The best-known omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is an essential fatty acid. This means that the body cannot make it itself and you must get this fatty acid through the diet. Flaxseed oil is an important source of ALA. The body can make EPA and DHA from ALA, but this only produces very small quantities of EPA and DHA. Sources of EPA and DHA are found in fish and shellfish. However, fish, like people, cannot produce EPA and DHA themselves, but obtain it from the algae they eat.
You probably already knew that omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) have many health benefits. The omega 3 fatty acid DHA is good for your brain function, because it is an important building block for your brain. But DHA does even more for you, it also supports the condition of your eyes. Make sure you get at least 250 mg of DHA daily to benefit from these favourable effects. A combination of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA has a favourable effect on your heart, but here too you must make sure that you take in at least 250 mg of EPA and DHA to obtain this favourable effect.
Do you have beautiful, radiant skin?
Omega-3 fatty acids are important building blocks for our cell membranes and thus for the proper functioning of every cell. The fats ensure that the membrane is supple yet strong, so that waste products can leave the cells and nutrients can enter. By consuming sufficient Omega 3 fatty acids, you keep your cell membranes supple. And you can see that, because your skin cells all have membranes too.
Our brain is a fatty lobe, 60% of the brain consists of fat. Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in the communication of our brain cells. When there is a lot of omega-3 fatty acids in the walls of brain and nerve cells, they become more flexible and better able to generate and transmit electrical and chemical signals. This applies not only to the nerve and brain cells, but also to the synapses, the connections between these cells. When the function of these cells and synapses improve, you become less susceptible to all kinds of known disorders, such as reduced mood.
Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in maintaining cardiovascular health, as they have a positive influence on the electrical activity of cardiac cells. A meta-analysis with 173,000 patients showed that omega-3 fatty acids contributed the most out of the four therapies in keeping cardiovascular health healthy.**
Omega 3 fatty acids are important for the protection of eye health. They help maintain sharp vision. So if your vision has been impaired lately, remember to get enough EPA and DHA.***
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