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Know the tell-tale signs of omega-3 deficiency, and how you can overcome it

The nutritionist shared that omega-3 helps support major organs in the body - such as the heart, brain and eyes - and helps them function normally

omega 3Omega-3 refers to a group of three fatty acids that our bodies need that come from animal and vegetable fats (Source: Pixabay)

Omega-3 is utmost essential for the healthy functioning of our body as it helps maintain your heart, skin and brain health. According to harvard.edu, it provides the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction, and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. However, it is important to note that our body can’t produce essential fatty acids (EFAs) like omega-3 on its own and, therefore, “you need to make sure you are getting enough through dietary sources”, Bhakti Kapoor, a nutritionist, wrote on Instagram.

But, what exactly is omega-3? “Omega-3 refers to a group of three fatty acids that our bodies need that come from animal and vegetable fats. These are the ‘good fats’,” she explained. The three types of fatty acids in this group are:

*Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
*Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
*Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

The nutritionist shared that omega-3 helps support major organs in the body – such as the heart, brain and eyes – and helps them function normally. “Given all the health benefits associated with this vital nutrient, it is pretty much a no-brainer that people should be ensuring they consume enough omega-3s,” she said.

However, if you don’t get enough of it, you may show some visible signs of its deficiency, which are as follows:

*Mental fog
*Depression
*Weight gain
*Brittle fingernails
*Allergies
*Arthritis
*Poor sleep quality
*Memory problem
*Dry hair
*Dry skin
*Lack of concentration
*Fatigue

How can you improve your consumption of omega-3? “Although over-the-counter supplements are a simple way to increase your omega-3 levels, there are dietary options to boost your levels, too. Whenever possible, it is best to get vitamins and nutrients from our food. Then, when needed, you can add in supplements as well,” Kapoor noted, sharing some dietary sources of omega-3.

*Soybean
*Cold-pressed olive oil
*Mackerel
*Flaxseed
*Kidney beans
*Chia seeds
*Walnut
*Spinach
*Salmon

If you are someone who follows a plant-based diet, diabetes educator Rashi Chowdhary earlier suggested some sources to help you get ample amounts of this fatty acid. Below, check out her top six for plant-based Omega-3 sources with their contents:

*Just 3 whole walnuts have 515 mg
*1 tsp of flaxseed has 515 mg
*1 tbsp pumpkin has 650 mg
*1 tap of chia seeds has over 700 mg
*1tsp of hemp seeds has 800 mg
*1 cup of edamame has 1000 mg

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First published on: 29-11-2022 at 20:00 IST
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