Omegas and Your Health
Helpful fatty acids and your diet.
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): a short-chain omega-3 fatty acid found in plant foods like flaxseeds, walnuts.
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA): a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid which is found in fatty fish like salmon and trout as well as certain types of algae.
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): another long-chain, omega-3 fatty acid that's also found in fatty fish and certain algae.
How They Help Your Health
Blood fat (triglycerides).
- Fish oil supplements can help lower triglyceride levels. High levels of triglycerides can put you at risk for heart disease.
- Omega supplements (EPA+DHA) can lessen stiffness and joint pain. Omega-3 supplements also have been shown to boost the effectiveness of anti-inflammatories.
- Some researchers have found that people that eat foods with high levels of omega-3s have lower levels of depression. Omegas also seems to boost the effects of antidepressants and may help lessen the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
- DHA has shown to be important for visual and neurological development in infants and childern.
- A diet high in omegas can help lowers inflammation, a key component in asthma. But more studies are needed to show if omega supplements improve lung function or can help to reduce the amount of medication a person needs.
- Some studies show that certain omegas can reduce the symptoms of ADHD and improve mental skills, like thinking, remembering, and learning.
Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
- Research suggests that omegas may help protect against Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Having a positive effect on gradual memory loss linked to aging.
Many studies show that omega fatty acids help maintain the following:
- Cardiovascular health (by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, plaque buildup in the arteries, and the chance of having a heart attack or stroke)
- Stabilizing blood sugar levels (preventing diabetes)
- Reducing muscle, bone and joint pain by lowering inflammation
- Helping balance cholesterol levels
- Improving mood and preventing depression
- Sharpening the mind and helping with concentration and learning
- Boosting immunity
- Treating digestive disorders like ulcerative colitis
- Reducing risk for cancer and helping prevent cancer reoccurence
- Improving appearance, especially skin health
Where Can You Get Omegas From Your Food
When possible, you should get omega fatty acids from foods rather than supplements. Aim to eat fish high in DHA and EPA omega fatty acids as often as possible. These include:
- Salmon (wild has more omegas than farmed)
- Lake trout
Eating more fatty fish is a good idea, some may have higher levels of mercury, PCBs, or other toxins. It is best to limit these to once in a while: mackerel, wild swordfish, tilefish, and shark. Any farm-raised fish may have higher levels of contaminants. Children and pregnant women should avoid these fish entirely.
Milk and EPD + DHA
Good sources of ALA are:
- Flaxseed and flaxseed oil
ALA omegas—such as those found in flaxseed are an important part of the our diet. The problem is they aren't utilized by the body: a small fraction of ALA converts to EPA and DHA in the body. However you can maximize that conversion with flax—one tablespoon of ground flaxseed has 1,600 mg ALA. Use it in a crust for baked chicken, put it in your morning pancake mix, or salad it to a smoothie. Flaxseed bleand pretty well in to anything you can think of....even those not so healthy food choices can be given an edge. One trick is to pour your bag of flour in a big mixing bowl and add a bag of flaxseed to it. Stir it so that it is evenly mixed then place the mixture into a storage container. This will give all your baked goods a healthy edge. Even those sugar filled one! Not only do walnuts provide heart-healthy poly- and monounsaturated fatty acids, walnuts also offer ALA omega-3s! Two tablespoons provide 1,140mg. Snack on them plain, use them in salads, or baked goods. Really the possibilities are endless.
Don't Judge an Egg by It's Shell
Should You Supplement?
Fish oil supplements have both EPA and DHA. Algae oil has DHA and may be a good option for vegans or vegetarians. Talk to your doctor about taking a supplement first. He or she may have specific recommendations, they can also recommend the right dose for you needs. People who have heart disease are usually advised to take 1 gram (1,000 milligrams) daily of a combination DHA /EPA. Where as some people with some health conditions may take doses of up to 4 grams a day -- under a doctor's supervision. Many health organizations recommend adults get 800 to 1,100 milligrams ALA omega-3s and 250 to 500 mg EPA and DHA omega-3s daily. The Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 suggests the upper end of that range to help lower the risk of coronary heart disease.
