Omega-3s are healthy fats
Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids. There are three kinds of omega-3 specifically to highlight : ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). A healthy diet should contain each type of fatty acid. Its important to note that while ALA is an omega-3 to provide the health benefits commonly associated with omega-3, it must be converted into the longer-chain EPA or DHA omega-3 fatty acids in the body, and this conversion is thought to be not very efficient.
Your body needs them
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid, meaning we have to get these fats from the diet for good health, as our body can’t produce them. These fats have been found to have a positive impact on our overall health as they are found in the membranes of the cells in the body where they positively impact signal pathways, as well as overall cellular health. Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids can positively impact not just the maintenance of good health but also help to support and maintain cardiovascular health and even cognitive health and brain function.
How much do you need?
According to Dietitians of Canada, women who are 19 and older should aim for 1100 mg of ALA per day. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you’ll need more: 1400 mg and 1300 mg, respectively. Men should aim for 1600 mg of ALA per day. In regards to EPA and DHA intake, Dietitians of Canada recommends that a healthy diet should contain at least 2 servings of fish per week, which should provide approximately 300 to 450 mg of EPA and DHA per week The challenge is that many people are not consuming 2 servings of fish per week, and thus their levels of EPA and DHA are much lower.
Sources of omega-3s
Here’s a breakdown of the major sources of omega-3s.
1. Nuts and seeds
Omega-3s are found in nuts and seeds, especially walnuts, soy nuts, pecans, ground flaxseed and chia seeds. They are a good source of ALA — however, nuts and seeds contain no EPA or DHA.
2. Fats and oils
Vegetable oils, especially canola, soybean and flaxseed oils, are a source of ALA . They don’t give you any EPA or DHA.
3. Meat alternatives
You can get some ALA from protein-filled vegetarian choices like beans, peas, soybeans and tofu. But again, you’re missing out on EPA and DHA.
4. Fortified foods
Some foods, such as bread, cereal, margarine, eggs, soy beverages, milk and yogurt, are enriched with omega-3s. Check the label to see just how much the product contains.
5. Fish, seafood and algae
EPA and DHA are found in fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, cod, mackerel, herring, trout, anchovies and sardines. They’re also in shellfish, such as crab, mussels, oysters and shrimp. Algea is also a source of EPA and DHA. Fish and seafood contain a little bit of ALA too.
6. Dietary supplements
Omega-3 supplements can be made from flaxseed, algae, krill or fish oils. Some of them are large capsules and require multiple doses daily. Supplements differ in the quality and amount of their omega-3 fats, so be sure to read the label. If the bottle has a Natural Product Number (NPN), it means the product meets Health Canada’s standards for quality, safety and efficacy. It also means the product is tested for chemical impurities like heavy metals, pesticides and known contaminants.
7. A teaspoon of OmegaSea a day
There’s no need to guess if you’re getting enough omega-3s in your diet — just one teaspoon of OmegaSea and you’re good to go! OmegaSea is a great-tasting, ultra-pure omega-3 that’s available in chocolate and lemon flavours for families, and bubble-gum bonanza flavour for kids.
Each teaspoon of OmegaSea contains 750 mg of EPA and DHA plus 1000 IU of vitamin D for adults, and OmegaSea Kids contains 500 mg EPA and DHA plus 500 IU of vitamin D per teaspoon It can be seamlessly integrated into your healthy routine by being added to smoothies, shakes and salads. And unlike capsule supplements, it won’t give you fishy burp-back.
Every bottle of OmegaSea is third-party tested for purity, potency and label claims through the PureCheck Program. You can see the test results yourself by entering your OmegaSea batch number at PureCheck.
The omega-3s and vitamin D in OmegaSea help to:
- Promote brain, eye and nerve development in children up to age 12
- Support cognitive health and brain function
- Support and maintain cardiovascular health
- Develop and maintain bones and teeth