What is Omega-3: Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid (EFA) essential for the body’s development and overall health. While the body cannot produce omega-3, it is still very important to take them daily, either by way of food or supplements. Unlike many other supplements, there is no current recommend daily dosage for omega-3. For example, if you are trying to treat depression, it’s recommended that you take 9.6 grams daily, while for high-blood pressure, the daily recommendation is 4 grams per day is necessary. It is the assumption that the only good source is through fish oil, but that is not the case. There are plenty of other natural, non-animal sources to obtain omega-3 fatty acids.
Sources of Omega-3:Many people think that the only sources of true omega-3 are from fish oil. While omega-3 from fish is a great source, this limits intake for those who do not consume animal products. Many don’t know that there are many other sources, even some found in your daily diet, that are full of omega-3 and can help you reach your daily needed intake. You must consume a certain amount to achieve the right quantity of omega-3s but its still possible to avoid animal products and get omega-3s. For example, 1/4 cup of flaxseeds contains 7 grams of omega-3, while 1/4 cup of walnuts only contains 2.3 grams of omega-3. Here are just some of the foods that contain an adequate of omega-3:
- Oils (Soybean, Flaxseed, Canola)
- Brussel spouts
Benefits of Omega-3: Omega-3 is essential to daily health. So, what are the real benefits that make this supplement so important? Many health challenges have been shown to improve, or even be cured when taking omega-3. Intake of omega-3 also helps prevent many health problems before they even occur.
- Brain health
- Improve and stabilize mood, depression
- Assist in creating new cells
- Cardiovascular health
- Cognitive and behavioral function
- Reduction of menstrual pain
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower blood pressure
Choosing the Right Supplements: If you choose to take omega-3 in the supplement form, it’s important to make sure you choose the right kind. Fish Oil can be found at most markets and drug stores, but they are not all created equally. It’s important to choose a supplement that is pure fish oil, in it’s natural form. It’s key to avoid additives, as supplements that contain additives may have harmful metals like mercury and lead. Make sure the supplement has come from wild fish, because farmed fish may contain hormones and antibiotics. Try to purchase a fish oil that has come from wild salmon, sardines, or anchovies. These contain the most natural and best sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Along with fish oil supplements, there are also alternative supplements and oils that contain the same amounts of omega-3 without the animal products. This makes it safe and easy for those who do not consume animal products to get the proper amount of omega-3. Options include capsules that combine algae with nut and seed oils, as well as flaxseed oils. Another great alternative available is vegetarian fish oil replacement supplements. All these alternatives combine ingredients to contain high, potent amounts of omega-3, and are just as safe, sometimes even safer than mainstream fish oil.
There are many health benefits of adding omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. The myth that the only source of omega-3 is from fish oil has been busted! It is possible to get omega-3 fatty acids in a vegetarian and vegan diet. With so many positive benefits, why not get your daily dose?
Do you already take omega-3? Let us know and share your experience.
Resources: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=75 http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/questions/omega-3/index.html http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/993.html http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm
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