Why are omega-3 benefits so important?
As a cardiologist, the importance of omega-3 benefits to both the heart and to overall health is something I’ve emphasized to my patients time and time again. Plus, the research is still growing. Studies are coming out every year detailing new and important ways omega-3 health benefits affect your heart, mood, and more.
But getting the full health benefits of this essential fatty acid takes more than just grabbing any omega-3 supplement off the shelf. Understanding the latest research and the different types of omega-3s will help you tailor your intake to your health needs. Read on to learn about the scientifically-supported benefits of omega-3s, and get my recommendations for the best sources of omega-3s to integrate into your diet.
Omega-3 Benefits: Preventing Heart Disease, Heart Attacks, & More
I’ve been recommending omega-3s for heart health for over 20 years, and have seen firsthand how omega-3s improve the lives of countless patients. Research shows that omega-3s play an important role in supporting cardiovascular health and preventing heart disease, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular issues.
Research shows that omega-3s benefit heart health. News sources have questioned the impact that omega-3s have on the body. Let me give you my definitive breakdown of how omega-3s provide holistic support for the cardiovascular system.
- Omega-3s can be lifesaving after a heart attack—even surpassing conventional medicine. Let me tell you about the latest research on omega-3s and heart attacks, and give you my recommended dosage of omega-3s for heart attack recovery.
- Women can gain specific heart benefits from omega-3s. One in four women in the United States dies from heart disease each year.1 This number is way too high. Luckily, research shows that omega-3s are particularly beneficial for post-menopausal women—slowing, and even reversing, coronary atherosclerosis in women with heart disease.
- Omega-3s help to lower your triglyceride levels. High levels of triglycerides are associated with coronary artery disease and metabolic syndrome—and the typical American diet is a big contributor. Here are the dosages and types of omega-3s to lower your triglyceride levels.
- Getting omega-3 benefits is an important part of a larger supplement program for heart health. Find out about the other four natural supplements I recommend taking with omega-3s for heart attack recovery and prevention.
The Benefits of Omega-3s Reach Far Beyond the Heart
As a heart health specialist, I like natural omega-3 supplements because they support the heart and cardiovascular system. But omega-3s also support the brain, lungs, eyes, and more. Learn about all of the important ways omega-3 essential fatty acids benefit your health.
- Omega-3s protect against prostate cancer. A few years ago there was a scare that omega-3s were connected to prostate cancer. This association was based on one study, against the backdrop of years of evidence that omega-3s actually help to prevent and reduce the severity of cancer. Here’s my take on this research.
- Omega-3s benefit your brain, too. There are many forms of omega-3 – and each one is different in its mechanism of action and benefits. Let me give you the details about the only form of omega-3 that supports your mood and memory as you age.
- Many U.S. doctors overlook the benefits of omega-3s. Doctors and scientists agree on the holistic support omega-3s provide – and fail to apply their knowledge in treating patients. Let me tell you about the gap between what American doctors know, and what they prescribe to their patients.
- CoQ10 and DHA omega-3s are a powerful combination for supporting healthy blood pressure. Here’s why both of these supplements are so important, along with my recommended dosages for each.
What’s the Best Omega-3 Supplement?
With options like fish, algae, and calamari oil, there are many sources of omega-3 benefits. At the beginning of my career, I was a strong proponent of fish oils for their high concentration of omega-3s. But as I looked into omega-3 benefits further, I zeroed in on sources of omega-3s that are high in DHA for their extraordinary health benefits.
- Fish, krill, or calamari oil—which has the most DHA omega-3 benefits? The benefits that come from high DHA levels cannot be ignored. Find out how different sources of omega-3s stack up when it comes to omega-3 benefits.
- How do you get past the annoying side effects of fish oil—including “fishy burps?” I personally have never liked the taste or smell of fish oil, including the digestive issues like “fishy burps.” Find out how calamari oil supplements can be a good alternative to avoid these problems.
Natural Sources of Omega-3 Benefits
Supplementation alone is not enough – it’s also important to get omega-3 benefits through your food. Wild caught salmon and other cold-water fish are some of the best natural sources of omega-3s, and so are flaxseed, walnuts, and more. Here are some of my top-recommended food sources of omega-3s.
- To get omega-3 benefits, eat more fat! Omega-3s themselves are fatty acids, a building block of fat. Of course, certain kinds of fats should be a limited part of your diet to avoid cardiovascular problems and weight gain. Let me tell you which fats are healthy and provide omega-3 benefits, and which to avoid.
- Fish are naturally high in omega-3s, but not all fish are created equal. Some types of fish carry a higher risk of containing contaminants like mercury, or have less omega-3s than other fish. Discover which fish to eat, and which to avoid, for maximizing your omega-3 benefits and minimizing the health risks.
- Wild salmon is one of my favorite fish, not only for its omega-3 benefits but for its other nutrients as well. Find out about the many nutrient benefits of salmon, and get my recommendation for how much fish to eat to get the most omega-3 benefits.
- Flax delivers high DHA omega-3 benefits, as well as omega-6 benefits. Learn what this combination of omega-3s can do for your skin, digestion, heart, and liver. Plus, I’ll tell you which forms of flax work best for heart health benefits.
How to Get Omega-3 Benefits From Your Diet
Health is holistic. Just as I consider the whole body when thinking about heart health, it’s important to look at your overall diet to optimize your omega-3 benefits. There are certain foods and ingredients that can enhance the way you process omega-3s. Moreover, bodies are about balance – getting the right amount of omega-3s in relation to other nutrients is the best way to receive health benefits from all the nutrients you intake.
- Omega-3s are one of many fats that your body needs. Even if your diet has omega-3s in it, maintaining a healthy ratio of different fats is an important part of supporting heart health. Discover which foods to eat, and which to avoid, to reach a healthy balance between omega-3s and other fats.
- Several foods can crowd out your body’s ability to process omega-3s. Even if you eat omega-3 rich foods, here are some foods to limit in your diet to get the most out of your omega-3 sources.
- My Pan-Asian Modified Mediterranean diet includes the best natural sources of omega-3s. Get the details on how this diet will let you get the most out of your omega-3 benefits and support heart health, especially if you have high blood pressure.
- Vegetarians can still get omega-3 benefits without natural fish oil supplements or other animal sources. Some vegetarians are not even aware of what nutrients they could be missing, including omega-3s. Discover what nutrients are lacking in a vegetarian diet, and what foods to add to increase the benefits of omega-3s and other nutrients.
VIDEO: Discover why I recommend calamari oil over other natural sources of omega-3s.
- 1"How Does Heart Disease Affect Women?", National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hdw, (April 21, 2014).