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Why do we need omega 3

Why Do I Need Omega 3? List Of Great Benefits

Jane McClenaghan, Nutritionist behind Vital Nutrition talks us through the importance of omega 3 in your diet and the benefits of foods high in omega 3

What are the benefits of omega-3?

Most of us know that omega 3 fats are good for us, but do you know why?

Perhaps you started adding flaxseed into your diet, or have been recommended to take a fish oil supplement, but are not exactly sure of the health benefits.

These essential fatty acids have a wide range of functions in the human body and can help support your health from your head to your toes. Before we get into that, let me remind you what omega 3 is.

What are omega 3 fats?

Omega 3 fats are long-chain, polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are essential for human health, meaning that we need to get them through our diet or take as a supplement, as they cannot be made by our bodies.

The three main omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

  • DHA and EPA are found in oily fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovies. You may also have seen DHA available as a vegan supplement. This one is extracted from algae.
  • ALA is found in plant-based sources. Chia seeds and walnuts are good sources, but flaxseed is one of the richest plant-based sources of omega 3 in our diets.

flaxseed with omega 3

How much do we need?

Ideally we should be aiming to eat oily fish 2-3 x week and add flaxseed to our diets daily.

A 20g serving of Linwoods Milled Flaxseed added to your food each day will add a little omega 3 boost to your diet.

What do Omega 3 fats do for us?

Omega 3 fats have a whole host of benefits for our health and have been well researched over the years. Here are just some of the functions of omega 3.

  • Cardiovascular health

One of the most widely researched benefits has shown that omega 3 fats can help support a healthy cardiovascular system and may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. They have been shown to help manage many risk factors associated with heart attacks and stroke, including balancing cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels, managing blood pressure and regulating heart rate.

  • PMS and period pain

Omega 3 fats are important for supporting hormone balance and studies have shown that they may help reduce symptoms of PMS, including low mood, anxiety and poor concentration.

Many nutritionists also recommend them to help support women with menstrual cramps and period pain.

  • Skin, hair and nails

Did you know that they could be an important part of your daily beauty routine?

They help hydrate the skin, balance sebum production and moisturise the skin from the inside out. With their anti-inflammatory properties, they can help to manage red, itchy, blotchy and irritated skin and may even have anti-aging effects, as they can help the skin appear plump and hydrated.

Omega 3 fats are key ingredients for strong and healthy nails and hair growth, reduce scalp irritation and may help to reduce hair loss.

  • Anti-inflammatory effects

They have anti-inflammatory properties. This is important for the management for inflammatory conditions like arthritis, eczema.

  • Mind and mood

You brain needs sufficient omega 3 fats to function well. It is thought that a deficiency in omega 3 fats could be contribute to anxiety and depression. Whether this is because these mood disorders are caused by omega 3 deficiency, or that it has specific mood modifying effects is unclear.

  • Brain and cognitive function

They have been found to have benefits for learning, memory and cognitive function and to help blood flow to the brain. From ADHD to dementia, they are often recommended to help support healthy brain function.

  • Vision and eye health

Many opticians recommend them for healthy eyes. Omega 3 fats can help support those with dry eye syndrome, may reduce the risk of glaucoma and have even been associated with reducing the risk of age-related vision impairment and macular degeneration.

Some References

Shop our Flaxseed, Chia Seed, Hemp Seeds & bundles. Jane McClenaghan often writes for Linwoods Health Foods and gives our readers better understanding of the nutrition and health benefits of flaxseeds, chia seeds and more. You can read some articles from Jane including ‘5 Simple Daily Habits for Better Health‘ & ‘4 Great Flaxseed Benefits For Men And Their Health‘ as well as her insight into the ‘Benefits Of Adding Milled Hemp Seed To Your Diet‘. She offers fascinating insight into the world of nutrition and allows you to understand the products we sell better.


Not only has Jane helped us with a list of daily habits for better health, but she often writes articles for us. You can find out more about Jane below

Jane McClenaghan is Northern Ireland’s most recognised nutritionist with over 20 year’s experience. Her company Vital Nutrition specialises in developing and delivering group sessions for corporate and community clients both online and in-person as well as running an online membership club and offering one-to-one consultations.

Jane Mclenaghan

Jane’s knowledge in the subject area of health and wellbeing is unrivalled as indicated by her qualifications, reputation and experience.

Jane’s sessions cover a range of health and wellbeing topics from mental health to stress, female and male health, healthy eating on a budget, heart health, sleep, family wellbeing and much more.
Jane is also the author of two books on nutrition, she writes a weekly column in the Irish News, has a monthly slot on radio U105 and is a regular contributor to the BBC, The Belfast Telegraph and many other media outlets.

Did you enjoy this list of daily habits for better health? You can find out more and get in touch with Vital Nutrition here


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