Are you aware that your body cannot make essential fatty acids like omega-6 and omega-3? You get them from dietary sources only. The main issue is many people consume omega-6 fat-rich foods and not paying attention to omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega -3 fatty acids play a vital role in boosting brain, eye, and heart health. But, sadly, 90% of the population has an Omega-3 deficiency, as per studies. So, if questions like what omega 3s are, why they are essential, and5 ways you can improve your omega intake, are haunting you, don’t panic. We have answers to your questions. So, you can relax on your comfy sofa. And read the entire article to boost your brain, eye, and heart health.
What are Omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are good fats that are amazingly valuable for your health. Unfortunately, your body cannot make these good fatty acids. You can receive them from food or supplements only. Omega-3s are crucial to the formation of every cell wall you have. They are not an energy source only but make sure that your heart, lungs, blood vessels, and immune system work well.
Do you know that omega-3s are of 3 types?
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
You can get DHA and EPA quickly from foods. Also, the body starts utilizing both DHA and EPA right after their consumption. But it is not happening with ALA. So firstly, ALA will be converted into DHA and EPA. After that body will use them. A small amount of ALA converts to DHA (5 to 8%) and EPA (0.5 to 5%).
Why are omega-3s essential for us?
Omega-3s fatty acids play a very crucial role. If you don’t get a sufficient amount of omega- 3 fats, you can develop a deficiency. To understand the omega-3s importance, read the below-given points.
Helps fight depression and anxiety
Helps to improve eye health
Helps in the growth and development of infants’ brain
Helps to improve heart health and reduces the risk of heart diseases
Helps fight chronic inflammation
Helps to fight autoimmune diseases like Type 1 diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis
Helps to improve mental disorders
Helps to reduce fat in the liver.
5 ways you can improve your omega intake
If you think you are not taking a sufficient amount of omega-3s, then check out these5 ways you can improve your omega intake:
Dry fruits like walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and cashew are a great source of omega -3s fats.
Walnuts: are rich in various essential nutrients. You might be surprised to know that, ¼ cup of walnuts provides you 2500mg Omega-3 fatty acids. Make sure to add walnuts to your diet to include omega-3
Chia seeds: These tiny chia seeds are an excellent option for omega-3 fats. One tablespoon of chia seeds gives around 1200 mg Omega-3 fatty acids
Flaxseed: One tablespoon of flaxseed gives around 1200 mg Omega-3 fattyacids. You can sprinkle the roasted flaxseed in your salad or sandwich
Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are rich in omega-3 fats. One ounce of pumpkin seeds contains 4.9 grams of omega-3 fats
Cashews: 100 g cashew contains 0.14 g omega-3 fatty acids
2. Fish sources of omega-3 (seafood)
Fish oil is an outstanding source of omega-3. So let’s check out the following types of fish for omega-3 fatty acids.
Salmon: Salmon is a well-known nutritious type of fish. It contains a significant amount of omega-3. There are two types of salmon, wild and farmed:
(a) 3 ounces (oz) of farmed salmon contains 1.24g of DHA and 0.59 g of EPA.
(b) 3 ounces (oz) of wilds salmon contains 1.22g of DHA and 0.35 g of EPA.
Seabass: You can call it Japanese fish also. 3 ounces (oz) of seabass contains 0.47 g of DHA and 0.18 g of EPA
Sardines: This small oily fish contains 0.74 g of DHA and 0.45 g of EPA. People usually eat it as a snack.
Shrimps: 3 ounces (oz) of shrimps contains 0.12 g of DHA and 0.12 g of EPA
3. Plant sources of omega-3 fats
There are the following plant sources of omega-3 fats that you can have.
Edamame: Edamame is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. A half-cup of edamame offers 0.28 grams of omega-3s. It can be served with salads, stir-fries, and soups.
Beans: A half-cup of beans contains 0.10 grams of omega-3s. You can use beans in soups, salads, dips, hummus, veggie burgers, burritos, etc.
Roasted soybeans: Soybeans offer more omega-3 fats as compared to some cold-water fish.
Firm Tofu: 100g of firm Tofu offers 582 mg of omega-3s
Brussels Sprouts: 100 g of Brussels Sprouts provides 173 mg of omega-3 fatty acids
Guavas: 1 cup of guavas offers 12% AI . Guavas are rich in omega-3s
4. Omega-3 sources other than seafood
Here are the following sources of Omega-3 fats:
Eggs: Eggs offer a small amount of Omega-3s ( around 25 mg each of DHA and ALA).
Dairy from pasture-raised animals: Milk from grass-fed dairy and organic dairy cows provides significantly higher beneficial fatty acids and lower omega-6.
5. Omega-3 supplements
Both plant- and animal-based omega-3 supplements are available in the market.
Fish oilsupplements contain EPA and DHA and are readily available in the market.
Flora: Flora’s Udo oils are popular for many vegan supplements but mainly for Omega 3-6-9. Their blend is completely plant-based and organic. The key ingredients of their blends are unrefined oils like flax, sunflower, sesame, evening primrose, coconut, rice bran, and many more.
Garden Of Life: Garden of Life’s Minami Algae Omega-3 capsules is one of the signature products of the brands vegan portfolio. The capsule mainly focuses on the DHA compound of the fatty acid. The supplement is made of vegan marine-algae. The company is also known for its transparency in terms of the ingredients used in each supplement product so that the customer is fully aware about what they are consuming.
Nu tru: Nu tru’s Omega-3 supplement is derived from rich algae oils and hence is completely plant based. It has both the crucial components, EPA and DHA. The nutritious oil within the plant-based capsules is processed through a process called micro-culturing. The company is also known to be an environment conscious company.
andMe has launched their very ownWomen’s Omega 3-6-9 Capsulesspecially designed for women to improve brain & heart health, make bones stronger and thus give relief from joint pain, provide healthy hair and glowing skin, improve vision and prevents eye damage. It is made with 100% cold pressed flaxseed extracts which are the source of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
Best Vegetarian Alternative to Fish Oil.
Most people consume omega-6s instead of omega-3s. However, ignoring the consumption of omega-3s is not good at all. Omega-3 fats support our heart, brain, and eye health. Omega 3s enriched foods and supplements can help you to meet your omega-3s requirement .