Omega-3 fatty acids fall into our favorite category of foods—namely, those that both improve general health and support a strong, lean physique. Time and time again, these essential, poly-unsaturated fatty acids have been proven to, among other benefits, promote healthy brain function, support cardiovascular health, improve protein synthesis, and support healthy joint function. All of these health benefits can be applied to your bodybuilding goals by way of building muscle, sharpening focus, improving blood flow to muscles, and protecting the joints that hold you together. And according to research from the University of Guelph in Canada, consuming omega-3s actually increases the thermic effect of other food you eat as well. In other words, ingesting alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexanoic acid (DHA), collectively known as omega-3 fatty acids, increases the ability of food to burn off its own calories and fat.