Did you know that 70% of the world’s population doesn’t have access to enough Omega 3 in their diet?
Omega 3 has a huge role in keeping the human body in great shape, and especially for those of us with neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD, or mental health conditions like anxiety, getting enough foods for Omega 3 in our diets is imperative for a healthy mind.
So let’s take a closer look at why Western diets cause an Omega-3 deficiency, and how you can incorporate foods for Omega 3 and 6 into a balanced diet with minimal disruption!
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The body needs foods for omega-3 (also called polyunsaturated fatty acid) in order to develop and maintain normal growth and development. Vital to heart health, it’s an important component of cell membranes and aids prevention of autoimmune diseases.
An adequate intake of Omega-3 supplementation further helps regulate nerve impulses and blood clotting, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
In addition, it plays a role in regulating mood, behavior, and memory. That makes Omega 3 fatty acids a must-have for medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Also, it’s great for neurodevelopmental conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
When you eat foods with omega-3 fats, your body uses them to make hormones, enzymes, and neurotransmitters. These substances play roles in everything from keeping your eyes clear to helping your immune system fight off infections.
Here are some examples of the health effects of Omega 3 fats in your diet:
One of the biggest benefits of Omega-3 supplementation and Omega-6 fatty acids in your diet is the ability to reduce blood pressure, improving cardiovascular health.
The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fish per week alongside an Omega-3 supplement to help lower blood pressure.
As a result of reduced blood pressure, more efficient blood vessels and a healthy heart, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids also reduce risk of coronary heart disease that can cause heart attacks and strokes.
Studies have shown that overcoming an Omega-3 deficiency can also reduce inflammation in the arteries, which lowers cholesterol levels and thus the risk of heart disease.
People with an omega-3 deficiency may be more likely to suffer from mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. In many cases this is because Omega-3 fatty acids helps regulate brain chemicals that affect mood.
Omega-3 supplementation is often recommended as a result for those who struggle with mental health, especially in winter months when the days are shorter. Think of it as brain food to keep your brain super strong and healthy!
Brain health is a priority for anyone’s well being. And in neurodivergent people, making sure this cognitive function is working at full efficiency is vital to keeping more severe conditions under control.
Studies show that taking an Omega-3 supplement may help treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia as well as cognitive dysfunction, especially in anyone with Alzheimers or Dementia.
Children with ADHD often have an omega-3 deficiency in their bodies. These low omega-3 levels are often the result of poor Western diets. Research suggests that taking an Omega-3 supplement can improve attention span and focus in these children.
Cognitive dysfunction and executive dysfunction are huge problems for people with ADHD. So by ensuring omega-3 supplementation is high, the blood will be flowing more effectively and oxygen getting to the right parts of the brain.
There’s no official guidance on how much omega 3 we need each day for a healthy diet. However, according to healthline.com, the recommended dosage is between 200mg and 500mg per day.
Such an Omega-3 supplementation ensures a balanced diet across the board, hence the two fish per week guidance that so many recommend.
Foods for omega 3 are abundant. And the best thing about it is that, contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to only eat oily fish to ensure adequate levels in your diet. So here are some foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids:
If you don’t mind having fish in your diet, focus on a fatty fish list such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, trout, and tuna. These oily fish all contain high amounts of omega-3 fats.
Alternatively, if you don’t like the fish taste (or smell!), you can take a fish oil supplement with the same richness inside.
Spinach contains high amounts of omega 3. Spinach is also rich in vitamin E and contains a compound that helps you lose weight.
Not only that, but it’s also an appetite suppressant, which is perfect for anyone with ADHD and regulation issues. It’s also a great vegan choice if you’re not keen on adding fatty fish to your diet!
Walnuts are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Each walnut contains about 2.6 grams of this nutrient. But keep in mind that they are also full of calories and other nutrients, so while they’re a great filler food, make sure you don’t eat the entire bag in one sitting!
Flaxseeds are another excellent choice of foods for omega-3 and 6 intake. One tablespoon of ground flaxseed provides about 1.7 grams of omega-3. They’re also a good source of fiber, protein, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and vitamin B.
Soybeans are one of the richest sources of omega-3 fats out there. They’re also a great source of protein, fiber, folate, and minerals. One cup of cooked soybeans has 7.9 grams.
Chia seeds can also improve cognitive performance. Research shows they’re particularly effective at improving memory and attention. A great alternative to fish snacks to get your Omega-3 fix!
Hemp seeds come packed with minerals, including magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, copper, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium. They also provide a decent amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
It is very easy to find foods for omega 3 fatty acids if you look around. Some of the best options are listed above. However, when choosing between different types of Fish, a fish oil supplement, or an Omega-3 supplement, always choose a reputable brand and check the actual product packaging for the specifics.
Plus, there’s nothing more rewarding than ensuring that all your food sources are ethical. That way, you can be assured that you are getting the nutrients you need without unnecessary additives and the toxins generated from industrial pollution.
Check out more articles on neurodivergent wellbeing today!
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