Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that cannot be produced by the body so we need to get it from our food. So why is it essential? Scientists named them essential as they found a small amount was essential for normal growth and brain function in children.
OMEGA 3 HAS PROVEN BENEFITS
Omega 3 can reduce inflammation, lessen pain in muscles and joints as proven in controlled trials with sufferers of arthritis and prevent or treat dry eyes. It has been proven in a small study to help fibromyalgia sufferers as discussed at Fibromyalgia Network.
We would be living in a cave in the Himalayas if we had not heard of the benefits of omega 3 and that the suggested best supply of it is fish oil tablets.
Well, I beg to differ, about the tablet part, as I believe that using a whole food must be better - so why not try flaxseeds. They are a whole food that can easily be crushed and added to many foods such as bread, cakes and cereals and shakes. It is also a lot cheaper than fish oil tablets. Flaxseed is also known as Linseed. I buy it at Aldi and they call it linseed.
Flaxseeds contain omega-3s and omega-6 fatty acids in the form of linoleic acid. (ALA). During digestion, ALA, alpha-lipoic acid, is converted into two different omega-3 fatty acids — called EPA and DHA — that are used to protect cell membranes.
As an alternative to flaxseed oil, you can get the same omega-3s by grinding whole flax seeds in a coffee grinder and sprinkling the ground seeds over a salad, adding them to a smoothie or mixing them in fruit juice. If you choose this option, be sure to use the seeds immediately after grinding them to get the full omega-3 benefits.More information on foods that reduce inflammation can be found at Help Autoimmune
Popular eye vitamins that contain flaxseed oil include: TheraTears Nutrition (Advanced Vision Research), Dry Eye Formula (EyeScience) and Tears Again Hydrate (Ocusoft). ALL ABOUT VISION
FOOD SOURCES OF OMEGA 3
So omega 3 can be found in flaxseeds and also in barramundi (fish), bream (fish), herring, leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, salmon, scallops, sardines, soybeans, tuna, organic eggs and grass-fed beef so it is not necessary to take fish oil tablets.
What are the symptoms of omega-3 deficiency?
Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation. It is important to have the proper ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 (another essential fatty acid) in the diet.- Mount Sinai Health
Omega-3 dietary supplements include fish oil, krill oil, cod liver oil, and algal oil (a vegetarian source that comes from algae). - NIH
What are other health benefits of omega-3?
Including omega-3 as part of a healthy diet may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by:
- Reducing Triglycerides (TGs) (an unhealthy fat in the blood)
- Decreasing LDL (bad) cholesterol levels
- Increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels
- Thinning the blood (which may reduce blood clot formation)
- Reducing inflammation in the body - Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
Are there different types of omega-3? The three main omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is found mainly in plant oils such as flaxseed, soybean, and canola oils. DHA and EPA are found in fish and other seafood.
ALA is an essential fatty acid, meaning that your body can’t make it, so you must get it from the foods and beverages you consume. Your body can convert some ALA into EPA and then to DHA, but only in very small amounts. Therefore, getting EPA and DHA from foods (and dietary supplements if you take them) is the only practical way to increase levels of these omega-3 fatty acids in your body. - NIH
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