What is Omega-3?
Omega-3 is a type of unsaturated fatty acid; it is essential for the body as well as cannot be produced naturally by the body. Hence, it can only be consumed through diet and health supplements.
It consists of three types of acids that are, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosa-pentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosa-hexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is mostly found in plant oils like soybean and canola oils while fishes and other kinds of seafood are rich in DHA and EPA. Out of these three, the most essential acid is ALA, which is convertible into EPA and further, to DHA.
It can also be consumed through supplements in form of capsules, and are made of fish oils, cod liver oil, algal oil, flax seed, krill oil, etc
Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids –
If you eat fish, you’re more likely to get good amount of these fatty acids in your body. Some of its rich sources are – Salmon, cod liver oil, sardines, anchovies, flax seeds, chia seeds as well as walnuts. Apart from this, meat, eggs, and dairy products (from pasture-raised or grass-fed animals) have decent amount of omega-3 in them.
Why use Omega-3?
- Heart Health: Researches have shown that eating fish and other types of seafood helps in keeping the heart healthy and in turn preventing heart problems. It helps in reduction of triglycerides which is a blood fat, having a high level of triglycerides can be the reason for heart stroke, seizures and many other heart diseases.
- Blood Pressure: It may help in keeping low blood pressure; people who consume are likely to have better results than those who lack this fatty acid.
- Skin Health: It is useful in treating skin deficiencies; its deficiency can lead to rough or dry skin.
- Hair Growth: It has shown positive results in hair growth, it helps in providing essential proteins and nutrients to hair follicles which improves the hair growth.
- Eye Health: Docosa-hexaenoic acid (DHA) is a key component for retina and is helpful in treating various vision issues.
- Slow the development of plaque in the arteries
- May reduce the risk of colon, prostate, and breast cancers
- May help to get rid of excess fat from your liver
- Helps in reducing inflammation and symptoms of various autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
- May help in reducing menstrual pain as well
- May help to reduce the symptoms of ADHD in children
- It may help in preventing asthma in children and young adults
- DHA consumption during pregnancy and breastfeeding can improve your baby’s eye health and intelligence
- May also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
Omega-3 supplements side effects
Some of the side effects of consuming it are –
- A fishy taste in your mouth and fishy breath
- Upset stomach
- Loose stools
Should you take an omega-3 supplement?
To maintain the optimal omega-3 intake, the best way is to eat fatty fish at least twice per week. However, if you can’t do so, you can consider taking a supplement. Good EPA and DHA supplements include fish, krill, as well as algal oils.
However, if you’re a vegetarian/vegan, consume a DHA supplement made from algae.
There are loads of choices available in the market when it comes to omega-3 supplements. Certainly, not all of them are good. Be sure to educate yourself with all the important information needed before buying a supplement.
How to use Omega-3?
According to American Heart Association, eating fatty fish at least twice per week is required to ensure optimal omega-3 consumption for heart disease prevention. They recommend taking up to 3 grams of fish oil daily in supplement form, taking more than that may increase the risk of bleeding. Consult a doctor if taking more than that. Ask your healthcare provider for dosage recommendations if you’re trying to improve a specific health condition
Some people with heart disease may be advised to take 1 gram (1,000 milligrams) daily of a combination DHA/EPA from fish oil.
According to mainstream health organizations such as WHO (the World Health Organization) and EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), a minimum of 250–500 mg of both EPA and DHA together each day is good for healthy adults.
An additional 200 mg of DHA is ideal for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Where can I buy genuine Omega-3?
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