If You’re Having Inflammation, You May Need More Omega-3s

If You’re Having Inflammation, You May Need More Omega-3s

Though their list of health benefits is long, omega 3 fatty acids are perhaps best known for their anti-inflammatory properties. But how, exactly, do these healthy fats help modulate and mitigate chronic inflammation? And what are some examples of symptoms and diseases that these anti-inflammatory benefits can help prevent?

How do omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation?

First, let’s define the two different types of inflammation:

  • Acute inflammationis the immune system’s response to isolated body damage, such as a cut or injury. The body sends inflammatory cells and cytokines (i.e., small proteins that stimulate more inflammatory cells) to start healing the injured tissue.
  • Chronic inflammationoccurs when the body continues to send inflammatory cells, even after the offending agent (such as a virus, bacteria, or a toxic chemical) is long gone. When left unchecked, chronic  inflammation can lead to a number of diseases—including dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer.

Research shows that having more omega-3s in your body—i.e., increasing your Omega-3 Index—supports a healthy inflammatory response and helps prevent diseases and conditions commonly caused and/or exacerbated by chronic inflammation.

How to increase your omega-3 intake.

Maintaining healthy omega-3 levels in cell membranes has been shown to help protect against chronic inflammation.

Although some EPA and DHA can be produced in the body endogenously via dietary, the most effective way to increase your marine-derived omega-3 intake is by consuming more foods and/or supplements rich in EPA and DHA.

Consider adding omega-3-rich fatty fish ( salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies) to your diet multiple times a week to up your intake of EPA and DHA and achieve an optimal Omega-3 Index.

Alternatively, you may want to consider a premium omega-3 supplement, such as a high-quality, sustainably sourced fish oil. Look for supplements that offer at least 1 gram of EPA plus DHA daily for optimal benefits.

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