Did you know that upping your intake of omega 3 benefits your skin AND boosts your brain power as you get older?
There are many other advantages to popping a little golden capsule of omega 3 on a daily basis – but those two facts are probably enough for most of us right there.
Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid and fatty acids are vital for the proper functioning of every cell in your body and that includes your skin.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids maintain the structure and fluidity of the cell membrane making sure nutrients enter the cell and waste products are removed.
As your body can’t make these fatty acids – it has to constantly replenish them from food intake – hence the label: “essential fatty acids” or EFA.
The wide ranging healthy benefits of fish oils has made them one of the better known anti aging supplements.
Bad fatty acids
You probably already know that there are good and not so good fatty acids. Too much saturated fat for example clogs up your cell membranes because these fats remain solid at room temperature.
Diets containing large amounts of saturated fats produce unhealthy cell membranes that are hard and lacking in fluidity.
Omega 3 keeps cell membranes fluid
Omega 3 fatty acids on the other hand are liquid at room temperature which contributes to the fluidity of the cell membrane.
Diets rich in omega 3 fats produce cell membranes with a high degree of fluidity so connections within your brain will be stronger and quicker. Your brain – and consequently your whole body – works better.
Unfortunately the average western diet contains an excess of saturated fat and depleted levels of omega 3 fatty acids.
Your mother may have told your that fish was good for the brain – she may not have been able to explain exactly why – but she was right.
Omega 3 – magic for your skin
The effects on the brain of a diet with plenty of fish oil is well known nowadays. But how omega 3 benefits the skin as a conditioner is less well known.
In fact there is a vital connection between omega 3 and skin – essential fatty acids are magic for your skin – keeping skin cells moist and strong which is an essential element of maintaning a youthful look.
Omega 3 skin benefits have been established by scientific research. Recent studies have shown that a diet low in essential fatty acids – and that’s around 99% of US citizens – can lead to dry skin and premature wrinkles.
Taking an omega 3 supplement to boost levels of fatty acids improves the ability of your skin to hold moisture, plumps out wrinkles and smoothes skin.
Why smokers need Omega 3
If you’re a smoker – you need to take extra care with your diet. Smoking damages skin and speeds up premature skin aging so the effect on your skin of a diet low in essential fatty acids will be much worse if you’re a regular smoker.
Boosting your intake of fatty acids will do wonders for the smoothness and radiance of your skin and help you stay wrinkle free for longer.
Why you probably need a supplement
Fish oil supplements are among the most commonly used daily supplements in the US and the reason is simple. Unless you are able to make radical changes to the way you eat – specifically the amount of fish you eat – most of us just won’t be able to get the levels of omega 3 we need as we get older.
Two very important omega 3 fatty acids which you may have seen on supplement labels are EPA and DHA both of which are found in high levels in fish and seafood.
Look out for a supplement that gives you the highest level of each and go for quality – you pay more but you need the guarantee of what you are getting.
If you’re going to get your essential fatty acids from fish then stick to oily fish like: salmon, halibut, tuna, mackerel, trout, sardines, eel (OK maybe skip this one) and herring and make sure you eat it at least three-four times a week.
Other sources of omega 3 are more difficult to find – you can sprinkle flax seed or linseed on your cereal or try rapeseed oil as a dressing on salads.
However you try to boost your intake – it is wise to take a daily supplement as well just to be sure.
If you want to get younger looking skin AND boost your brain power – make sure you get those omega 3 benefits every single day.