Discover The Different Sources Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

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It is somewhat surprising that so many people in the Western world lack sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids so necessary to good health as there really are a wide variety of sources of omega-3 fatty acids available today.

Plant Sources Of Omega-3’s or ALA’s

While most people have heard of two of the three omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA there is a third type of omega-3 known as ALA. ALA comes mainly from plants and while this omega-3 doesn’t have as many benefits for your health as EPA and DHA some of the ALA you consume will be converted to one of these two other omega-3’s within your body.

Sources of the omega-3 ALA include:

  •     Flaxseed and flaxseed oil
  •     canola oil
  •     soybeans and soybean oil
  •     winter squash
  •     spinach
  •     walnuts
  •     broccoli
  •     cauliflower

Of course most people aren’t going to get the health benefits they need from eating foods that contain ALA alone. So you are going to want to include some healthy sources of EPA and DHA in your diet as well.

Where To Get That DHA and EPA!

Luckily for you there are a number of sources from which you can get the omega-3 DHA and EPA though most of these sources come from the sea, or at least lakes and rivers.  Some experts recommend that you eat fatty fish twice a week others recommend that you eat 3 or 4 helpings a week. The problem is that different types of fish and seafood contain differing amounts of omega-3 fatty acids so most people don’t know the exact amount of omega-3’s they are consuming. However, eating any of these foods will increase your consumption of EPA and DHA and give you other vitamins and minerals as well.

  •    Salmon
  •     anchovies
  •     tuna (blue and yellow fin)
  •     sardines
  •     trout
  •     crab
  •     cod
  •     scallops
  •     lobsters
  •     tilapia
  •     mackerel
  •     shrimp
  •     Hoki

Remember that the smaller the seafood the less omega-3 it will contain so while 8 ounces of salmon or tuna a week might give you most of the omega-3 fatty acids you need it isn’t likely that 8 ounces of shrimp will give you the needed amount of these healthful fatty acids.

Fish Oil Supplements To Fill In The Gaps

Some people simply do not eat fish or at least do not eat enough to give them all the omega 3 that they need. In these cases, fish oil supplements can fill in the gaps and give you the omega-3’s that you need to maintain good health.

Fish oil supplements come in three forms, actual oil, capsules, and pills. Most people find the taste of straight fish oil a bit unpleasant and also a bit inconvenient to take as you need to measure out the dosage each time you take your supplement. Capsules and pills are more convenient and since the oil in the capsules is locked inside of a gel cap there is usually no fishy taste.

Why Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids so Important?

You may be wondering why having sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is of such importance. The answer is very simple. Every cell in the body uses these fatty acids to function. Since the body does not manufacture these fatty acids you must get them through the food you eat. Studies suggest that a deficiency in Omega-3 FAs can lead to a number of health problems including, heart disease and some types of cancers while having sufficient levels of these fatty acids can help you lower your risks to several diseases and conditions.

Which means that in order to get the omega-3’s needed to keep you in good health you need to know what sources are available for you to get these essential fatty acids from.   Now that you know, shouldn’t you do what you can to insure that you are getting a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids each day?

 

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