Omega-3s and Your Immunity: A Not-So-Fishy Tale!

Building a stronger immunity was always important but recent times have made it even more crucial. Stronger immunity protects you against multiple infections and diseases. While the world is experiencing the second wave of Covid-19, it is important to consume healthy foods and supplements along with regular exercising to enhance the health of your immune system.

Omega-3s play an important role in building up your immunity and a major source of these are fishes, especially oily fishes such as tuna, mackerel, etc. But, if you are someone who does not consume fish, fish oil capsules can help you get that daily dose of omega you need. Many fish oil supplements come with an enteric coating to avoid fishy aftertaste and fishy burps.

Let’s understand first, how omega-3s and your immune health are connected.

Omega-3s and your immune system

Many research studies have shown that EPA & DHA, the omega-3s can not only help in boosting heart, eye, and brain health but can also help in developing optimal immunity levels. Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties that help support an individual’s immune system’s health while they age.

Inflammation can adversely affect our health and well-being when not taken care of. Our immune system constantly battles against inflammation and other infections or diseases that can cause a potential threat to our body. To support our immune system, omega-3s are required.

EPA ( Eicosapentaenoic acid), ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid), and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) are 3 key omega-3 fatty acids that can be acquired through fish oil and plant-based foods such as flaxseeds and walnuts. These are basically long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Due to their anti-inflammatory nature, these can influence the functioning of immune cells, commonly known as the B cells or white blood cells. Fish oil is rich in both EPA & DHA and this is why it can be a great addition to your diet.

Omega-3s are very crucial components of the cell membranes and can affect and control their properties such as the accumulation of liquid rafts that travel across the cells and also the membrane fluidity. There are some recent studies suggesting that omega-3s can play a vital role as signaling molecules and can affect how the immune cells are activated.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the other benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.

Health benefits of omega-3

1. Can be helpful in battling anxiety and depression

Depression is a common global issue and so is anxiety. The symptoms of these conditions range from constant sadness, dullness, loss of interest in life, constant worry, and nervousness. Certain studies suggest that individuals who consume omega-3s on a regular basis are less likely to develop depression. Some studies also showed that people with depression and anxiety issues had their symptoms improved when supplemented with omega-3s.

2. Good for brain health

Omega-3s such as DHA account for around 40% of the polyunsaturated fats in the brain and about 60% in the eye’s retina. Omega-3s can greatly contribute to the development of the brain, especially in infants. These also support pregnancy.

3. Reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases

Older studies suggested that consumption of fish reduces the risk of heart diseases, which was later recognized as the contribution of Omega-3s. These can help in lowering the levels of triglycerides and can also regulate blood pressure levels, especially in those with high blood pressure. These fatty acids also boost the level of good cholesterol, i.e. HDL.

4. Helpful in reducing the symptoms of metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is basically an accumulation of various conditions. Herein, the person deals with belly fat, rising levels of triglycerides, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and low levels of HDL cholesterol. Omega-3s can help in improving insulin resistance, inflammation, regulating blood pressure, and lowering the risk of heart diseases in people with metabolic syndrome.

5. Improves eye health

DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, is a vital structural component of your retina. Deficiency of DHA can lead to poor vision. Various studies suggest that regular consumption of omega-3s can help in improving vision and eye health.

So, omega-3 fatty acids offer plenty of advantages and can be included in your diet. If you do not consume fish, you can easily get omega-3 supplements in the form of capsules. These supplements are a hassle-free way of getting your daily dose of these essential fatty acids. Work out regularly, consume a healthy diet, and take omega-3 supplements to ensure good health.

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