sedentary lifestyles, or patients who are starting medical treatments or exercise programs such as physical therapy or cardiac rehabilitation.
- Improves heart health and reduces oxygen consumption: Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential nutrient for the heart and one with immense benefits. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids reduce heart rate and oxygen consumption during exercise. According to various studies, omega-3s may cause a major reduction in triglycerides, reduce blood pressure in people living with high blood pressure, raise the levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, prevent the formation of harmful blood clots, and prevent plaque. These benefits depict how omega-3 fatty acids have the potential to improve numerous heart disease risk factors.
- Increased rate of Muscle Protein Synthesis: One of the biggest public health concerns is the loss of muscle mass with aging as it reduces the quality of life. There is some evidence that suggests that Omega-3 fatty acids are a potentially useful therapeutic agent for the treatment of sarcopenia or age-related loss in skeletal muscle. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that may also help in alleviating muscle anabolic resistance in older adults.
Other significant health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids include improved eye health, reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression, enhanced brain health, reduced risk of autoimmune diseases, improved mental health disorders, reduced risk of certain cancers, improved sleep, reduced menstrual pain, prevention of premature skin aging. With all these benefits, omega-3 fatty acids are a vital nutrient for optimal health. It is important to note that our body does not naturally make this essential nutrient and hence, we should ensure robust omega-3 intake through the consumption of foods rich in Omega-3 & Omega-3 Supplements.
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