In many ways, the path to good health seems like a relatively simple process: exercise regularly, get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and avoid foods that can promote high cholesterol and other problems. This last step often means cutting out meals that are high in fat, sodium and other harmful qualities. However, the terms thrown around in these cases are often misleading; in fact, some of these negative factors are an important part of healthy living. Omega 3 fatty acids, for example, offer a number of health benefits to everyone from infants to the elderly.
Omega 3 fatty acids are actually required for human health but are not created by the body, meaning that we must make up our quota through our diet. For this reason, a number of countries and health organizations worldwide recommend that the average person consume at least 500 milligrams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), two long chain omega-3s, per day. While omega 3 fatty acids are found in a number of foods, particularly fish, many people turn to fish oil pills to help them consume this amount. These fish oil supplements and a diet high in omega 3 can have a highly beneficial effect on a number of people, including:
- Pregnant Women and Developing Babies–Not only do the two types of omega 3 fatty acids promote a healthy heart, immune system, inflammatory response, brain, eyes, and central nervous system, all of which are important functions for women and infants, but they also help with neurological development and the production of breast milk. They can also help prevent pre-term labor and low birth weight.
- Children–Children with diets heavy in omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to have improved mental skills, including thinking, remembering and learning. This is likely due to the substance’s connection to healthy neurological function.
- People With Asthma–Omega-3s can help lower inflammation, a major component in Asthma. However, this same reduction of inflammation can help promote optimal health. Doctors typically recommend consuming both omega 3 fatty acids and omega-6s, another type of beneficial fat with pro-inflammatory properties, to keep the body in balance.
- People With ADHD–Some studies have demonstrated that fish oil capsules and other forms of omega 3 fatty acids can actually reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Like many of the other cases on this list, this is likely because of the substance’s role in neurological development, which can help many people focus.
There are a variety of healthy activities and practices the average person can partake in to stay healthy or improve the state of their health, including exercise and a healthy diet. However, it is also important to ensure that your body is getting the components it needs through supplements and foods. Have you had your fish oil today?