Fat often gets a bad rap. However, the human body needs fat to keep things running smoothly. Our bodies can make most the fats we need, but omega-3 fats can’t be produced in the body and must come from food. That’s why omega-3 is known as an essential fat; it’s essential that it comes from your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in seafood, oils, nuts, flax seeds and leafy vegetables. So, why do we need omega-3 fatty acids? Read on to find out.
Multiple studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart. This essential fat is known to reduce bad cholesterol (triglycerides), reduce the risk of irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias), help lower blood pressure and prevent hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
It Relieves Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
A number of clinical studies suggest that diets high in omega-3 fatty acids can alleviate joint pain and morning stiffness caused by rheumatoid arthritis (RA). While omega-3 fats can’t prevent joint damage associated with RA, it can treat the symptoms of the disease and allow patients to reduce their dose of anti-inflammatory drugs.
It Can Slow The Aging Process
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, increasing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids (through diet or supplements) can prevent macular degeneration — an age-related condition of the eye that can cause blindness. The UMMC also reports that higher levels of omega-3 fats can slow or even prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
It May Prevent Cancer
Researchers believe that omega-3 fatty acids can help in the fight against cancer. Demographic research as well as animal and laboratory studies posit that eating foods rich in omega-3 may reduce the risk of colon cancer and help slow the progression of the disease. Further population-based studies imply that a low-fat diet that includes omega-3 fatty acids may prevent prostate cancer, as well.
If you’re looking for more ways to incorporate omega-3 fatty acids, work with a nutritionist or see this list from the National Institute of Health’s MedlinePlus publication. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.