(CTN News) – Increasing your fat intake isn’t popular. Omega-3s fats, however, are something everyone should consume more often. The omega-3 fatty acids are best known for their heart and brain health, but they also help with your immune system and reproductive health.
Most people fall short. As per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), adults only consume 90 to 110 of the daily 250 mg of omega-3s that are shown to prevent heart disease. You can easily get this from fatty fish every week. According to the USDA, most don’t. Why? Valerie Agyeman, RD, hosts the Flourish Heights Podcast. “Most people don’t like seafood’s taste, texture, or smell.” Many can’t prepare it.
Exactly What Are Omega-3s?
Polyunsaturated fats, omega-3s are small but powerful. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) comes from plants, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) come from seafood. ALA is found in walnuts, chia seeds, soybeans, flaxseeds, and soybean oil. Only fish, shellfish, and marine algae contain DHA and EPA.
A dose of omega-3
In omega-3 supplements, EPA and DHA come from:
Sardines or anchovies oil. Salmon, tuna, or pollack can also be used.
Krill oil is made from tiny crustaceans. In a 2020 article published in Marine Drugs, astaxanthin, an antioxidant, may support eye health.
Fish liver oil is derived from cod liver.
Algae oil is the only vegan source of DHA and EPA.
Omega-3s Every Day: What Happens
Omega-3s work hard to keep you healthy, according to the NIH. Omega-3s have a number of health benefits.
Heart Attack Risk May Be Reduced
Blood clots that can lead to heart attacks can also be prevented by omega-3s. An analysis of 40 clinical trials in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings in 2021 found that people who took DHA/EPA supplements had a 13% lower heart attack risk and a 35% lower death risk.
Protects Against Depression
There is some evidence that omega-3 can fight depression, but it is inconsistent. According to a review in Translational Psychiatry published in 2019, omega-3s at a dosage of 1 gram per day can ease depression symptoms. The effects of omega-3s on depression need further research.
Ensure a Healthy Pregnancy
Mothers’ brain and heart health depends on EPA and DHA from fish, says Agyeman. ” Omega-3s increase the baby’s brain development during the last trimester.” A Cochrane Library review of 70 studies indicates omega-3s may reduce preterm labor and low birth weight.
Here are 4 supplements you should take, according to a dietitian
Omega-3 Supplements: What to Look for
U.S. omega-3 recommendations don’t exist as of March 2023. The FDA says you can take up to 5,000 mg daily.
Omega-3 softgels are the most popular form. Several small pills can be taken instead of one large one if you don’t like big pills. You should look for enteric-coated capsules. GOEED recommends fish oil liquids or emulsions if swallowing pills isn’t your thing. Emulsions often have flavors to mask fish taste, and chewables or gummies do too.”
Questions & Answers
1. When should you take omega-3?
The best time to take omega-3 supplements is with fat-containing meals, says Natker.
2. Do you need omega-3?
Omega-3s are not recommended in the United States, but the European Food Safety Authority recommends 250 mg of EPA and DHA daily (350 to 450 mg if you are pregnant).
3. Omega-3s: when should you take them?
You may not need a supplement if you eat fatty fish twice a week. Consult your doctor if you have heart disease, are pregnant, or are vegan.
4. Should omega-3s be avoided?
In some cases, omega-3 fatty acids reduce the tendency for blood clots, says Reinagel. Taking blood thinners or planning surgery or dental procedures may put you at risk of excessive bleeding.
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