Today we are talking about the popular nutritional buzzword ‘Omegas’. Omegas fatty acids are essential fats that have numerous health benefits. Essential fats are compounds that for the most part cannot be made naturally in the body, and are essential for maintaining the systems in the body in best working order. They have to be consumed through outside sources like food and supplements. There are several types of omega’s, including omega 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9. The different types of omegas offer different health benefits. The reason why the omegas are designated with numbers has to do with their chemical structure. An important function of omegas is that they help reduce inflammation, and all disease starts with inflammation on a cellular level. If we can prevent or treat inflammation then that means that on a larger scale we can do the same for disease, especially chronic diseases that are preventable like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Omega-3’s are the most researched and popular of the omega family. They play an important role in supporting our most vital organs: the brain and the heart. They protect the lining of the brain by nourishing brain cells and maintaining the connections between those cells that the brain uses for information processing and moving limbs. Omega-3s are also vital for our brain cells – and all our cells – to make the energy they need in order to function. This promotes cognitive health in seniors, by alleviating mild memory problems associated with aging, as well as improving focus. Omegas support cardiovascular health by improving blood lipids and supporting cardiac longevity. They clear plaque in the heart vessels, which helps keep them from constricting. This is a main mechanism behind heart disease because when blood is not reaching the heart, then a heart attack occurs. Omega-3’s also promote a healthy pregnancy by supporting normal fetal brain and eye development, as well as a healthy birth weight. In addition, studies have shown that it can help with mental health and emotional vulnerabilities by improving mood and affect.