Not all fats are created equal! In fact, omega 3 is a type of fat (or oil) which most of us could do with having more of. This fatty acid superstar has been shown to benefit us in a number of ways, including: mood, healthy cholesterol balance, immunity, regulating inflammation, and healthy hormone production. In addition to this they also help to keep our joints, skin, eyes and digestive tract nicely lubricated.
Omega 3 fatty acids are arguably one of the most important nutrients for overall health. Research has shown these fatty acids play an important structural role in cellular membranes. Basically, the structure of these fatty acids helps to maintain fluid cell membranes which allows important messengers to easily pass through the cells.
They’re termed “essential” because the body is unable to synthesise them on it’s own therefore we must get them through the diet. The following foods are rich in omega 3 fatty acids:
- Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel
- Nuts and seeds such as walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds
Oily fish and algae provide omega 3 fatty acids known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are well absorbed by humans and ready for the body to use. EPA may be beneficial for the heart, joints, mood and immunity. Whereas DHA may be more beneficial for the eyes, brain, memory and development.
Plant based sources such as nuts and seeds provide omega 3 in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). In order for ALA to be utilised by the body it must first be converted into EPA & DHA. Unfortunately, this conversion rate is very low, meaning you must consume a lot of nuts and seeds in order to get the same amount of EPA and/or DHA from a small amount of oily fish.
Ideally we would consume a variety of omega rich foods, in particular oily fish, on a daily basis in order to keep our bodies topped up with this vital nutrient. If canned tuna is something you left behind with your student days, an omega 3 supplement may be worth considering. There are both marine and plant-based options.
Fish oil is one of the more well-known and well-acclaimed omega 3 supplements. It’s important to realise that not all fish oils are created equal, so always ensure to get one from a reputable source. Nordic Naturals are one of the most respected fish oil brands in the industry. Their fish oil is sustainably sourced, third-party tested, and processed in an oxygen-free environment to prevent rancidity. They are as fresh as possible to ensure no odour, aftertaste or fishy burps. Nordic Naturals fish oil are also in the natural triglyceride form, meaning they are up to 70% more absorbable by the body.
Hemp seed oil is a plant-based source of omega 3 fatty acids. One advantage of hemp is that it also provides an anti-inflammatory type of omega 6: gamma linolenic acid (GLA). Omega 6 is another essential fatty acid which the body needs to source from the diet. Hemp seed oil may be particularly beneficial to those with skin concerns. Conveniently, hemp seed oil may be taken internally as well as applied topically to the skin. Many also use hemp seed as a salad dressing.
Chat to one of our ladies in store to find an omega 3 supplement best suited to you.
Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for educational purposes only. Please do not use this information to diagnose or treat any health concerns you may have. This information is not intended to replace the advice given to you by a qualified health professional. Get in contact with a Tonic Health consultant or a relevant health professional if you need guidance on your individual health journey.