Omega-3 fatty acids ranks among the most important essential nutrients out there and is a vital in keeping our body, and cells, healthy. Essential fatty acids were discovered in the 1920’s but public interest in the health benefits of omega-3 began when researchers noticed that Eskimos, who mainly ate oily fish, had fewer heart problems despite their high fat diet. Omega-3 fats were identified as the factors in their diets that appeared to offer so many health benefits.
Omega-3 comes from both animal and plant sources and both offer different benefits. Omega-3 keeps your blood pressure at a healthy level and reduces fat buildup in the arteries from the “bad” LDL cholesterol in your blood. For both these reasons, it reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, the biggest killer in the UK. Omega-3 has a number of other jobs in the body, including helping with cell structure and the formation of cell membranes, circulating oxygen and reducing blood clotting. It reduces and manages inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. It boosts your immune system helping protect against prostate cancer, some skin conditions, diabetes and damage to brain cells (preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s). Omega-3 are essential fats for children because they help with brain development. Some studies have even found that omega-3 consumption can help soothe symptoms of ADHD, hypertension and depression
A number of antioxidants commonly found in vegetables, such as lycopene and beta-carotene, require the presence of fat to be absorbed. It makes sense to combine vegetables with healthy fats, especially omega-3 fats.