Omega 3 for the natural treatment of diseases

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.

Beneficial properties of omega 3 fats

What is omega 3 and what is it for?

Omega 3 is a very popular type of fat that has very different properties and functions in the body. In recent years, it has been shown that a diet rich in this component is very beneficial and can help cure or improve the symptoms of many health conditions.

hemp seeds

The peeled hemp seeds are the richest food in omega 3, they are also very rich in magnesium (1 tablespoon provides the same amount as a magnesium supplement), and are the richest food in phosphorus that exists.

Where is omega 3 found?

Omega 3 fats are found in many foods, but the only ones that are really rich in this component are nuts and oilseeds.

Specifically, those with a great wealth of omega 3 are hemp seeds, ground flax seeds, ground chia seeds and walnuts.

Omega 3 supplements, on the other hand, have a lower omega 3 quantity or worse quality than the aforementioned sources. For this reason, whenever the benefits of omega 3 are discussed, it is preferable to understand that these components are obtained from natural foods.

BENEFITS OF OMEGA 3

The intake of omega-3 fatty acids offers a number of benefits for the body. Among all the advantages they provide, we could mention the following:

Beneficial properties of omega 3 for the circulatory system

Studies from Japan, a country with an oily-fish based diet, rich in omega-3, showed that the people of this nation have a lower circulatory disease rate. In the diet of this country, fatty fish stands out, very important source of omega 3. These observations began to draw the hypothesis of the role of these fats for cardiovascular health.

Fatty fish of small size, such as herring or sardines

Fatty fish of small size, such as herring or sardines, are one of the foods richest in omega 3, proteins, vitamin B12, folic acid, iron, calcium and vitamin D.

Similarly, other studies carried out between Greenland Eskimos concluded that their diet, based on oily fish or seal meat, which mainly eats oily fish, was the reason why this people had a very low rate of heart attacks.

The benefits of the Mediterranean diet, rich in fatty fish and virgin olive oil, are another example of the close relationship between diets rich in omega 3 and diets good for cardiovascular health.

  • Currently, it has been shown in numerous studies that omega 3 fats have an important role in the prevention and development of cardiovascular disease.

Omega 3 fats, especially those that come from fatty fish (containing omega 3 of the EPA and DHA type), have the property of fluidizing the blood and protecting the heart from cardiovascular and circulatory accidents against heart attacks, strokes, angina pectoris, Raynaud’s disease, etc.

Moreover, this cardioprotective role is also enhanced by the ability of these oils to increase the transmission power of the heart muscle and mantain a regular rhythm, preventing diseases such as arrhythmias.

Omega 3 for cholesterol

It has been shown that ingesting foods rich in omega 3 help:

Flax seeds and chia seeds

Flax seeds and chia seeds are very rich in fiber, omega 3, and help reduce cholesterol

Benefits of the anti-inflammatory properties of omega 3

It has been proven that omega-3 has anti-inflammatory properties in diseases of the joints. For this reason, foods rich in omega 3 can be very suitable to reduce inflammation and relieve pain in diseases such as arthritis, bronchitis, COPD, psoriasis and lupus.

The use of supplements that contain omega 3 can be a very suitable complement to the treatment of arthritis. It appears that this component increases the levels of PG3 prostaglandins that have anti-inflammatory properties. It is also useful against diseases such as gastritis, or all those diseases in which there is inflammation:

  • Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis: The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 empower it for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

  • Menstrual pain: In the same way it can help to reduce the pains of menstruation.

  • Fatigue and chronic fatigue: The essential fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6) are very useful to alleviate the symptoms of chronic fatigue and prevent depression caused by this syndrome.

Anti-cancer properties of omega 3

The inclusion of foods or supplements rich in this component is protective against certain cancers, especially colon cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer.

They can also reduce the size of tumors by preventing the growth of cancer cells or prevent them from reproducing elsewhere in the body. In breast cancer these acids inhibit the action of estrogens that are the cause of the development of tumors in the breast.

In breast cancer, these acids inhibit the action of estrogens that are responsible for the development of tumors in the breasts.

Omega 3 for pregnant women

The ingestion of foods rich in omega 3 is very suitable during pregnancy to ensure that the fetus has an adequate brain development. Mothers who have eaten foods with these components during pregnancy have had children with a higher learning capacity and fewer vision problems.

In the same way, it has been proven that omega 3 favored the motor coordination of premature babies.

Other recommendations for omega 3

  • Mental disorders: The ingestion of these acids can help maintain mental balance and avoid or improve depression or help in the treatment of diseases such as schizophrenia.

  • Skin health: These acids exert a positive action in the maintenance of the health of the skin, so they are suitable to prevent or improve the diseases that affect this organ, such as skin dryness, eczema, psoriasis, etc.

Omega 3 for depression and mental health

The intake of these acids can help in maintaining a mental balance and avoiding depression (specially DHA fatty acid).

They can also help in the treatment of diseases such as schizophrenia.

Skin

These acids have a positive role in the maintenance of healthy skin, so they are appropriate to prevent or ameliorate diseases affecting this organ, such as eczema, psoriasis, etc.

Omega 3 for pregnancy

The ingestion of foods rich in omega-3 (specially DHA) is very appropriate during pregnancy to ensure that the fetus has a right brain development.

Mothers who have eaten foods with these ingredients have had children with a capacity of higher learning and with fewer vision problems. Similarly, it has been shown that omega-3 favored the motor coordination of premature babies.

* Related information:

Omega 3 supplements recommended

Omega 3 for vegetarians

punto rojo More information on omega 3.

Mari Carmen Saiz
Written by Mari Carmen Saiz Dietitian nutritionist. Lic. In Chemistry. Specialized in sports nutrition, training science and injuries.

19 March, 2019

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