WHY IS OMEGA 3 IS SO IMPORTANT
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of fat you don't want to miss out on. They are essential for maintaining a normal metabolism and lowering inflammation levels internally, as well as delivering some other serious health benefits!
There are three types of omega-3; ALA, EPA and DHA. The latter two are called ‘essential fatty acids’ because the body does not produce them by itself, you have to get them from your food.
You can find omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish such as anchovies, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, freshwater trout and tuna. Unfortunately, due to the increased mercury levels found in large fish it is recommended to eat no more than 7 ounces of these fish per week, children and pregnant women should avoid these fish completely.
Plant sources of ALA are walnuts, most seeds, flaxseed and flaxseed oil, canola oil and soybean oil but these do not provide the body with the essential EPA and DHA acids that it needs.
A quick, easy and mercury free way to ensure you get your full range omega-3 fix is to take a daily supplement. Take the time to research where you source your omega-3 oil as a lot of the supplements on the market are not FDA tested, approved or effective. You want to make sure the product you are spending your hard-earned money on is actually going to do its job!
A brand we know well is ‘Nordic Naturals’ and we strongly recommend them as they are regulated and tested products, they are also FOS certified (Friends of the Sea) which means their products are ethically sourced and sustainably produced in a zero-waste facility.
Nordic Naturals fish oils are cold pressed which mean they pass strict testing for purity and freshness. The oils are sourced from non-genetically modified small fish such as mackerel and sardines, this means there is a much lower risk of any mercury contamination as so safe for us to consume. Another important thing to mention is that their omega-3 oil is offered in the triglyceride molecular form, in simple terms this the oils natural state and therefore the state best recognised and most easily absorbed by the human body.
Research suggests that patients need to take omega-3 fatty acids consistently for up to three months to see an improvement, usually this is because we have existed in a highly inflammatory state for so long and there is a lot of work to be done to correct this. The benefits are then said to increase the longer you take them.
So, what are these benefits, why do we need these essential acids?
BENEFITS FOR THE BODY:
Omega-3’s reduce chronic inflammation throughout the body, which can contribute to heart disease, asthma, fatty liver, diabetes, cancer and various other diseases.
Chronic inflammation also affects our muscles, ligaments, nerves and joints. Therefore, a diet rich in Omega-3s can really help to manage and reduce pain.
They improve bone strength and joint health, potentially reducing your risk of osteoporosis and arthritis.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help fight several autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis
Omega-3s help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, protecting our arteries and liver
They reduce the levels of unhealthy fats called triglycerides in the bloodstream by as much as 30%
They are good for your skin
BENEFITS FOR MENTAL HEALTH:
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are essential for brain health as they have been found to help lower levels of depression and anxiety disorders
They have also been found to boost the effects of some antidepressants
A diet rich in Omega-3's can reduce the risk of developing conditions such as dementia, depression, attention-deficit disorder, dyslexia and schizophrenia