You’ve probably heard of omega-3 fatty acids. They are known for their health benefits and can supposedly help deal with anything from cardiovascular disease to depression. But what does science say? Are omega-3s really as beneficial as people suggest?
What are Omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are types of fats known as essential fats. Unlike other fats your body can build from raw bricks, essential fats must come from your food. There are three types of omega-3s: docosahexaenoic acid (
What are the health benefits?
Heart health: Most of the research on the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids is about heart health, and the evidence is overwhelming. A diet rich in omega-3s can greatly reduce the chances of developing many forms of heart disease. Fatty acids help by regulating the heart rate, minimizing the chances of heart attack, arrhythmia and other heart problems.
Cardiovascular health: Evidence also indicates that other areas of the cardiovascular system benefit from omega-3s. Research shows that people who eat foods rich in these fatty acids have, on average, lower blood pressure, wider blood vessels, and less atherosclerosis than those lacking omega-3s.
Mental health: Another area where omega-3s can help is depression. The exact mechanism is unknown, but the evidence points to improving symptoms with an omega-3-rich diet. Additionally, these fatty acids can also reduce anxiety and improve brain function. Improved brain function has led to suggesting that omega-3s may be crucial in the fight against