Good skin, brain and immune health has a lot to do with Omega-3 fatty acids. That’s why we need to look for foods rich in Omega-3 or supplements. Omega-3 and fish are often said at the same time. But vegetarians need not worry, as there are some options that have nothing to do with meat. The importance of Omega-3 shouldn’t be ignored if you want to stay fit. There are times when your skin or nails start changing. These are all ways of your body showing that you need to consume more of it. So, let’s find out the signs of Omega-3 deficiency.
HealthShots connected with Fauziya Ansari, Dietician, Apollo Spectra Mumbai, to know how you should be able to tell if your body is lacking Omega-3.
Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that may help to keep your heart healthy, reduce inflammation and help in lowering the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and arthritis. They also regulate glucose tolerance, blood pressure, nervous system development and much more.
Signs of Omega-3 deficiency
Getting a blood test done isn’t the preferred choice for many. But there are signs of Omega-3 deficiency that you can notice on your body.
1. Changes in skin, hair and nails
Suddenly got dry skin, brittle hair, and thin nails that crack easily? They may be due to Omega-3 deficiency. It builds up cell walls, and when the levels are too low, these are some of the changes you’ll see. Ansari says it can also cause rashes on your skin, apart from dandruff problems.
2. Cardiovascular concerns
If you have heart problems, it might be a sign that you need to increase your intake of Omega-3. It protects against any kind of heart disease and also helps to control cholesterol levels.
3. Concentration and attentiveness issues
When the level of essential fatty acids is low, it contributes to difficulty with focus and memory issues (brain exercises for sharper memory). You might even get easily irritated. Children and adults who seem to get angry quickly for no reason, might be suffering from Omega-3 deficiency, says the expert.
4. Joint pain and leg cramps
Omega-3 that is derived from fish oil has excellent anti-inflammatory properties, and so it naturally reduces swelling and inflammation in the joints. If you do not have any joint pain, proper intake of Omega-3 can prevent the damage that causes the pain.
5. Fatigue and sleeping problem
Sleeping problem and fatigue are often linked to stress, but it also be due to a lack of Omega-3. You need it to help to sleep better (tricks to help you sleep better).
Sources of Omega-3
By now, you must be aware that fish, especially cold-water fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines are great sources of Omega-3. Ansari says that nuts and seeds such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts are some great options for vegetarians.
You can also have plant oils like flaxseed oil, soybean oil, and canola oil as well as fortified foods such as certain brands of eggs, yogurt, juices, milk and soy beverages.