Omega 3 FA

Original Image by Camilo Rueda López via Flickr
Original Image by Camilo Rueda López via Flickr

By: Nikki Nies

Honestly, how many times a week do you find yourself eating fish or making your own sushi rolls?  Well, if you’re having a hard time recalling the last time you had a jam packed omega 3 fatty acid meal, let me persuade to add these types of food to your grocery list!

Omega 3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fats, deemed as “healthy fats” and “heart healthy.” They can help contribute to the reduction of inflammation, controlling blood clotting, build cell membranes in the brain and help protect against heart disease and stroke.

The three main sources of omega 3’s are eicosapentaenoic acid( EPA), docosahexaenoic acid(DHA)and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).  The body partially converts ALA to EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA are found in fish, while ALA is found in nuts and seeds. These fatty acids (FA) are considered essential since they’re not produced in the body and need to be consumed in one’s diet.

Yes, while salmon is touted as the major source of omega 3’s, it can also be found in: anchovies, mackerel, algae, krill, bluefish, herring, sardines, lake trout, tuna and/or sturgeon. If consuming tilefish, mackerel, wild fish or shark, make sure to monitor how you’re consuming as these types of fish can have a toxic mercury level.

Additionally,food sources of ALA are: walnuts, flaxseed oil, canola oil, soybean oil and/or flaxseed.

The one downside to omega 3 fatty acids are their high calorie content, so moderation is key.  There’s so many variations that fish, nuts and seeds can be introduced to your daily meals.  Check out some recipes from the NHLBI website or experiment in your kitchen!



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