Omega 3 is a type of healthy fat for your body, which is found especially in sea water fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines, and in seeds like chia seeds and flaxseed.
It works by reducing inflammation, controlling cholesterol levels, preventing atherosclerosis, and protecting the body from cardiovascular and brain diseases by improving memory and mood. In addition to its natural sources in food, omega-3s can also be consumed in capsules, which are sold in pharmacies and nutrition supplement stores.
Omega 3 benefits
Omega 3 acts as an anti-inflammatory and protects the cells in the body, bringing the following benefits:
The omega 3 ensures the proper functioning of the brain, improving memory and reasoning. In addition, it is important to prevent cardiovascular disease and decrease the risk of developing cancer, for example. The main benefits of omega 3 include:
- Improves learning abilities;
- Helps regulate blood clotting;
- Reduces inflammation, being good for fighting problems such as inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis;
- Improves heart function and blood pressure;
- Helps fight allergies and asthma;
- Helps to fight depression;
- Improves blood cholesterol levels;
- Strengthens the immune system;
- Helps maintain testosterone levels for optimal muscle development.
Omega 3 is a very important nutrient for brain function, because 60% of the brain is made up of fat, especially Omega 3. The deficient intake of this fat is associated with greater memory loss of the elderly and higher levels of feelings of distress and depression.
Recommended amount per day
The recommended daily dose of omega 3 varies according to age, as shown below:
- Infants from 0 to 12 months: 500 mg;
- Children from 1 to 3 years of age: 700 mg;
- Children aged 4 to 8 years of age: 900 mg;
- Boys from 9 to 13 years of age: 1200 mg;
- Girls 9 to 13 years of age: 1000 mg;
- Adult and elderly men: 1600 mg;
- Adult and elderly women: 1100 mg;
- Pregnant women: 1400 mg;
- Women who breastfeed: 1300 mg.
It is important to remember that in omega-supplements in capsule form vary in concentration according to the manufacturer and therefore supplements can recommend from 1 to 4 tablets a day. In general, the label of omega-3 supplements brings the amount of EPA and DHA on the label, and it is the sum of these two values that will give you the total recommended amount you should consume each day, as described above.
Foods rich in Omega 3
The main source of omega 3 in your diet should come from sea water fish such as sardines, tuna, cod, cacao and salmon. Besides them, this nutrient is also present in seeds such as chia and linseed, chestnuts, walnuts and olive oil.
Among the vegetable sources, flaxseed oil is the richest omega-3 food, being very important that vegetarians include it in their diets.
Benefits of Omega 3 during pregnancy
Omega-3 supplementation in pregnancy can be recommended because it prevents premature births and improves the child's neurological development, and in premature babies this supplementation improves their cognitive abilities, since the deficient intake of this fat is associated with a lower IQ in the baby.
Omega supplementation during pregnancy brings benefits such as:
- Prevents maternal depression;
- Reduces cases of premature delivery;
- Lower risk of allergies and asthma in children;
- Better neurocognitive development in children.
Omega 3 supplementation can also be done during breastfeeding, so that the needs of the mother and baby are met.