Omega-3s are associated with multiple benefits for your body and mind.
Essential fatty acids, in the form of omega-3 and omega-6 are exactly that – essential to good health, and they are obtained through the diet. Establishing a balance between the omegas is important, because imbalance can lead to inflammation in our bodies, and inflammation can be the root cause of many degenerative health conditions.
The typical modern Western diet featuring processed and fortified foods is far too abundant in omega-6; the ideal ratio for omega-6 to omega-3 is 2:1. However, many of us have an imbalanced ratio of around 25:3.
Omega-3 is most abundant in fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies.
It’s recommended that we eat fish at least twice a week, but many people avoid consuming it too often due to the impurities that can be found in whole fish. This is why it can be a good idea to supplement your diet with extra omega-3, as long as it’s of the high-quality kind.
If your body is deficient in omega-3, you may experience dry skin, and brittle hair and nails, signalling that you may benefit from taking omega-3 supplements.
Types of Omega-3
ALA, which is found in many plant foods, needs to be converted into EPA and DHA in order to be used by the body. Therefore, EPA and DHA are the superior omega-3 fatty acids, of which additional supplementation is often required. That’s why it’s important to use an omega-3 supplement that contains the right levels of EPA and DHA.
Sources of Omega-3
EPA and DHA are mostly found in fatty fish, like salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring and anchovies.
It’s important to bear in mind that while fatty fish can be an excellent source of omega-3, some may feature traces of potentially harmful contaminants, such as metals and chemicals, from the waters in which they were sourced.
Not All Omega-3s Are Born Equal
There’s an abundance of omega-3 supplements available on the market today. Many brands market their products as providing high levels of omega-3; however, when you take a closer look, they actually have low levels of EPA and DHA, with the rest of the softgel containing fillers and saturated fats.