To most college students and young professionals, "proper nutrition" is ordering your pizza with veggies and meat to cover all the food groups. However, this age group is also particularly driven to excel in the classroom or workplace in the hope of advancing quickly in their career. They stay up all night, swallowing energy drinks by the caseload and doing the grunt work, trying to stay on top of everything.
But what if there was a safe, natural and, to be frank, legal way to boost performance? There just might be. New research suggests adding more omega-3 fatty acids to their diet can be beneficial for young adults, improving cognitive performance and memory.
More About Omega-3s
Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that are needed for proper function of the body. Two of the most important omega-3s for health are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are obtained through consuming fatty fish or fish oil. These fatty acids have many positive benefits for health, which include:
These benefits continue to be investigated by scientists, but an omega-3 supplement is a popular recommendation among physicians of various backgrounds for improved and sustained health.
Published Tuesday by the Public Library of Science (PLoS), the study looked at the effect of daily fish oil supplementation in 11 Caucasian men. With an average age of 22, these men are considered to be at their prime when it comes to cognitive function. The men all consumed 750 mg of DHA and 930 mg of EPA on a daily basis for six months. At the beginning and end of the study, their blood was tested to determine the amount of omega-3 acids in members of the red blood cells. They also participated in challenges to look at the strength of their short-term memory.
At the end of the study, the participants performed 23 percent better on a memory challenge that asked them to identify the placement of certain items on a long list. Researchers suggest omega-3s could be a way to enhance a young person's cognitive performance as a result of this heightened memory. They're still looking for the definitive connection, but some of the possible explanations for this include reduced inflammation in the brain, improved signal transmission among brain cells or an increase in the amount of available dopamine throughout the brain.
Adding More Omega-3s to Your Diet
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of omega-3s is, on average, 1,100 mg per day for adult women and 1,600 mg per day for adult men, according to the National Academy of Sciences. As mentioned before, omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in fish like mackerel, sardines and salmon. You can also consume fish oil, either in liquid form or in a softgel. If you're looking to avoid fish, you can try flax seed oil supplements as well. Other foods that contain omega-3s include avocados, nuts, wild rice and certain dairy products that have been fortified with omega-3s.
Will adding omega-3s to your diet turn you into a savant overnight? No, but it may mean better odds at acing that art history midterm or presentation at work. We'll see where the science takes us. In the meantime, enjoy the healthful benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and shop for flax seed and fish oil products at eVitamins to get the best deal!
Products you may like:
Carlson Labs Very Finest Fish Oil Lemon Why you may like this product? Carlson Labs' fish oil is
produced from cold water fish
that live in the deep
Norwegian waters. This oil is
produced without any chemicals
at a low temperature for the
highest purity and quality.
Just one teaspoon daily
provides 500 mg of DHA and 800
mg of EPA.
eVitamins Ultra Omega 3 Why you may like this product? This product is produced using
molecular distillation for the
highest quality fish oil. Our
supplement provides 250 mg of
DHA and 500 mg of EPA for
cardiovascular and cognitive
support in easy-to-swallow
softgels that have been
enteric coated to help them
survive stomach acids.
Now Foods Flax Oil Why you may like this product? If you're looking to avoid
fish products, flax seeds are
an amazing source of omega-3
fatty acids. This supplement
from Now provides 1,000 mg of
pure, cold-pressure flax oil
per serving for a healthy mind
How Many Omegas Should You Be Taking? Essential fatty acids like omega-3s are often in the news for their helpful benefits, but how many of them should you aim to have in a day? Keep reading to find out.
The Importance of Essential Fatty Acids Cutting out all fats can be as detrimental to your health as consuming
them in excess. Learn more about the fats your body needs and stop
thinking about fat as the bad guy.
10 Best Uses for Essential Fatty Acids Essential fatty acids look after the vital organs and tissues of the
body and prevent diseases of the heart and mind. Learn more about the
"good fats" you need to be consuming on a daily basis.
Statements made about specific vitamins, supplements, procedures or other items sold on or through this website have not been evaluated by eVitamins or by the United States Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. As always, please consult with a licensed doctor or physician before starting any diet, exercise or supplement program, before taking any vitamin or medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a problem.