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Omega-3 is the name of a certain type of "fatty acid" - one that is commonly found in fish and shellfish. Dietary fats are necessary for a healthy body. Some nutrients in food are fat soluble - that is, your body needs fat in order to absorb them properly. Your brain also functions better with a healthy amount of dietary fat. Some call Omega-3 fatty acids brain food due to the cognitive boost they receive. Fish oil is one of nature's richest sources of Omega-3. It is found in fatty, cold-water dwelling fish. While our bodies are able to manufacture most of the types of fat we need, we aren't able to create Omega-3. Hence the need to obtain it from our diet. Two specific compounds found in fish oil are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) - you've probably heard about these before. Fatty acids have many health benefits.

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Support healthy pregnancy and fertility

Most parents and expectant parents have heard about the benefits of DHA on brain growth and development both with the fetus in the womb and for babies, especially in the first year. Your brain needs plenty of fat to operate and grow. In fact, the brain grows more in the first year of life than at any other point. It's a critical building block for baby's brain, eye, and nervous systems. Fish oil is a valuable source of DHA. If you wish to become pregnant, fish oil can boost a woman's fertility as well as a man's sperm health and mobility. If both parents have a diet rich in Omega-3, the chances of a viable impregnation increase substantially.

Especially nutritious for pregnant women
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Reduce ADHD symptoms

Children with ADHD experience lack of attention, focus, and restlessness. In studies of children with ADHD who were given Omega-3 supplements and those who weren't, the ones receiving the supplements showed marked improvement in academic performance and reduced expression of aggressiveness and impulsiveness. ADHD is a cognitive disorder, and improving brain function is thought to be one way of reducing the expression of ADHD symptoms. As the brain is 60 percent fat, the theory behind the supplements is to increase healthy fats the body.

Reduce ADHD symptoms
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Reduce the severity of Alzheimer's disease

The essential fatty acids in fish oil can slow cognitive decline in older adults by decreasing brain shrinkage. The health effects of proper amounts of dietary fat were shown to halt brain entropy in adults who were exhibiting early signs of dementia. Further studies showed that adults without a genetic predisposition toward developing Alzheimer's disease and dementia demonstrated markedly less cognitive decline that adults who did not supplement their diet with fish oil. Although Omega-3 isn't suggested as a cure for dementia, it has been shown to offest some of the symptoms.

Reduce the severity of Alzheimer's disease
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Treat arthritis

In studies of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, those who began an Omega-3 regimen in addition to their healthy diet and activity program not only exhibited fewer instances of flare-ups but also noticed increased flexibility and mobility in their joints. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, which ease the symptoms of arthritis. Increasing the levels of dietary fats and DHA in the diet is thought to reduce inflammation of the cartilage around the joints, thereby decreasing the pain and stiffness from arthritis. In long-term evaluations, these results were found to have remained consistent, suggesting lasting results from daily fish oil supplements.

Treat arthritis

Natural cancer treatment

Several separate scientific studies have shown that fish oil can kill several different kinds of cancer, including colon, prostate, and breast. In addition to making some cancer-treatment drugs more effective, fish oil has been demonstrated as a stand-alone natural remedy in its own right. Omega-3s have antiproliferative effects; that is, they inhibit cancer cell growth. Cancer cells develop as damaged or abnormal cells; by regulating the balance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body, Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent the development of abnormal cancer cells. In addition, the anti-inflammatory effects are demonstrated to reduce or prohibit tumor growth.

Natural cancer treatment

Improve cardiovascular health

While a diet high in saturated fat may not be the best bet for those with a predisposition for cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension and stroke risks, substituting healthy dietary fats for unsaturated, processed fats may lead to improved heart health. Adding Omega-3 to your diet and eliminating unhealthy fats has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels. In addition to improving overall heart health, people who have added fish oil to their diet over the course over several months actually improved their chances of survival and recovery from heart attacks. Anti-inflammatory properties of Omega -3s also improve the overall functioning of your heart.

Improve cardiovascular health

Alleviate anxiety and depression

Omega-3 has been demonstrated to reduce the expression of anxiety symptoms. Supplementing your body with fish oil during different periods of development may actually reduce the likelihood of developing generalized anxiety disorder. In addition to reducing the onset of anxiety, fish oil given to teens was demonstrated to reduce the risk of depressive disorders. As part of a brain-healthy diet, Omega-3 in fish oil can stimulate the dopamine receptors in the brain, leading to reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression

Alleviate mild depression

Reduce risk of metabolic syndrome

Fish oil contains properties that reduce the damage that diabetes causes to the Hippocampus. The fish oil reduces the destruction of the cells in the organ. The fish oil also prevents oxidative stress, which aggravates the complications from diabetes. Eating oily fish may also reduce your risk of developing eye complications from diabetes. Long-term studies have shown that people who consistently have Omega-3 as part of their diet were nearly 50 percent less likely to develop diabetic retinopathy than those who did not.

Control Diabetes

Improve the condition of skin and hair

A diet rich in healthy dietary fats improves the texture of your skin. It simulates collagen regeneration and reducing oxidative stress responsible for dull and lifeless skin. Your nails will also become less brittle and flaky. Strong, shiny hear comes from a diet rich in healthy fats. Deficiency of DHA and EPA in your diet can contribute to skin conditions, such as dandruff, psoriasis, and eczema. Incorporating Omega-3 into your diet improves your body's ability to process fat-soluble vitamins for better skin health.

Improve the condition of skin and hair

Incorporating Omega-3 into your diet

Fish oil supplements may be taken once a day in pill form, for those who don't enjoy eating fish. Oily fish, especially cold-water dwelling fish, is a good natural source of Omega-3. Salmon, mackerel, sardines, and bluefish are all commonly found fish that can deliver the proper amount of Omega-3 for your diet. There isn’t a set standard recommendation for how much Omega-3 we need each day.  Suggestions range from a fish oil dosage of 500 to 1,000 milligrams daily, depending on your age, size, and gender. More fish oil isn't always better, however. Your intake of Omega-3 fats should remain in balance with your Omega-6 fats.

Incorporating Omega-3 into your diet

Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.