The benefits of omega-3s don’t benefit just one age group. In fact, there are benefits all through the lifespan.
From expectant mothers carrying their infants to older age adults, omega-3s play an important role in supporting overall health.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons omega-3s are important during all periods of life.
Omega-3s for Birth and Childhood
It’s important for pregnant mothers to get enough omega-3s to help support fetal brain development, and some studies have suggested that omega-3s may also help prevent perinatal depression. (1)
Looking at childhood, If you remember the stories about grandmothers giving cod liver oil to their grandchildren and improving their immunity during the winter, this is because omega-3s help support your immune system. (2)
Omega-3s for Early Adulthood
As you grow older and you’re in your 20s, and you’re feeling superhuman with all the youth and energy in the world, you would be surprised to know that even young bodybuilders take omega-3s post-workout for their metabolic system to function at top level.
Omega-3s also continue to be important during early adulthood for supporting both brain and eye health. (3)
Omega-3s for Middle Age
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Alt Text: omega 3 for 30s
At age 40 and you start going to the doctor for your annual checkups, and the doctor is testing for cholesterol, which is another reason omega-3s are super important as we age.
If you’re taking omega-3s in your 40s and 50s, the balance between the omega-3: omega-6 is really going to help you to ensure that your cholesterol levels are balanced and the anti-inflammatory effects may help serve as that preventative factor that the body needs to help ward off cardiovascular disease.
Some research also suggests that fish oil and consuming fish twice a week has a positive effect on blood pressure, another important part of supporting heart health. (4)
Omega-3s for Older Adult Years
If you’re a baby boomer or a senior, as I am, omega-3s are critical to helping maintain metabolic processes in the body. I personally consider my twice-daily omega-3 dose as part of my lifestyle, where I really don’t miss a day. A huge part of the reason I am taking omega-3s is for longevity.
How to Get Enough Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s are important across the lifespan, and they are easy to get through diet or supplementation.
My two favorite omega-3 food sources include anchovies and sardines, and some plant-based sources that offer ALA include flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts.
You can add plant-based omega-3 rich foods to your daily smoothie, sprinkled over oatmeal, or even over a dark leafy green salad. Salmon is another great fish source of omega-3 fatty acids, just be sure to stick to wild-caught to avoid exposing yourself to some of the harmful contaminants in our polluted oceans.
Supplementation is also an easy way to get our daily dose of omega-3s. The key here is to stick to a company that offers third-party purity tested fish oil to avoid the contaminants we don’t want in our omega-3 supplement.
No matter what age you are, it’s never too late to start getting more omega-3s, and since they are essential, we must get them through diet or supplementation.
So, up your intake of omega-3 rich foods or consider a high-quality fish oil supplement — getting enough of these important fatty acids is an essential part of supporting overall health.
- Coletta JM, Bell SJ, Roman AS. Omega-3 Fatty acids and pregnancy. Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2010;3(4):163-171.
- Gutiérrez S, Svahn SL, Johansson ME. Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Immune Cells. Int J Mol Sci. 2019;20(20):5028. Published 2019 Oct 11. doi:10.3390/ijms20205028
- Harvard Health. Omega-3 For Your Eyes. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/omega-3-for-your-eyes
- Mayo Clinic. Fish Oil. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-fish-oil/art-20364810