Why Are Omega-3 Fats Good for Health?

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Omega-3 fatty acids have many beneficial effects on the body.

  • They improve heart health. Major studies have shown that consumption of omega-3 significantly improves heart health and reduces the risk of heart complications. In one study, men with the lowest levels of omega-3 in the blood were 81 percent more likely to suffer death from sudden heart failure than those with the highest levels in their blood.

Omega-3 fats help to keep your heart healthy by:

  • Lowering triglyceride levels
  • Reducing hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Reducing the risk of coronary heart disease
  • They decrease inflammation. Regular consumption of Omega-3 can lessen the severity of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis or painful menstrual periods.
  • They fight depression. In countries where people eat more fish, such as Scandinavian and East Asian nations, there tend to be lower rates of depression. Research suggests that this is because the omega-3 fats in fish have anti-depressant-like effects.

The American Heart Association recommends eating fish, especially oily types of fish, twice a week, to help with increasing your intake of omega-3 fats.

Fish that are high in Omega-3 include salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, herring and halibut. However, some types of fish may contain high levels of mercury which make them unsuitable choices for women who are planning to become pregnant or who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or for young children.

If you are thinking about taking omega-3 supplements, be sure to only purchase supplements from a reputable company which certifies that their products are free of contaminants. It's also important to consult a medical professional who can determine whether supplements are suitable for your particular circumstances and advise you on any potential side effects.