Recently, I've been battling a serious case of depression. Which is very odd considering everything in my life has been going perfect. I've also been diagnosed with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and it's been really draining and impacts my life in so many different ways.
I was researching the internet and have found that my diet was really lacking in fish (which as a direct result also effected how much Omega 3 I was consuming)
Omega 3 is classified as an Essential Fatty Acid (the good kind). Your body is unable to manufacture Omega 3 and it must be ingested in either food form (like eating Sardines, Salmon, Tuna, Walnuts etc) or via supplementation. The good Omega 3 has high levels of EPA and DHA (always read the labels and seek out the mg ratings on your supplements for these 2 important Omega 3 nutrients)
Since I'm more of a convenience guy, I like to take the odourless fish oil. When choosing an Omega 3 supplement try to find the filtered kind - the kind that has removed most of the harmful PCB, Dioxins and Mercury (all of which are toxic to the body)
Why do I use Omega 3? Well the most important benefits of Omega 3 are:
- Improved memory and cognitive function (may also assist with dopamine and serotonin usage by the brain)
- Better problem solving ability
- Stabilises your mood/temperament
- Greatly reduces my OCD habits
- Helps treat depression
- Maintains the cardiovascular system
- It's good for the heart - helps maintain blood pressure
- Maintains healthy retina function (good for your eyes)
- Reduces swelling and joint pain associated with arthritus (can improve mobility over time)
- Reduces LDL/plaques (bad fats) in the arteries and can help lower bad fat levels in the blood.
As with all things. There are some potentially unwanted side effects that I've noticed when upping my Omega 3 intake. The side effects I've seen as a direct result of using Omega 3 are:
- Slight headache (this may be attributed to higher than normal toxins in the cheaper Omega 3 supplements) so always use the filtered/mercury free types!
- Slight stomach discomfort (not painful or unbearable)
- May increase gas (flatulence)
- Some brands may have a fishy odour/aftertaste
- Cost of the better Omega 3 supplements can be quite expensive
As with all things, moderation is key. The FDA has approved Omega 3 as a recognised supplement - however I would not consume more than 3 grams a day over the long term. Also, if you are taking blood thinners or have a known history of heart problems I would consult your GP/physician before taking Omega 3 supplements as it's known to thin out the blood.