Maintaining good health can be a challenge with so many competing health recommendations. You’re told eating fat is unhealthy, for example. However, the Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for good health.
These are good fats, vital for your health, from babyhood to old age. (1) Omega-3’s help the various systems in your body, such as the cardiovascular system and immune system.
In any discussion of Omega-3 fatty acids, it’s vital to be aware of the most important fact about them: they’re essential fatty acids. That is, your body can’t create them. They need to come from your food.
This means that it’s crucial to eat foods rich in Omega-3’s regularly.
Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. If you struggle to eat healthily, or eat sufficient quantities of foods containing Omega-3’s consider an Omega-3 supplement, such as GreenOMEGA 3.
Since they’re so important, let’s look at the varieties of Omega-3 fatty acids your body needs.
They come in three main forms. (2)
Three primary Omega-3 fatty acids: essential for your health
The three forms of Omega-3’s are:
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), available from plant sources such as soybean and canola oils.
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), available from seafood.
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), also available from seafood.
If your diet includes sufficient ALA Omega-3’s, your body may convert some small amounts of ALA to EPA and DHA fatty acids. Unfortunately, this conversion is unreliable—sometimes it doesn’t happen.
Therefore, you should eat some form of seafood regularly to meet your body’s need for EPA and DHA Omega-3’s. If you’re not eating sufficient fish and seafood, you can take supplements to meet your requirements for Omega-3’s.
A sufficient intake of Omega-3 is important at any age
What happens if your intake of Omega-3’s is insufficient?
A low Omega-3 intake can be dangerous for:
- Pregnant women;
- The elderly. (3)
At any age, dry skin and susceptibility to infections may be a sign of insufficient Omega-3’s. If you feel tired, or your skin is itchy and flaky, or wounds seem to take forever to heal, look to your Omega-3 intake.
If you suffer from inflammation, look to getting sufficient Omega-3 fatty acids. Not only can they help relieve acute inflammation which occurs because of an allergy or another reason, they may also be helpful for chronic inflammation. (5)
When considering your body as a whole, the health of your heart and brain is vital, and sufficient Omega-3 fatty acids help to keep them healthy. If you’re concerned about your heart, the prestigious Mayo Clinic reports that two servings of fish a week help. (4)
Omega-3’s are “brain food”: studies show that a higher intake of Omega-3’s can be helpful at any age. (6)
Stay healthy with a good intake of Omega-3’s
Are you healthy?
A good intake of Omega-3’s helps you to stay healthy, with benefits such as:
- Good eye health. DHA is vital for the health of your eyes, especially your retina. DHA may help with macular degeneration too.
- Helping to build healthy bones and joints, especially in the elderly. Studies indicate that Omega-3’s can assist in calcium absorption, to improve the health of bones and joints.
- Encouraging healthy sleep. Some studies show that supplementing DHA encourages healthier sleep patterns.
- Finally, Omega-3 can help improve your skin, as well as protecting against sun damage.
Without a doubt, Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for your health.
Let’s look at how to ensure that you get them from your diet—or, if that’s a challenge, how to supplement your intake.
How to obtain sufficient Omega-3 fatty acids from your diet, even if you’re vegan or vegetarian
It’s essential to obtain Omega-3 fatty acids from your diet and/or a quality Omega-3 supplement.
From natural wholefoods, you can obtain a good supply of Omega-3 fatty acids both from seafood and plant-based sources as well. However, with different food preferences, our hectic lifestyles and in some cases, poor quality produce, getting sufficient levels requires some planning.
Let’s first look at the foods which are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
Foods rich in Omega-3’s: include them in your diet
Fish has long been considered “brain food”. It turns out that there’s a lot of truth in that assumption. Seafood is an excellent source of Omega-3’s. (7)
Tinned fish is ok from the perspective that it’s packed with Omega-3’s, salmon for example, offering around 4,123 mg in 100 grams. Mackerel, offers 5,134 mg of Omega-3’s in 100 grams and the humble sardine offers 1,480 mg per 100 grams. Since 250 to 500 mg of combined EPA and DHA are recommended daily for adults, it covers your needs. (9) However, how and where the fish is sourced may be of concern, as can be the quality of the product and packaging. While sustainably produced and packaged fish is ideal, it is more expensive and may not be readily available.
