Omega 3 fatty acids are getting more and more attention from athletes, researchers and general population, and with good reason!
Let’s have a closer look at their benefits and how you can enjoy these.
1. What are Omega 3 fatty acids?
Omega 3 fatty acids are the unsaturated fats ALA, EPA and DHA. ALA is usually found in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, whereas EPA and DHA are found in marine sources such as fish.
The body converts ALA to EPA and DHA, but in an inefficient process.
2. What are the benefits of Omega 3?
Especially EPA and DHA have been researched for decades, and have proven benefits, recognized by the World Health Organization and the European Food Safety authority.
These benefits are:
1. DHA and EPA contribute to the normal function of the heart (250
2. DHA contributes to maintenance of normal brain function (250
3. DHA contributes to the maintenance of normal vision (250 mg/
4. Maternal DHA intake contributes to the normal brain development
of the foetus and breastfed infants (200 mg of DHA in addition to
the recommended daily intake for omega 3 fatty acids for adults,
i.e.: 250 mg DHA and EPA).
5. DHA intake contributes to the normal visual development of
infants up to 12 months of age (100 mg DHA per day).
6. Maternal DHA intake contributes to the normal development
of the eye of the foetus and breastfed infants (200 mg of DHA
in addition to the recommended daily intake for omega-3 fatty
acids for adults, i.e.: 250 mg DHA and EPA). Health and Medical
Research Council, 2006).
7. DHA and EPA contribute to the maintenance of normal blood
pressure (3 g/day).
8. DHA and EPA contribute to the maintenance of normal blood
triglyceride levels (2 g/day).
These are some major health advantages for anyone, and therefore Omega 3’s should be a focus point in anyone’s diet.
New studies also suggest EPA and DHA may improve athletic performance and lower inflammation.
3. Sources of Omega 3
The easiest way to increase your Omega 3 intake is to eat fish about 3 times a week, with at least one of these meals consisting of fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel.
|Source||EPA + DHA content /100gr|
Other great sources are flax seed oil, olive oil, algae, nuts, seeds, spinach, kale, broccoli
4. Am I getting enough?
Well, if you are living in Europe or North America, probably not. A new global survey by DSM shows that the Western diet is sadly lacking in these health powerhouses.
Therefore, evaluate your eating pattern, and make the necessary changes in your diet to reach adequate levels, or take a high quality Omega 3 supplement.
Your body will love you for it!