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There are a wide variety of nutrients that are important for a healthy body and long life, one such group of important nutrients is Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are a major group of nutrients that have been the most studied throughout the world, with more than 27,000 published studies on its benefits and importance. This set of nutrients plays a crucial role in our bodies and is a very important part of cell membranes, hence they influence the immune responses and the immune system.
So what exactly are Omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fats that your body cannot produce on its own, hence taking care of your diet and indulging in Omega-3 rich foods is essential. The term "polyunsaturated" refers to the chemical structure of these fats, where "poly" means many, and "unsaturated" means double bonds. In simple words Omega 3s have a double bond structure. As per the World Health Organization, it is recommended for an individual to indulge in at least two portions of oily fish per week so that the body can get enough amount of omega-3s EPA and DHA.
There are several kinds of omega-3 fatty acids that have different chemical formations, shapes, and sizes. The most important three that we require in the body are:
This is a 20-carbon fatty acid and its main function in the body is to produce chemicals like eicosanoids, which are responsible for the reduction of body inflammation. Also, in a study it was found that this chemical can reduce and prevent depression.
This is a 22-carbon fatty acid and it makes up about 8% of the entire brain weight. Hence, it is extremely important in proper brain development and functioning.
This is an 18-carbon fatty acid that can be converted into EPA and DHA by the body, but the process is not very efficient. Our body requires ALA for energy generation.
These 3 fatty acids play a crucial part in the production and maintenance of human cell membranes, hence they contribute to several other important functions of the body as well, which are responsible for the overall health of an individual.
It is said that Omega-3 fatty acids increase 'good' DHL cholesterol. Also, they reduce blood pressure, triglycerides, and arterial plaques.
Consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids is said to reduce depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.
Omega-3 helps in the reduction of fatty liver issues, by decreasing the amount of fat accumulation in the liver.
Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to better bone mineral density.
Body inflammation is the number 1 cause of chronic diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to fight body and organ inflammation.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be directly related to the immune system, as they are part of the very foundation of our bodies, and contribute to the construction of cellular membranes, they can also regulate the membrane properties. By doing so Omega-3s support the immune cell functions and enhance immunity.
The immune system is interesting and complex at the same time. It consists of lymph nodes and cells known as lymphocytes, which work together to destroy foreign pathogens that cause infections in the body. The lymphocytes are made up of T-cells and B-cells. It is the responsibility of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) to enhance the actions of these immune cells, which results in high immunity levels.
Now that we know how important omega-3 fatty acids are, the question arises is how to incorporate these nutrients into the diet.
But the quality of food that we have these days might compromise the nutrient levels. To make sure you meet the daily requirement of omega-3s you can introduce supplements to your diet. Meadbery's Omega-3 Balanced has a triple strength formulation and an enteric lemon coating, that suppresses the fishy after taste.