Have you ever heard about the effects of omega 3 on the brain? Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid for our body. It is mainly found in oily fish, oilseeds and vegetable oils, but it can also be taken as a supplement.
According to information published in the ‘ Annual Review of Food Science and Technology ‘, its regular consumption brings many benefits to our health. Proof of this are its anti-inflammatory properties, in addition to its ability to reduce the risk of various chronic diseases.
Regarding this last point, several studies have determined that this nutrient is beneficial for brain and cognitive functions. For all that, today we want to share more details about the effects of omega 3 on the brain.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Their Effects on the Brain
There are studies linking low omega 3 intake to impaired brain performance. Apparently , these fatty acids are essential nutrients for brain cells to attach to cell membranes.
Consuming these fatty acids regularly improves the functioning of neurotransmitter receptors, as detailed in the information published in ‘ Biomolecules & Therapeutics’ . Scientific literature also links omega 3 deficiency with the onset of cognitive disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.
However, more scientific articles are needed to establish conclusive results. Despite this, today many treatments of cognitive processes focus on changes in the microbiota and supplementation with omega 3.
Omega 3 and Omega 6
A very important aspect that we must take into account in the diet is the balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. The former are precursors of anti-inflammatory molecules, while the latter are precursors of inflammatory molecules. For this reason, the 1:1 ratio must be maintained to avoid inflammation processes in the body.
Processed foods are usually rich in omega 6 acids, while oily fish and vegetable oils are rich in omega 3 acids. The current diet causes an imbalance between the two omegas due to the popularity of processed foods and fast -food .
Therefore, it is important to increase your consumption of fresh and natural foods. Oily fish, oilseeds and vegetable oils are essential elements in the diet to increase the intake of omega 3 fatty acids and try to regain the fat balance.
Omega 3 Supplements
It is common to use omega 3 supplementation in various situations. In the sports world, for example, these supplements are used in processes associated with injuries to mitigate inflammation. Furthermore, in healthy adults, they can be used for the prevention of complex diseases in the medium or long term.
Likewise, and considering the most recent articles in the scientific literature on the subject, this can be a significant complement in processes related to cognitive disorders or impairments. Its combination with prebiotics and probiotics can be interesting to treat some processes related to depression, for example.
Two servings of oily fish per week
To ensure the correct supply of omega 3 fatty acids, consumption of oily fish is essential. Until a few years ago, intake of this food was limited, as it was feared that it would have an impact on the lipid profile. Today, however, it is known that ingesting monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats not only does not increase cholesterol levels , it can also lower them.
Therefore, the current recommendation is to consume at least 2 servings of oily fish per week. This needs to be combined with regular consumption of raw vegetable oil. Subjecting oils to high temperatures causes the loss of some of their nutrients and properties.
In addition, the overheating of oils generates processes that lead, in the medium and long term, to the appearance of toxic residues for the body, such as acrylamide.
Conclusion on the effects of omega 3 on the brain
Regular consumption of omega 3 fatty acids is essential. In addition, it is necessary to reduce the intake of processed products and increase that of fresh, natural foods to restore the balance between omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
These types of fatty acids have the ability to prevent the appearance of certain cognitive disorders; at least this is what the current scientific literature shows. However, further studies are needed to prove this feature.
Despite all these benefits, it is necessary to keep in mind that fat is a high-calorie nutrient. For this reason, its consumption should be part of a normal and balanced calorie diet. This way, it will be possible to avoid weight gain and associated diseases.