Nutrition

What are so special about Omega-3 Fatty Acids and where can I get them?

WHAT ARE THEY?

Omega-3 Fatty Acids first and for most are polyunsaturated fats but they are also essential fats, which means the body cannot synthesis or make them from scratch, and therefore we need to source them from the diet.

WHY DO WE NEED THEM?

Firstly, they are essential so it’s up to us to source them. But Consuming these Omega-3’s can also lead to great health benefits. Omega-3 have been known for their association with bones and joints. Research shows that Omega-3 may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, by increasing the amount of calcium in bones which improves bone strength.  Studies have also shown consistency in the evidence between omega-3 and a reduction in inflammation. Additionally, Omega-3 have been linked to improved sleep; length and quality. This link is great for both adults and children, as getting enough sleep is vital for optimal health. Lastly, Omega-3 are essential for the heart as they have been proven to reduce blood pressure, and the brain; especially in pregnant women and children. The brain and heart are two vital organs and muscles in your body that you need to keep healthy, so this is a key benefit to remember.

HOW TO GET A TOP UP IN WINTER.

With all these great health benefits, you’d think we were consuming plenty, but actually we consume more omega-6 fats due to our western diets of vegetable oils, meat and processed foods. It is important to consume these omega-3 and the easiest way to do it, is through dietary sources.

WHERE TO GET THEM FROM?

When people think about Omega-3 they immediately think to fish, and while yes, oily fish are one of the top sources, for people that aren’t keen there are still options out there.

  • Oily Fish; Salmon, mackerel, sardines. –  Don’t let the high calorie count throw you, aim for 2 portions/week as they are the top source of Omega-3.

  • Chia seeds – Sprinkle them on a salad or make into a chia-seed pudding.

  • Walnuts –  Great mid-morning snack, and high in antioxidants and B-vitamins.

  • Dark leafy greens; spinach, kale. – Make them the new lettuce in your salad, or add your morning smoothie/juice.

Now that you know what the sources of Omega-3 are, start adding them into your diet, and you will wreak the benefits. But if you still struggle to get that dose of Omega-3, you can also get a top up from an omega-3 fish oil supplement that are high in Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  Just be sure to pick a good brand that is high in purity and low in environmental contaminants.

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