There are so many health benefits that Omega 3’s provide that I could write a whole book on them (and people have ☺)! They are considered essential fatty acids because they cannot be created by our body and we need to obtain them from our diet, this is what makes them so important. They function in our bodies to regulate cellular processes such as cell function, immune system responses, and hormone production.
There are different forms of omega 3 which all have different functions in the body. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are found in highest quantities in marine sources such as fish oils. EPA has been well studied as a powerful anti-inflammatory especially for the cardiovascular system and in auto-immune conditions. It has also been shown to improve and stabilize mood and reduce joint pain. DHA protects the brain and improves memory and is especially important for brain development in children.
During pregnancy, the growing fetus steals their mother’s DHA stores to develop their own nervous systems (see this post for more info on pregnancy brain). Plant based omega 3’s includes ALA which also protects the cardiovascular system, regulate hormones, and balance the immune system. Some dietary sources of omega 3’s include cold water fish like salmon, ground flaxseeds, chiaseeds, walnuts, kale, and marine algae.
What are Omega 6's?
For benefits of other vitamins, click here.