Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that are essential to human nutrition. They are found in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, trout and tuna.
The body needs them for many functions, including growth and development, immune system function and brain function. These fatty acids are also available in plant sources like flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans and canola oil.
Your body cannot make omega-3 fatty acids on its own, so they must be obtained through diet or supplements.
You can take omega-3 supplements as part of a healthy diet. Fish oil capsules contain high levels of omega-3, so taking them daily is an easy way to boost your intake.
Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are available as capsules, liquids, powders and tablets. You should take them with food because they can cause stomach upset when taken alone.
These supplements work by increasing the level of these fats in your body. This helps reduce inflammation throughout your body, which has been linked to many different health issues.
Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
There are many benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oil and other sources. They have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which may be beneficial for conditions such as arthritis.
These fatty acids can your aid in the following:
Types of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
There are three main types of omega-3 fatty acids:
EPA and DHA are found in fish and other marine animals, while ALA is found in plant-based sources like nuts and seeds.
All three omega-3 fatty acids are essential for human health, but they have different functions in the body.
EPA and DHA are mostly used for their anti-inflammatory effects, while ALA is mainly used for brain and heart health.
Food Sources of Omega-3
Omega-3 fatty acids are most often found in fish, but they can also be found in other food sources, such as nuts and seeds.
Some of the best fish/seafood sources of omega-3 include:
Plant sources include:
They are also found in certain types of algae.
They are equally found in some fortified foods such as:
- Infant formulas
You can also get them from fish oil supplements.
Side Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to have a number of health benefits, including reducing inflammation and improving heart health. However, they can also cause some side effects, particularly if taken in large doses.
Some common side effects of omega-3 fatty acids include:
Omega-3 fatty acids can also interact with certain medications, so it is important to speak to your doctor before taking them.
If you have any of these side effects, speak to your doctor immediately.
In most cases, the side effects of omega-3 fatty acids are mild and can be easily managed.
Daily Recommended Dosage of Omega-3
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that adults consume at least two servings of fish per week, which should provide a minimum of 500 mg of EPA + DHA per day.
It also recommends that adults with coronary heart disease consume 1 gram of EPA + DHA per day, preferably from oily fish.
For people with heart failure, the AHA recommends consuming 2-4 grams of EPA + DHA per day.
As a result, many health experts recommend that people take a daily omega-3 supplement.
The recommended dose of omega-3 varies depending on a person’s age, health status and other factors. However, most experts agree that a daily dose of omega-3 should be between 250 and 500 mg.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that is found in a variety of foods, including fish, nuts, and seeds. They are also available in supplement form.
Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for health in a number of ways. For example, they can help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
They may also boost brain health and cognitive function.
Omega-3 fatty acids are generally considered safe, but they can cause side effects in some people. It is also important to note that they can interact with certain medications.
Therefore, it is important to speak to your doctor before taking omega-3 supplements.
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Sources: WebMD, Cleveland Clinic.
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