They’re not a silver bullet, but they’re close! Omega-3s are great for your health — find out why they are, and where to find them.
If you have macular degeneration — a condition in which the macula of the eye deteriorates, which leads to central blindness — omega-3s may also help. Some of the cells of the retina, the part of the eye that receives light and images, contain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a specific type of omega-3 fat found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines. DHA helps protect light receptor cells in the eye from damage by sunlight and free radicals. A diet heavy in omega-3-rich foods can help protect against age-related macular degeneration.
Omega-3s help protect your mood and memory too. Research has shown that people who ate fatty fish at least once a week had a 10 percent slower decline in memory compared with those who didn’t eat fish. And omega-3s make up part of the structure of the membranes in the brain and help regulate mood.
Studies have not shown clearly the effects of omega-3s on people with diabetes, but they have shown that omega-3s from fish oil may delay the development of glucose intolerance in people without diabetes. Also, because so many people with diabetes develop heart disease, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids is often recommended.
And if you want to preserve your beautiful skin, omega-3s will help: They maintain cell membranes, allowing water and nutrients in, and protect skin from sun damage.
The best food sources of omega-3 fatty acids are wild salmon (fresh, canned), herring, mackerel (not king), sardines, anchovies, trout, Pacific oysters, omega-3-fortified eggs, ground flaxseed, walnuts, butternuts (white walnuts), seaweed, walnut oil, canola oil, and soybeans.