Many advertisements use the presence of omega 3 to promote their content. From beauty products to consumable items, everyone seems to be on that bandwagon. Omega 3s are fatty acids that make up a family of polyunsaturated fats. They are a type of fat that our bodies do not naturally produce, however they are essential fats i.e. we need them in order to survive. This means that we need to derive our source of omega 3 from the foods we eat.
There are 3 main types of omega 3 fatty acids; ALA, DHA, and EPA, and they can all be found naturally in various food sources. The most commonly known source is fish and seafood, the best being cold-water fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, and herring. There are many plant-based sources that contain omega-3s. Nuts and seeds such as chia seeds and walnuts as well as soybeans, seaweed, and many plant oils. Avocado is also known to be a great source of much-needed fatty acids. Eating a variety of these foods can ensure that you get adequate amounts of omega-3s, and if not, there are also many manufactured foods that are fortified with omega 3.
So now that you know where to get them, what are they good for? Firstly they are extremely important for your brain and retinas, this means that they can improve eye health. Studies have shown that people who consume more omega-3s are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. They have also been shown to improve risk factors for heart disease by addressing common issues like blood pressure, inflammation, and cholesterol maintenance. Omega 3 fatty acids will also improve your external health. DHA is responsible for the health of cell membranes, and this makes up a large part of your skin. Since it is such a structural component of your skin, healthy cell membranes help it to stay soft, supple, moist, and wrinkle-free. EPA also helps with skin maintenance, by reducing premature aging and the risk of acne. Omega-3s also provide essential proteins and nutrients to hair follicles, thus promoting hair growth and preventing hair loss.