The importance of Omega-3
Omega-3 is called an essential fatty acid for a reason – it’s essential for your body to function, but also has some surprising hidden health benefits too.
What does Omega-3 do? Omega-3s make up important parts of cell membranes in our body, helping our organs, immune system and hormone system function properly.
Is Omega-3 a vitamin? Our bodies cannot produce Omega-3, so it is considered an essential nutrient in the same way some vitamins are considered essential. This essentially means we have to get Omega-3 fatty acids from our diet.
Why do our bodies need Omega-3? Omega-3 has several important roles within the human body including contributing to the health of normal vision, brain and heart function, as well as supporting the health of your bones, joints, and skin.
What are some of the benefits of Omega-3?
- Sleep better - Getting enough Omega-3 may help improve your sleep. Low levels of Omega-3 have been associated with sleep apnea in adults, sleep problems in children and lower levels of a hormone that helps you sleep called melatonin.
- Keep skin hydrated - Omega-3 supports the membranes of cells, which make up a large part of your skin. When skin membranes are healthy, they appear softer, more supple and more hydrated. Supplementing with Omega-3 also helps to reduce the severity of acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
- Maintain a healthy heart - EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids can help protect blood vessels and the heart from disease by helping to: improve blood flow around the body, keep your heart beating steadily, maintain normal blood pressure, and maintain normal levels of triglycerides (fat that enters our blood after eating a meal).
- Support bone and joint health - Our bones and joints need adequate calcium levels to stay healthy. Omega-3 fatty acids help bones retain more calcium, which can lead to a reduced risk of conditions like osteoporosis.
- Keep your eyes healthy - Omega-3 DHA helps make up the retina of your eye (around 93% of all the Omega-3 fatty acids in your retina is DHA) and the grey matter of the brain. While DHA cannot reverse damage of the retina, it can help to support healthy vision and slow down the degeneration of the retina.
What are the recommendations? Unfortunately, most of us aren’t getting enough Omega-3. Around 95% of people are not meeting Omega-3 recommendations. Although there are no specific recommended intakes for Omega-3 in the UK, there are well documented health and performance benefits of incorporating marine-based Omega-3 sources into the diet. For some, this comes in the form of oily fish or fish oil supplements, but algae oil is a cruelty-free, sustainable option that has been shown to be just as effective, without the contamination of heavy metals and other pollutants in fish. At Holy, we incorporate plenty of Omega-3 fats into our meals by using ingredients such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds and walnuts. We also provide tasty Omega-3 gummies to boost intake levels.