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You’re Likely to Not Getting Enough of This Fundamental Nutrient (Omega-3)

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You’re Likely to Not Getting Enough of This Fundamental Nutrient (Omega-3)

While the body requires a range of fats for various purposes (energy production, regulating oxygen, and hormone generation and so on), we cannot produce them on our own, meaning we need to consume them frequently within our diets.

You’re Likely to Not Getting Enough of This Fundamental Nutrient (Omega-3)

A key example of this is for omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in fish, nuts and seeds, vegetables, and in the form of fish oil supplements. Unfortunately, many of us do not find enough of this important nutrient within our daily diets to have an adequate amount for our body to perform the functions needed. 

Why You Need Omega-3 Fats In Your Diet

Omega-3 fats make up a significant portion of the cell membranes found throughout the body, and dominate the function of cell receptors. These fats are made up of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and are essential in paving the way for hormones responsible for regulating blood clotting, the contraction and easing of arterial walls, as well as managing inflammation in the body. Beyond this, omega-3 fats will also bind receptors within cells regulating genetic function. In a wider view, omega-3 fats have been documented to lower blood pressure, elevate the functioning of blood vessels, and lower triglycerides. Due to these crucial roles, studies have shown that introducing sufficient amounts of omega-3 within your diet can potentially work to manage the symptoms of eczema, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. 

Potential Symptoms of a Lack of Omega-3

Within our fast-paced lifestyles, it isn’t always simple to measure the nutritional content of each of our meals. The key is to start look at what our bodies are telling us. It might not be a direct link, but if you aren’t getting enough omega-3 within your diet, your body could start to show some potential signs that might be a warning to rethink what you’re eating. 

Dry & Flaky Skin

Many people simply write it off to the weather, but omega-3 fats play a large role in maintaining the moisture within your hair and skin. Should you notice flaky patches or unusually dry hair developing, you could be low on omega-3. Further consumption aids in preventing inflammation brought on by ultraviolet rays and hyperpigmentation. The essential fats are working towards helping the skin remain in a state of homeostasis, keeping it supple, glowing and nourished. Leaving this extended deficiency unchecked can lead to further issues, such as dermatitis and psoriasis. 

Increased Joint Pain

Inadequate omega-3 replenishment within our diet can also result in inflammation developing within joints throughout the body. Sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis can potentially find relief through increased consumption of omega-3 fats, especially in the mornings, when tenderness and limited flexibility is at its worst. After all, omega-3 fats are responsible for the structural integrity of our cells, and when reduced levels are present, this will naturally start to decline. 

Higher Blood Pressure

As we mentioned earlier, omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in managing heart health, and are associated with lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels. Should higher blood pressure be noted, this could be a concerning sign of low omega-3 levels. 

How Best to Introduce More Omega-3 Fats Into Your Diet

Omega-3 fatty acids can easily be introduced more into your diet with some careful alterations. The most well-known is through consuming at least two servings of fish per week (100 grams each), with the amount of omega-3 per serving ranging between 0.5 – 2.5 grams depending on the fish of choice. Alternatively, there are plant-based foods, such as a selection of seeds, nuts and natural oils, but these will result in less DHA and EPA entering the body. For more convenient consumption, one can always turn to fish oil supplements. These are a cost-effective, efficient source of omega-3 with DHA and EPA ready for direct benefit for the body, without making drastic changes to weekly meals.