Smarter Brain and Happier Mood with Omega 3’s

May 5, 2017; By Briana McDonald (UtopiaSilver.com) We all aim to enjoy “the good life.” We want to look good, feel good, and perform our very best in our careers and in our roles as husbands/wives/parents and caretakers. Most of us however live in a mental fog, and perform on what I call “auto-pilot” just trying to make it through the day. We all want to know how to optimize our health so that we can not only be productive in our day to day lives but most importantly, HAPPY while doing so. The great news is you can have a smarter brain and happier mood with Omega 3’s! Not only that but also enjoy sharper vision, a stronger heart, smoother skin, and a longer life span. Let’s take a deeper look into this amazing super nutrient.

What are Omega’s? Omegas are flexible fats. By this I mean they are smooth, soft and flexible. The worst fats you can consume are stiff and sticky. Most illnesses are induced by an accumulation of these stiff and sticky fats in your tissues, such as your brain and heart. When you consume the “sticky stuff” you get stiff and sticky stuff in your tissues (disease). When you consume flexible fats that are smooth and soft, you get soft tissues (well being). These good fats move fluidly in your body as fish swim in the sea and keep your tissues soft and smooth. Another way that Omega’s are “flexible” is that they can change shape and quickly become whatever your tissue needs them to be for growth, function and repair. The flexible hinges on the molecules of Omega 3’s assist them in assuming various kinds of unusual shapes and wriggle into whatever part of the tissue needs more omega 3’s.

Omega 3 + Your Brain

Our brains are 60% fat and while many fats make up the brain, Omega-3 DHA alone makes up for 15-20% of the brains fat. Many fad diets say to eat less of this structural component of the brain (no wonder why those people are a little nuts. wink.)

The 3 hardest working tissues in the body are also the highest in Omega-3 content with the human brain being the top performer using 20% total food energy consumed. Research has proved time and time again that those with the highest blood levels of Omega-3 DHA display the best brain performance. The higher the Omega-3 levels, the higher the brain test scores. The next time you attempt a diet, remember that right fat diets are more important than no fat diets (sounds like a no-brainier but many miss the mark) since your brain needs good fats and if you don’t consume any fat your body actually stores fat! Just like if you do not consume water your body will store it as a survival mechanism. Drink more water, have less water weight. Eat more good fats, have less bad fat. Kapeesh?

Omega-3’s also help to build better brain cells and science agrees, humans whose diets were deficient in omega-3 fats, or who had low levels of this nutrient in their blood, were found to have smaller brains than comparison groups. Omega 3’s provide nourishment to our brains and help brain cells to make the right connections.

Omega 3’s + Mellow Moods

Psychiatric medicine teaches us that depression is due in part to a biochemical imbalance in the brain. Imbalances of Omega-3’s have been found in the red blood cell membranes of some depression persons which reinforces the theory that the basic defect in brain biochemistry of mood disorders is inflammation and because Omega-3’s are powerful anti-inflammatories it explains how omega-3’s affect depression by a different mechanism than most prescription antidepressants. These powerful anti-inflammatories are also known as “Mood Mellowers” because they provide the food for hormones like serotonin and dopamine, otherwise known as “happy hormones” because they are associated with joy and calmness. An increase in the amount of Omega-3’s in the brain in experimental animals also showed an increase in the number of dopamine receptors on their brain cells. 

Omega-3’s also help you to handle stress better and face every day challenges with more ease due to an increase in blood flow to the brain (with the softer, more flexible blood vessels) and a decrease in inflammation which is the main reason most of us experience brain fog and headaches on a day to day basis. Our brains are sending us signals, they say: I NEED MORE OMEGA-3 PLEASE!

Omega 3’s + Sight, Seafood is “See Food”

Anything that is beneficial to the brain is likewise for the eyes. Your ability to read this text on this screen is due to the concentration of DHA in your eyes. The back part of your eyes (retina and macula) is simply an extension of your brain. The usual illnesses associated with aging eyes such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma could be caused by inflammation and omega-3 deficiency. Our retinas have the highest tissue oxidation capacity of any tissue in the body (wear and tear) so the potent antioxidants, such as selenium and astaxanthin along with omega 3’s found in seafood help keep your eyes healthier for longer!
Research shows us that people who take DHA in fish oil in combination with the antioxidant lutein have increased pigment density throughout the retina. (1) The “pigment density” is a term used to describe the concentration of protective nutrients like cartenoids in the cells of the retina which have powerful antioxidant properties helping to mellow the wear and tear of sunlight photons striking retinal tissue.

Research also shows:

  • when doctors give omega-3 DHA to premature babies they developed better vision
  • children whose mothers ate oily fish during pregnancy had better visual depth perception at 3.5 years
  • higher levels of omega-3 DHA in mothers milk made a higher visual acuity in her breastfed infant
  • omega-3’s help dry eyes, presumably by decreasing inflammation in the lacrimal glands and increasing the “oiliness” of tears
  • seniors who take fish oil have a lower incidence of age-related macular degeneration
Omega 3 + Your Heart
Our cardiovascular system get’s sick because two things happen:
  1. The blood vessel walls get stiff.
  2. The blood vessel lining—the endothelium–collects plaque and gets rough. 

Stiff and sticky blood vessels (often formed from Omega 3 deficiency) can lead to clots and high blood pressure where soft and flexible vessels contribute to healthy blood flow and lower blood pressure.

Omega 3’s help your heart get better by:

  • eliminating inflammation in the lining of your blood vessels
  • lowering your blood pressure
  • reducing plaque build up
  • keeps your blood from getting too think
  • lowers lipids
  • decreases platelet stickiness

I hope you too enjoy a smarter brain and happier mood with Omega 3’s! Remember that your health and vitality is your birthright, but you have to want it bad enough! Self care and self love are the most important components of health because it is only out of love for ourselves and dedication to our happiness, little by little, day by day; that miracles happen.

Sources:

Sears, James. MD. “The Omega 3 Effect.” New York. Little, Brown and Company. Hatchette Book Group. 2012.

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