This article should help you to understand how supplementing Omega 3 benefits our health as well as the importance of choosing a high quality omega 3 supplement. Nordic Oil kindly gave us some of their high grade omega 3 oil to try. We were extremely impressed, read on to find out why!
What are Omega 3s?
There are three types of fatty acids which are collectively referred to as omega 3s. These are ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Omega 3s are essential fatty acids because they are necessary for our general health and must be included in our diet because the human body cannot produce them by itself. Omega 3 supplementation is often recommended for those with heart disease. It can also provide many benefits in terms of both health and performance for healthy individuals.
Omega 3 Benefits
EPA is anti-inflammatory and therefore reduces your risk of excessive inflammation and inflammation-related diseases. DHA supports proper functioning of the brain and nervous system. Our brain is 60% fat by weight and DHA makes up 15-20% of this fat. DHA deficiency has been linked to slower neurological development and reasoning ability in children as well as neurodegenerative diseases such as parkinson’s.
ALA is found more abundantly in plant based sources of omega 3 such and flaxseeds and walnuts. ALA can be converted to EPA and DHA by the body. Unfortunately, this conversion is not very efficient so taking in dietary EPA and DHA is also recommended.
Omega 3 has also been shown to help prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure, reducing triglycerides and preventing plaque buildup in the arteries. The list of omega 3 benefits goes on, it also helps to support skin health, bone health and joint health too! All of these things will be beneficial to anyone wanting to stay healthy and live an active lifestyle.
Of course, it is technically possible to get enough Omega 3 purely from whole foods but this can be difficult unless you are consuming very specific omega 3 rich foods. Even though you may well get some of the omega 3 you need from foods, it is often worth topping up through supplementation. Fish oil supplements are abundant in EPA and DHA. This makes them favourable over plant based omega 3 supplements which may contain a higher proportion of ALA.