Not all Fish Oil is the Same
There is a lot of debate over waters being contaminated with toxins and pollutants like mercury, many people believe its hard to get enough omegas from eating fish. Which is why some people like to supplement with fish oil in addition to their diet. Fish oil and cod liver oil completely different kinds of oils. Although they are molecularly similar and extracting process is the same. The source is what makes them so different: Fish oil is extracted from tuna, herring, cod or other deep-sea fish. Cod liver oil comes from the liver of cod fish only.
Comparing Fish Oil and Cod Liver Oil
What are the difference? Fish oil is high in omega fatty acids (EPA and DHA), however it does not have much vitamin A or D. Where as, cod liver oil is lower in omegas fatty acids and very high in vitamins A and D. Some sources say, cod liver oil contains around 8 percent EPA and 10 percent DHA, which is much less than fish oil. Fish oil has about 18 percent EPA and 12 percent DHA.
The good and the Bad Omega Foods
The Source of Fortification
The sources of EPA and DHA in fortified foods most commonly comes from microalgae. However, microalgae naturally has a fishy aroma to it, so these processed foods must undergo extensive chemical purifying preparations in order to mask the taste and smell. The process "chemically purifying" the foods may reduces or changes fatty acid and antioxidant content within the foods, making them inferior to unaltered, whole food sources. Additionally, omegas are now added to animal feed to incorporate higher levels into consumer dairy, meat and poultry products. Food manufacturers are aware that knowledge about the benefits of omegas is on the rise, we’ll likely continue to see more fortified omegas foods in the years to come.
Here’s a list of the top 15 omega-3 foods (percentages based on 4,000 milligrams per day of total omegas):
- Mackerel: 6,982 milligrams in 1 cup cooked (174 precent DV)
- Salmon Fish Oil: 4,767 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (119 percent DV)
- Cod Liver Oil: 2.664 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (66 percent DV)
- Walnuts: 2,664 milligrams in 1/4 cup (66 percent DV)
- Chia Seeds: 2,457 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (61 percent DV)
- Herring: 1,885 milligrams in 3 ounces (47 percent DV)
- Salmon (wild-caught): 1,716 milligrams in 3 ounces (42 percent DV)
- Flaxseeds (ground): 1,597 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (39 percent DV)
- Tuna: 1,414 milligrams in 3 ounces (35 percent DV)
- White Fish: 1,363 milligrams in 3 ounces (34 percent DV)
- Sardines: 1,363 milligrams in 1 can/3.75 ounces (34 percent DV)
- Hemp Seeds: 1,000 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (25 percent DV)
- Anchovies: 951 milligrams in 1 can/2 ounces (23 percent DV)
- Natto: 428 milligrams in 1/4 cup (10 percent DV)
- Egg Yolks: 240 milligrams in 1/2 cup (6 percent DV)
Other Natural Sources of Omega
- Nuts and Seeds with — walnuts, chia, flaxseeds, butternuts, brazil nuts, cashews, hemp seeds and hazelnuts have omegas in the form of ALA
- Vegetables — Many vegetables, especially green leafy ones, are good sources of ALAs. Some of the vegetables highest in omegas include Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach and watercress.
Supplement Your Nutritional Needs
Sometime you just don’t have the option to eat healthy. Other times you need a boost in the nutritional department of your health. Taking an all natural organic supplement to help you achieve good nutrition is a great option. In fact its really hard to get all the omegas you need through your food alone. We carry 2 total mind and body supplement here at Hey Mr Vitamin that can help you get all your nutritional needs including omegas in one simple step that takes 30 seconds. You can get these supplement below and start fueling your day to feel great and kick anxiety and stress out of your life. We would love to help you to achieve your optimal health mind, body and souls. If you have any questions please give us a call: Sara @ 806-672-6298 or Dale: 806-640-2090. Together we can workout the best way to help you get on the right path to living life to the fullest.