Do you find yourself fatigued, having mood swings, joint discomfort, or heart problems? Maybe your body needs some more fat? What? I thought I was supposed to consume as little fat as possible? You might say. The thing to remember is that there are good fats and bad fats. One of those good fats, are Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 is one of our most important essential nutrients. There are 3 common types of Omegas, EPA, DHA, and ALA. But why do I need them? EPA and DHA are two converted types of Omega 3 fatty acids and they each have benefits. EPA helps to regulate behavior and mood whereas DHA helps in pre and post natal health of both the mother and the child specifically with brain development and immunity. EPA and DHA are a dynamic duo and have increased benefits when consumed together. The main benefits include slowing the progression of age-related memory loss, supporting memory in terms of focus and attention, and promoting positive mood and well-being. On the other hand, there is ALA. ALA is a plant based precursor to other types of Omega 3’s. Flaxseed, chia, and hemp offer ALA which is converted by the body into DHA and EPA. So why is all of this important? One of the BEST benefits of Omegas is that they reduce the risk of heart attacks and normalize cholesterol triglyceride levels. Even Medical Journals like Journal of American Medical Association, suggest that taking 2 grams of Omega 3’s a day for three months reduces incidents of heart attacks by up to 90%. Keeping both DHA and EPA in your diet can help your body to respond better to its many stressors.
There are four categories of good fats:
- Monounsaturated Fat- avocados, olives, nuts, & natural peanut butter
- Polyunsaturated Fat- walnuts, flaxseed, sunflower & pumpkin seeds, & fatty fish (Salmon, Tuna, Trout, and Sardines)
- Fish- Best Source of Omega 3– Wild Salmon, Herring, Mackerel, Oysters, Sardines, Lake Trout, or Anchovies
- Vegetarian Sources- algae (seaweed), brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, or parsley
You might ask, why can’t I just get my Omega’s and good fats through my food? If you are dealing with chronic inflammation or some kind of auto immune issue, you need around 2,000 mg of Omega 3’s each day! One serving of cooked Salmon only gives you around 500 mg of Omega 3’s. So unless you want to cook and eat around 4 servings per day, it would be hard to get what your body really needs. Plus, who wants their house to smell like fish all the time?! Supplementation can be a great way to get some of the nutrients that are harder to get from our foods. We have lots of great options at our store! Come see us!