Have you ever heard of the effects of omega-3 on the brain? Omega-3 is a fatty acid that is essential for our bodies and is present in fish, nuts and vegetable oils. You can also get them through supplements.
According to information published in the Annual Review of Food Science and Technology, regular intake of it can have many benefits for our health. Its anti-inflammatory properties are evidence of this, in addition to its ability to reduce the risk of various chronic diseases.
More precisely, with regard to the latter, several researches have established that this nutrient is beneficial to the brain and its cognitive function. Today, therefore, we would like to share some information about the effects of omega-3 on the brain.
The effects of omega-3 fatty acids on the brain
Studies have linked low omega-3 intake to impaired brain performance. These fatty acids appear to be essential for brain cells by binding to cell mucosa.
Likewise, consuming these fatty acids regularly improves the function of neurotransmitter receptors, as described in the information in Biomolecules & Therapeutics. The scientific literature also describes a relationship between the presence of cognitive disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, and an omega-3 deficiency.
However, more studies are still needed before we can establish any conclusive results. Despite that, many treatments of cognitive processes today, however, focus on changes in microbiota and omega-3 supplements.
Omega-3 and omega-6
When it comes to your diet, it is important to consider the balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The former is a precursor to anti-inflammatory molecules, while the latter are inflammatory molecules. For that reason, there should be a ratio of 1: 1 to prevent inflammatory processes in the body.
Processed foods are usually rich in omega-6 fatty acids, while fats and vegetable oils are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The current diet produces an imbalance with excess omega-6 fatty acids due to the amount of processed foods and fast food.
It is therefore important to increase your intake of fresh foods. Fish, nuts and vegetable oils are therefore essential elements of a diet because they increase one’s intake of omega-3 fatty acids and balance the fat.
Dietary supplements with omega-3
It is quite common to get omega-3 as a dietary supplement in various situations. Many athletes, for example, use these supplements to prevent inflammation caused by injuries. Healthy adults can also take them to avoid the development of complex diseases in the medium or long term.
Likewise, and after seeing the latest articles in the scientific literature, they should be a significant addition in the treatment of cognitive disorders or impairments. Its combination with prebiotics and probiotics can be interesting when it comes to treating some diseases associated with depression.
Two servings of fish a week
The intake of fish is essential to guarantee the correct amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Until a few years ago, intake of it was limited because people feared it would affect lipids. However, we know today that it is not enough that the intake of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids does not increase cholesterol levels, but it can actually lower them a bit.
The recommendations today are therefore at least two servings of fish a week. However, this should be combined with regular intake of crude vegetable oils.
Conclusion on the effects of omega-3
Regular intake of omega-3 fatty acids is essential. It is necessary to reduce its intake of processed products and increase the intake of fresh products to restore the balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
This is because these types of fatty acids can prevent the development of certain cognitive diseases according to the current literature on the subject. However, more studies are still needed to guarantee this evidence.
Lastly, keep in mind that fat is a very high calorie nutrient. For that reason, the intake of it should be within the limits of a balanced diet with a normal calorie intake. That way, we can avoid gaining weight and avoid any disease that typically comes with weight gain.