What if you prefer a plant-based diet? You have many options for adding Omega-3’s to your diet, including flax seeds and chia seeds. They’ve become trendy as “super foods.” Walnuts and soybeans also contain Omega-3’s.
Omega-3’s from plant source however require additional ‘processing’ by the body to convert to the Omega-3 forms required. The conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA is inhibited by linoleic acid (plant-based Omega-6), nutrient deficiency, genetics, health status, and sex. This may explain why ALA is a sufficient source of DHA for some vegetarians and vegans, but not for others. This conversion can be as little as 10% efficient.
When you’re adding Omega-3-rich foods to your shopping list, consider the daily requirements for children and adults.
How many Omega-3 fatty acids do children and adults need?
For many people, getting an adequate daily intake of Omega-3’s means making changes in your diet. Let’s look at recommendations for your daily intake.
Needs vary, according to age and sex. So, be guided by your physician or other health adviser.
General guidelines (1):
- Babies from birth to 12 months: 0.5 g
- Children 1 to 3 years: 0.7 g
- Boys 9 to 13 years: 1.2 g
- Girls 9 to 13 years: 1.0 g
- Men: 1.6 g
- Women: 1.1 g
Should I use an Omega-3 fatty acids supplement?
What if you’re too busy to eat regular meals or plan each day’s Omega-3 requirements?
A supplement can help.
Supplements for Omega-3 fatty acids are popular and have been used for many years. Cod liver oil for example, has a centuries-long history. In 1789, doctors gave cod liver oil to patients with rheumatism. (8)
Today, we have endless options for Omega-3 supplements. However, all Omega-3 supplements aren’t equal. If you’re enhancing your plant-based diet, or worry about over-fishing and resource sustainability, consider a product like plant-based GreenOMEGA 3.
GreenOMEGA 3: pure plant source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids
Just as fish do, GreenOMEGA 3 obtains its Omega-3’s from organic marine micro-algae, but via a farmed, sustainable and natural resource. This ensures that your Omega-3’s are of a high potency and the purest quality.
GreenOMEGA 3’s micro-algae offer essential DHA and EPA; they’re free from heavy metals like mercury and arsenic. (Unfortunately these heavy metals are common in larger fish.)
Most importantly, you’re assured that the micro-algae in GreenOMEGA 3 are sustainably farmed in a pollution-free area. After extraction via a chemical-free process, the oils are filtered to produce a potent, pure DHA and EPA oil.
On their journey to you, your Omega-3 are protected, straight from nature to you, secured in GreenOMEGA 3’s LOCTEC™ Oxygenless Packaging.
This packaging ensures that the GreenOMEGA 3 ’s products maintain their integrity: there’s no possibility that the oils may become rancid, as might occur with exposure to oxygen.
A vegan alternative to fish oil
GreenOMEGA 3 comes from a renewable algal source is a vegan alternative to fish oil for essential DHA and EPA.
Each vegan capsule contains 850mg of Life’sOMEGA3™ marine microalgae oil delivering 255mg DHA and 127mg EPA.
GreenOMEGA 3 is a safe and effective way to get DHA and EPA every day, without the need for fish oil.
Is it possible to consume too much Omega-3 fatty acids?
If you’re taking medication which may be affected by an omega 3 supplement, always consult your Doctor before commencing.
Always consume the recommended daily amount when taking any omega 3 supplement.
(1) The Facts on Omega-3 Fatty Acids: fact sheet
(3) 5 Signs That You’re Deficient in Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids
(4) Omega-3 in fish: How eating fish helps your heart
(8) What the History of Fish Oil Teaches Us About Omega-3 Potency
(9) How Much Omega-3 Should You Take per Day?