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5 Reasons to Love Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The age of nonfat foods seems to be drawing to a close as the benefits of certain fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, make the headlines almost daily. Found mostly in cold-water fish like salmon (here's my new favorite wild salmon recipe), omega-3s do some wonderful things for your body. Here are five of them.

  1. Keeps the aches and pains at bay: Recent studies at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center found that taking a fish-oil supplement for 20 to 30 days relieved chronic back and neck pain. This may be due to omega-3's ability to fight inflammation.
  2. Fights obesity with fat: Omega-3s improve the body's response to insulin by stimulating the secretion of leptin. Leptin is an hormone that helps regulate not only food intake, but body weight and metabolism as well.
  3. Improves your mood: This form of fat has been shown to stabilize and lessen mood swings as well as decrease depression by helping the brain create the feel-good brain chemical serotonin.

There's a couple more reasons so


  1. Reduces exercise induced asthma: In a recent study at Indiana University found that fish-oil supplements helped control exercise-triggered asthma symptoms.
  2. Keeps the heart healthy: One of the well known benefits of omega-3s is for heart health. The fat helps to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, which are both associated with heart disease when the levels are too high. Omega-3s also help lower blood pressure. Plus, these fats fight inflammation, which contributes to heart disease as well.

Fit's Tip: It is difficult to eat the recommended 1,100mg daily. The easiest way to ensure that you are eating enough omega-3s is to take a fish-oil supplement.


Join The Conversation
PharmaFishOil PharmaFishOil 8 years
It is important that people learn how to identify and use the right kind of fish oil. Some low grade oils will actually contain pollutants such as PCB's, polymerized and oxidized lipids. Pharmaceutical grade oils do not contain these pollutants. When you compare the prices of pharmaceutical grade fish oil vs. normal fish oil, you will of course find that the higher the quality, the higher the price. But before you make your purchase, just remember the old adage “You get what you pay for.”
ConstantHappines ConstantHappines 8 years
That is true nobodymuch! I have been fascinated lately by the effects Omega 3 DHA and EPA have on the body. It is truly incredible. The only supplement I would recommend is the one I take by Neurovi,com because of the high quality and the research I found on their web page, it gives me what I need and I plan on taking it when I do conceive.. I remember even reading somewhere that the developing fetus takes this nutrient from the Mother..(as with every other nourishment it needs)if she does not supply enough in her diet. Guess where the biggest concentration of this is.. yes , the brain which is composed almost entirely of DHA. Ever wonder why sometimes pregnant women feel like they have "lost their mind" or "feel forgetful, even dealt with post partum depression??? It's crazy!!!
missyd missyd 9 years
my typing is atrotious.... :-s
missyd missyd 9 years
yeah. I followed htat whole "healthy fats don't amke you fat!" movement and gained 10lbs quite easily, without changing ANYTHING else. So I dont believe any of this for a second, no matter how hard they push it. Yes, le ts eat more fatty fish, nuts, oils, etc ans lose weight........
emalove emalove 9 years
Great info.!
brumblebug brumblebug 9 years
Actually flax seed oil has no fiber, only flax seeds themselves do, and flax seed oil only provides ALA, and very little DHA, so the body needs to convert the ALA to a type of omega-3 fatty acid it can use. And according to studies, the body converts very little ALA into DHA and EPA, so it is not a particularly good source of the *specific* O3 fats that the body needs. Since the body uses DHA and EPA, seafood is the best source, and nut and seed oils are better than nothing, but really not so hot... Source:
nobodymuch nobodymuch 9 years
They're also linked to fetal brain development, so supplements are also a great idea during pregnancy, especially since many people cut fish out of their diets altogether. But stop them a couple of days before elective surgery, since just like aspirin, they can interfere with blood clotting and can increase the risk of bleeding. If you hate the taste of the fish oil, flax seed oil has many/most of the same benefits, and also contains a bunch of fiber. I'm a huge fan of both
brumblebug brumblebug 9 years
Actually Omega-3 fatty acids are good for a whole lot more, you'd be amazed. Alzheimer's, asthma, diabetes, there are an incredible number of disorders and diseases that can be helped by increasing omega-3 intake. Check out for a lot more information (just pointing out an interesting website, not a shill :)
imLissy imLissy 9 years
#3 is definitely true. Exercise has helped with my mood a lot, but boy howdy, since I've been taking the fish oil, I've been all smiles all the time!
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I take fish oil pills every day because I know I don't get enough omega-3s otherwise. They definitely help with inflammation in the tendons and I do notice that I'm in a better mood when I take them.
nancita nancita 9 years
Wow, I didn't know all this. I just knew they were good for your heart, but I didn't know about the mood-enhancing effects. Very cool.
pugglelover pugglelover 9 years
I'm all about the fish oil! Don't really like salmon so I decided to just take the supplements and I have for 6 months now and I didn't get eczema @ all!
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