If you don’t already include eating fish in your weekly diet, then you may want to do so after reading this article. Fish is known to be rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and eating fish at least twice per week can help provide you with a good amount of Omega-3 fatty acids that your body needs.
Omega-3 fats are extremely important for our bodies, they are known as Essential Fats since the human body cannot produce these Omage-3 fats and therefore the only way to get them is through our diet. Below are the three most common types of Omega-3 fats:
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA):This 20-carbon fatty acid’s main function is to produce chemicals called eicosanoids, which help reduce inflammation.
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA):A 22-carbon fatty acid, DHA makes up about 8% of brain weight and is extremely important for normal brain development and function.
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA):This 18-carbon fatty acid can be converted into EPA and DHA, although the process is not very efficient. ALA is mainly used by the body for energy.
Want to know how much intake of Omega-3 your body needs per day? The table below will show you what your expected intake should be based on your age.
|Age in Years||Aim for an ALA intake of grams (g)/day|
|Men 19 and older||1.6|
|Women 19 and older||1.1|
|Pregnant Women 19 and older||1.4|
|Breastfeeding Women 19 and older||1.3|
You can get Omega-3 fats from numerous food sources, but the two food sources listed below will basically give you the daily intake anyone needs with just one tablespoon per day.
|Food||Serving size||ALA (g)|
|Flaxseed, ground||15 mL (1 Tbsp)||2.43|
|Chia seeds||15 mL (1 Tbsp)||1.9|
Known benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids:
- Omega-3s May Improve Bone and Joint Health: Studies indicate that omega-3s can improve bone strength by increasing the amount of calcium in bones. This should lead to a reduced risk of osteoporosis.
- Omega-3s Can Improve Mental Disorders: Studies have shown that omega-3 supplements can reduce the frequency of mood swings and relapses in people with both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids may also decrease violent behavior
- Omega-3s Can Fight Depression and Anxiety:Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the world, which is characterized by symptoms such as sadness, lethargy and simply loss of interest in life in general. Studies have found that people who consume omega-3s regularly are less likely to be depressed. Not only that, but it’s been found that when people with depression or anxiety start taking omega-3 supplements, their symptoms get better.