The health benefits of eating a balanced diet are many and diverse, with new research suggesting that omega-3 supplements have an integral role in children’s development.

The benefits of omega-3

It’s no great secret that consuming the right amount of fruit and vegetables is essential for not only your physical well-being, but for a balanced state of mind as well. Increasingly, people are awakening to the fact that omega-3 also plays an important role in our general health. These fatty acids are perhaps best known for reducing triglyceride levels, a blood fat that can put you at risk for heart disease.

However, the advantages of omega-3 don’t end there. As more research comes to light, we’re discovering that omega-3 can also assist in treating or preventing a range of other debilitating conditions, including depression, asthma and ADHD.

New findings: Behavioural effects

Omega-3 may even help reduce violence, anger, criminal behaviour and other negative characteristics. It’s a bold claim, but that’s exactly what a new study from the University of Pennsylvania suggested.

Led by Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor Adrian Raine, the team of researchers studied the ongoing development of a group of children in Mauritius, a volcanic island in the Indian Ocean. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they found that children who received poor nutrition were more aggressive than those with a balanced diet.

In this latest study, Mr Raine and his team set out to determine the effects a daily dose of omega-3 would have on children over the course of a year. Controlling the experiment with a placebo, the researchers found a significant reduction in antisocial actions and traits such as fighting, lying, anxiety and depression among those who consumed omega-3.

“In the end, we saw a 42 percent reduction in scores on externalising behaviour and a 62 percent reduction in internalising behaviour,” Mr Raine explained.

What this means

This study further highlights the importance of getting sufficient fatty acids in our diet for adults and children alike. However, this must be done in a way that is sustainable for the planet. Algae-based omega-3 supplements are perfect for maintaining harmony between humanity and Mother Nature.