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Omega-3 deficiency: Symptoms, Foods to Tackle Problem

Omega-3 fatty acids also benefit the maintenance of bone density.

As with any nutritional deficiency, the lack of omega-3 fatty acids in the body comes out in the form of some symptoms.

Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the several nutrients your body requires in adequate amounts in order to function properly. A polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) that is not produced by our body, omega-3 is responsible for regulating inflammation levels, as well as the development of the brain and nervous system. If your body does not get omega-3 in adequate amounts, it can lead to a variety of health issues like dehydration, frequent urination, fatigue and mood swings.

As with any nutritional deficiency, the lack of omega-3 fatty acids in the body comes out in the form of some symptoms. Here are five signs that you could be suffering from omega-3 deficiency:

Skin irritation and dryness

Redness of skin, sensitive and dry skin, or an unusual increase in acne could be signs of omega-3 deficiency. The nutrient prevents loss of moisture from the skin and helps shield it from irritants.

Dry eyes

If your eyes are unusually irritated or dry, you may need to get your omega-3 levels checked. The fatty acid plays a pivotal role in maintaining eye moisture, tear production and overall eye health.


Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects and even help treat neurodegenerative diseases like bipolar disorder, dementia and Alzheimer’s. Many studies show a link between a higher incidence of depression and low omega-3 levels.

Frequent thirst and urination

Omega-3 deficiency can cause your body to feel dehydrated, and your mouth and throat to feel dry.

Hair problems

Your hair may also feel the effects of any nutritional deficiency. Increased hair loss, and changes in hair texture, integrity, and density could be signs that your omega-3 quotient is below the level required by your body.

How to improve omega-3 levels

While you can take nutritional supplements to tackle low omega-3 levels, there are some foods that can give a natural boost to the nutrient’s levels in your body. Consuming a diet rich in seeds, nuts and certain fish is extremely helpful in this regard. Here are some foods you can eat to boost you omega-3 levels naturally:


Walnuts contain a lot of nutrients including omega-3, vitamin E, copper and manganese. You can have walnuts either on their own or add it to a shake, salad or any other recipe.

Chia seeds

Chia seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients and also include fibre and protein. Add the item to your salads, or smoothies to boost your omega-3 levels. You can also try mixing chia seeds and water to serve as a nutritional substitute for eggs.


One of the most nutrient-rich foods in the world, adding salmon to your diet can have several benefits. Apart from tackling any omega-3 deficiency, the food can help lower the risk of health issues like depression, heart disease and dementia.

Cod liver oil

Loaded with omega-3 as well as vitamins D and A, a single tablespoon of cod liver oil can fulfil your daily need for three important nutrients.


Flaxseeds will give you a boost of fiber, magnesium, and other nutrients. In fact, flaxseed oil is often used as a substitute for omega-3.

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