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What Is Omega-3 And How It Benefits Asthma And Allergy?

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Asthma is a chronic health condition caused by inflammation of lungs and tracheal ducts. This causes acute breathlessness, wheezing and chest pain in the patients.

Studies proved that omega-3 fatty acids found in various foods are known to reduce the deadly symptoms of asthma in the long run for many patients.

If you are suffering from asthma allergy and are wondering about what is omega 3 and how it helps in relieving the asthma symptoms, we advise reading through below article in detail…

What Is Omega 3?

Omega-3 fatty acids can be defined as the essential nutrients found in certain foods and plant sources, which are important for normal metabolism of the body and to support heart health.

In general, there are three types of omega-3 fatty acids. These are:

  • ALA(alpha-linolenic acid)
  • EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)
  • DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)

ALA is mainly found in certain plant sources (like nuts and seeds). Whereas EPA and DHA are found in certain fishes or foods and are the most crucial ones.

All of these omega-3 fatty acids are not only important for proper body functioning but also to avoid various health conditions including breathing troubles.

What Is Omega 3 Good For?

Omega 3 fatty acids are the type of fats which people love to consume due to its ability to reduce various health symptoms.

These not only good for providing energy to the body but also for better human functioning.

Various omega 3 benefits include:

  • Manages triglyceride levels
  • Relieves joint pain and arthritis
  • Soothes skin and help eczema or psoriasis
  • Improves lung functioning and lowers inflammation
  • Lowers depressing, anxiety and mental trauma
  • Enhances mood, concentration and memory power

Besides all the above benefits Omega 3 also prove beneficial in managing diseases like ADHD, high blood pressure, heart attack/stroke, sleep apnea, Alzheimer’s and dementia. It is also helpful for pregnant ladies and infants.

How Does Omega 3 Help In Asthma Treatment?

Researches carried out since years prove that making certain changes in diet and consuming more of dietary omega 3 fatty acids can help in providing better resistance to asthma for asthmatics.

In fact, omega 3 fatty acids which are particularly important for the development of children’s brain are also found to be helpful in easing asthma allergy symptoms in children.

Studies reveal that the benefits offered by omega 3 fatty acids in asthma are due to its ability to reduce the inflammation caused in the airways. Also by reducing eosinophil activities, omega 3s are found to be helpful in enhancing the lung functioning and hence in combating the symptoms of asthma allergy-like coughing, wheezing, sneezing, etc.

Omega 3 fatty acids when consumed in appropriate quantity are not only found useful for patients themselves but also for the patient’s mothers.

Studies proved that pregnant women when consuming omega 3 fatty acids (in the form of food or supplements) are likely to give birth to babies who have a stronger immune system and are resistant to breathing troubles like asthma or allergies.

Foods High In Omega 3: How It Benefits Asthma And Allergies?

With the increase in a number of people suffering from lifestyle diseases, supplements rich in omega 3 fatty acids are getting increasingly popular all around the globe including the USA.

Although you can get all the health benefits offered by omega-3s by consuming these natural supplements, consuming omega 3 rich foods is highly recommended due to the possible side effects of omega 3 fatty acids capsules and supplements.

Fish for Omega 3

Eating fish that is high in DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids (2-3 times in a week) is one good way to get omega-3 fatty acids into your body.

While eating fish for your omega-3 needs is a good idea, you should care that you consume only the fishes that are free from higher levels of mercury, PCBs, toxins, and other contaminants.

Wild salmon, tuna and wild trout fish are high in omega 3 and low in mercury levels and are therefore safer to consume. Whereas farm-raised fish should be completely avoided as it may contain high contaminants.

Omega 3 Superfoods

There is a number of vegetables, fruits and other plant sources that are found to be rich in omega 3 fats. The list of some of these omega 3 superfoods are as follows:

  • Soybeans
  • Walnuts
  • Canola Oil
  • Hemp Seed Oil
  • Chia Seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Winter squash
  • Black Beans
  • Navy Beans
  • Wild Rice
  • Eggs
  • Kale

[Also Read: Choosing Best Room Heaters for Asthma Patients]

Omega 3 Fatty Acids FAQs

Although omega 3 fats are known to provide various health benefits to the users, it can be risky if not taken properly.

It is therefore important for you to take them after consulting with your doctor. Your doctor based on your health condition and needs recommends the right dosage you can take safely.

Few important things you need to take care are as follows:

Omega 3 vs Omega-6: Which Is Better?

Omega 3 and omega 6 are the fatty acids which are both essential for normal body functioning. However there is a vast quantity difference between omega 3 omega 6 fatty acids, we should consume.

Omega-6 fatty acids are known to be the causative agents for asthma. However, omega-3 fatty acids are known to decrease this inflammation.

Studies, therefore, proved that it is essential for you to have a balance between omega-6 to omega-3 by consuming it in the ratio of 3:1.

How Much Omega 3 To Take Per Day?

For most of the healthy adults, dosage for omega 3 can be in between 250-500 mg (combined EPA and DHA) per day.

However higher amounts can be sometimes prescribed by doctors for people suffering from certain health conditions like heart problems, depression, anxiety, cancer, etc.

How Long Does Omega 3 Take To Work?

How long does it take for omega 3 to work, actually depends on – for what condition it is to be taken?

Studies show that – while people with bad cholesterol and heart problems can see significant results in 2-3 weeks, it may take 2-3 months for seeing the improvement for rheumatoid arthritis.

People with asthma cough and allergies may, however, take more than 6-8 months to experience the benefits of consuming omega 3 fatty acids.

For most of the asthmatics, the severity of chronic asthma symptoms may not be reduced unless omega-3 fatty acids are taken over a long period of time of about 9-10 months.

What Are The Side Effects Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids?

Omega 3 fatty acids, when taken in too many quantities (other than as prescribed by a doctor), can be risky for adults, children, and pregnant women.

Some of the side effects that can be seen in these cases are heartburn, nausea, indigestion, nosebleeds, bad breath, etc.

If you are new to taking omega 3 fish oil, you can also experience frequent fish burps as it is sometimes difficult to digest.

People who are prone to allergies while consuming seafood can also suffer problems such as hives and swelling.

Excessive intake of fish oil is also found to be hazardous for pregnant women, children, and people suffering from conditions like cancer, diabetes, liver problems, etc.

To avoid all these side effects it is important that you consume the fish oil after consulting with your doctor is the only recommended quantity.

How To Take Omega 3 Fish Oil And At What Time?

Fish oil can be consumed in various forms which include consuming an oily fish directly by roasting, grilling, frying, smoking, etc.

If you do not like eating fish, you can also consume it as concentrated dietary supplements which are available in the form of a capsule, pills, soft gels, liquid, etc.

What time of day to take fish oil?

As such, there is no set time that can be said best for taking fish oils, as long as you are taking it with your meals.

Especially when you are taking fish oils in supplement form, care that you do not take it on an empty stomach. It is best to take these supplements during or after your high-fat meals.

It is best to set a routine and take it accordingly on a regular basis (may be during breakfast, lunch or dinner). Pick a time that is most suited for you and stick with it!

The dosage

Whatever form you choose, be sure to consult with your doctor to know the overall need and dosage in your daily diet. Based on your health condition and age your doctor may recommend the right dosage you may take daily.

The proper dosage is actually based on the amounts of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) and not the amount of fish oil. Combined it may be anything between 0.2–0.5 grams.

Fish oil supplement that provides at least 0.3 grams (300 mg) of EPA and DHA per serving is found to be a good option for most of the people.

Note: Although fish oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, it should not be replaced with vegetable oils (as some of the health experts suggest doing) in order to supplement your daily needs.