The Importance of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Your Diet

The Importance of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Your Diet

While omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in fish oil supplements, which are taken by an estimated 10% of Americans, researchers don’t believe they afford all the health benefits most people think they do.

Regardless of which way they lean, researchers all agree that omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats – meaning they can’t be naturally produced by the body – that are necessary for better health.

To start, one important point to take note of: the research the found little or no benefits to fish oil were studies involving omega-3 supplements, rather than foods naturally rich in the fatty acids. From the research that has been done in that regard, it seems eating foods with naturally-occurring omega-3s are a boon to health – plus you get all the nutrients from the food itself.


Omega-3s are excellent in reducing inflammation, which plays a role in both artery-stopping plaque and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. There’s evidence omega-3s can give moderate rheumatoid arthritis symptom relief, too.

Related: Should You Take a Fish Oil Supplement?

The fatty acids can also reduce the chances of clots, meaning risk of heart attack, as well as inhibiting blood to clot after your cut yourself, for example. This is dangerous for those on a prescription blood thinner or who takes NSAIDs, which can cause bleeding ulcers.

So don’t shy away from adding fatty fish like salmon, tuna and trout, or shellfish like crab, mussels and oysters, to your menu twice a week, or grabbing a handful of walnuts as your go-to midday snack.

Photo Credit: Syda Productions/; Alexander Prokopenko/

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