As temperatures are falling and air pollution is on the rise, the world is grappling with the challenges of respiratory infections, out on the quest for effective preventive measures against it. Among the array of strategies, the role of nutrition, particularly the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, has emerged as a compelling avenue for fortifying the body's defences.
Last year, a study published in the International Journal Of General Medicine found that omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of catching respiratory infections, relieve symptoms quickly, decrease the risk of respiratory dysfunction, and ultimately prevent patients from succumbing to a wide array of airborne illnesses.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Prevent Respiratory Infections
Here's how omega-3s work their magic in protecting against severe respiratory disease:
Omega-3 fatty acids are renowned for their potent anti-inflammatory properties, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. It is a known fact that an infected respiratory tract is often associated with an exaggerated inflammatory response, which could be eased by omega-3-rich foods.
Supports Respiratory Health
Since respiratory viruses primarily attack the respiratory system, omega-3 fatty acids support lung health by enhancing lung function and reducing inflammation in the airways, thus mitigating the impact of respiratory infections, including COVID-19.
Boosts Immune Function
A robust immune system is a key defence against viral infections. Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in supporting immune function by enhancing the activity of immune cells.
Reduces Blood Clot Risk
Some respiratory viruses are also associated with an increased risk of blood clots, which can have severe consequences. Omega-3s exhibit anticoagulant properties, helping to maintain blood fluidity and reduce the likelihood of clot formation.
Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are abundantly found in various foods, and incorporating these into your diet can contribute to the potential protective effects against severe respiratory infection:
- Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines are among the richest sources of omega-3.
- Flaxseeds, whether ground or as oil, are excellent plant-based sources of omega-3.
- Walnuts are another plant-based source, providing a convenient and versatile option
- Chia seeds are a powerhouse of nutrition, including omega 3.
- Algal Oil Supplements: For individuals following a vegetarian or vegan diet, algal oil supplements derived from algae offer a direct source of omega-3 without relying on fish-based products.
While omega-3 fatty acids are not a magic bullet, diversifying your diet to include these omega-3-rich sources, not only enhances your overall health but also potentially fortifies your body against the severity of respiratory dysfunction. Remember to consult with healthcare professionals or nutritionists for personalised advice based on your health status and dietary preferences.