Omega-3 fatty acids are linked to a variety of health benefits and can contribute to improving your overall well being. Here we will show you how to reach the recommended daily dose each day, without turning your life upside down. By simply including food with abundant amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids into your diet.
There are many products that contain high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids
But why bother? Because Omega-3 fatty acids are part of our cell membranes and have many other important functions in our bodies, such as in our immune system or heart. Omega-3 fish oil can have a positive impact on your mood and cognitive function, boost the membrane of your cells and therefore make your skin and hair look healthy and hydrated. Due to its anti-inflammatory quality, it also helps your muscles recover quicker after exercise and can be a beneficial addition to your diet if you are training for a big event or just want to be sure that your body is fit and healthy.
While there are three different types of Omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA are crucial for our health, and it is therefore important that we include products with high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids into our diet. The alpha linolenic acid (ALA) is found mainly in plant oils, whereas eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are abundant in fish and other seafood.
ALA is an essential fatty acid, meaning that it cannot be produced by our bodies and we therefore rely on consuming it through products that provide abundant amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids. Our body can extract small amounts of EPA and DHA from ALA, but to ensure that our intake is high enough, we do need to supplement our diet with products that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and even consider to include Omega-3 fish oil supplements into our diet.
What foods have Omega-3 fatty acids?
The most well known source of Omega-3 fatty acids are fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring, but other seafood such as oysters or caviar also contain Omega-3. The recommendation is to eat at least two portions of fish, one of which should be oily, which covers your needs for Omega-3 fish oil. And while fish not only supplies you with Omega-3 fatty acids, they also contain other important nutrients such as Vitamin A, D and B and minerals such as calcium, iodine, zinc and iron.
ALA is found mostly in plant based foods and oils such as rapeseed or flaxseed oil, but can also be found in nuts like walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts. Other options are seeds (chia, hemp, flax) and soya beans and soya products such as tofu. All those options are also suitable for vegetarians. Small amounts of EPA and DHA can be extracted from ALA in our bodies, however this quantity is very small and therefore a plant based diet might not be sufficient to fulfil your bodies needs.
Another option are foods which are fortified with Omega-3s such as eggs, milk, yogurt, certain breads and fat spreads. However it is important to check the label as those products are often fortified with ALA and not with EPA and DHA, which have the biggest impact on our health.
What are Omega-3 fish oil benefits?
Omega 3 fatty acids contribute to a variety of functions in our bodies and it is therefore important that we supply our cells with those “good fats” to recover faster from exercise, to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve our overall well being. It can further improve cognitive ability and many professional athletes, such as Norwegian biathlete Tarje Bo, rely on taking additional Omega-3 fish oil supplements to improve their performance and keep their body in good shape for their training regiment. Because Omega-3 has anti-inflammatory properties, it helps muscles recover faster from exercise.
Fatty acids are important parts of our cell membranes, so ensuring that your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids is sufficient, can help our skin to look hydrated and healthy, as well as protecting it from free radicals and UV rays with its antioxidant properties.
Omega-3 fatty acids have also shown to contribute positively to our cardiovascular system by lowering blood pressure and triglyceride levels in our bloodstream, which can be harmful to us as they can harden arterial walls and increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, Omega-3 fatty acids can also help our immune system and support it in combating long term low-grade inflammation.
What is the advantage of Omega-3 fish oil supplements?
While it is possible to reach the recommended daily intake of Omega-3 through products that contain high amounts of it, it can sometimes be challenging to maintain this intake throughout the year. We might not always be able to eat the recommended two portions of fish a week, or someone might simply not like the taste of smell of fish and seafood. This is where high quality Omega-3 fatty acid supplements such as Omega 3 of Norway come into play! Taking such supplements can help you fuel your body with all it needs, even while you are on the move or fresh food rich in Omega-3 fatty acids is simply not available. Thanks to its neutral odour profile, the capsules do not taste like fish so this can also be a good alternative for someone who does not like the smell or taste of seafood.
Another alternative is Krill oil, which also contains abundant amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids. Krill oil is made of Antarctic red krill that lives in the Southern Ocean and is an excellent source for Omega-3 fatty acids. Due to their size, they are situated very low in the food chain and only present minimal degrees of impurities, making them an ideal ingredient for a healthy Omega-3 fatty acid supplement. Krill Oil is rich in phospholipids, which carry EPA and DHA into our cells more efficiently and because they can dissolve in water, our body can absorb them faster and benefit from them more quickly.
If you are concerned about the sustainability factor of oily fish or Omega-3 fish oils supplements, look out for the labels certifying products and companies for their sustainability efforts and practices. Omega 3 of Norway for example uses a certified eco-harvesting method to ensure minimal bycatch and has state of the art vessels, that ensure fast processing and therefore produce and high-quality product. The Omega-3 Krill oil has also been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as the only red krill oil that is 100% traceable and guarantees sustainability throughout its supply chain.
To summarise, it is important to have a varied diet including foods that are abundant in Omega-3 fatty acids, to ensure you can make the most of all its health benefits. Oily fish such as salmon are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, but there are also plant based alternatives such as nuts, seeds and plant based oils. However if you are finding it difficult to adjust your diet to fit those requirements, looking into Omega-3 fish oil supplements could be the perfect alternative for you. Omega-3 of Norway offers high quality Omega-3 fish oil and krill oil supplements, MSC Certified and produced with a patented eco-harvesting technology, to minimise the impact on the environment.