What do they do for me?
Omega-3 fatty acids are involved in many different processes in the body. They aid cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation in the joints, and can help in lowering blood pressure. On top of that, they play a role when it comes to brain health concerning cognition, memory, and mood. Omega-3 sources can be broken down into two categories, marine – which is your fish oils – and non-marine, like chia seeds, walnuts, and flax seeds.
How do I get them?
There are different types of omega-3 fatty acids, but the two most beneficial are the long-chain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The human Marine sources – oily cold-water fish like tuna, salmon, and mackerel – contain both EPA and DHA, which is why they’re preferable.
The human body isn’t very good at converting short-chain fatty acids to long-chain fatty acids, so it’s best to ingest them directly. Try eating oily fish three times a week or supplementing with fish oil.
You might also see eggs that are advertised as being rich in omega-3; that’s because chickens are very efficient at converting short-chain omega-3 to long-chain. Farmers feed their chickens with flaxseed which they turn into long-chain fatty-acids – and therefore their eggs are good sources of omega-3. Just check the labelling on the carton.