Omega 3

• Omega 3 is the name of a type of fat that is found in oil-rich fish and some plant oils and is also known as ‘n-3‘.

• Omega‐3 and omega‐6 fats are both polyunsaturated fatty acids.

• The main forms of omega‐3 are the “parent” molecule, Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA), which can be found in a variety of plant based sources such as walnut, hemp, soy, flax and canola oil and the two longer‐chain omega‐3 molecules, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

• DHA and EPA are “essential” fatty acids, which means that our bodies can’t
synthesise them and we need to consume them in our foods such as fish, nut and plant-based oils, such as canola oil and sunflower oils.

Omega 3 Fish Oil

• A small percentage of the ALA consumed can be converted into DHA and EPA in our bodies but the richest source of these essential fatty acids is seafood.

Long-chain omega 3 fatty acids are needed for normal growth and development in the body, and are also required to maintain cardiovascular health and brain function. Therefore, everybody should be aiming to consume enough regularly to prevent deficiencies and to be healthy.

Since omega 3 essential fatty acids are needed for the membranes of all body cells their role in health is wide reaching: encompassing not only healthy heart and brain function but also playing an important role in the normal function of the eyes, the nervous system, the kidney, and the liver, in fact all body systems. Other functions also include the contraction of muscles and the dilation/constriction of blood vessels, blood clotting, and inflammatory processes.

Only consuming plant sources of essential fatty acids (i.e. ALA) means that the conversion process to the longer chain fats, DHA and EPA, will not be efficient therefore possibly requiring an additional source of omega 3 to maintain optimum intakes.

The main oil-rich fish available are: salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, pilchards, herring, kipper, eel and whitebait, fresh, frozen or tinned. Tuna is only counted as an oily fish if it is fresh or frozen, as the tinned variety does have some oils, but not as much as the fresh one.

What are the types of omega-3 fatty acids?

ALA – ALA, or alpha-linolenic acid, is an 18-carbon chain and three cis double bonds. The first double bond is located in the n-3 position or at the omega end of the fatty acid. Thus, ALA is considered a polyunsaturated n-3 (omega-3) fatty acid.
EPA – EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid contains a 20-carbon chain and five cis double bonds; the first double bond is located at the third carbon from the omega end. Therefore, EPA also is considered an omega-3 fatty acid.
DHA – DHA or docosahexaenoic acid is a 22-carbon chain with six cis double bonds; the first double bond is located at the third carbon from the omega end of the fatty acid. Therefore, DHA is also considered an omega-3 fatty acid.

What are the sources of these omega-3 fatty acids?

ALA – Flaxseed, canola and soybean oils, and walnuts
EPA and DHA – Fatty fishes such as mackerel, herring, salmon, tuna, and trout

Omega 3 Health Benefits

  • Builds better brain functioning. Pregnant and nursing mothers can have a great impact on the intelligence and happiness of their babies by supplementing with fish oil. For adults, omega 3 improves memory, recall, reasoning and focus. You'll swear you're getting younger and smarter.
  • Decreases pain and inflammation. Omega 3 fatty acids, particularly EPA, have a very positive effect on your inflammatory response. Through several mechanisms, they regulate your body's inflammation cycle, which prevents and relieves painful conditions like arthritis, allergy rhinitis, prostatitis, cystitis and anything else with an "itis" ending.
  • Improves cardiovascular health. Omega 3 fatty acids have also been proven to work wonders for your heart and the miles and miles of arteries and veins that make up your cardiovascular system. They help lower cholesterol, triglycerides, bad LDLs and blood pressure, while at the same time increasing good HDL cholesterol. This adds years to your life expectancy. Omega 3 with EPA and DPA is your best defence.
  • Reduces heart attack and strokes. When plaque builds up on arterial walls and then breaks loose, it causes a thrombosis, which is a fancy way of saying blood clot. If a clot gets stuck in the brain, it causes a stroke and when it plugs an artery, it causes a heart attack. Research shows omega 3 fatty acids break up clots before they can cause any damage.
  • Reduces depression and psychosis. Making you smarter is not all omega-3 does for your brain. Psychiatry department researchers at the University of Sheffield, along with many other research studies, found that omega 3 fish oil supplements "alleviate" the symptoms of depression, bipolar and psychosis
  • Increases both male and female fertility. Studies show that infertility is directly related to the amount of fish oil you consume. Fish oil balances hormones, improves hormonal levels and increases blood flow to the uterus. The more Omega 3 fatty acids you get the greater your odds of conceiving.
  • Improves all around pregnancy health. Omega 3 fish oil has been shown to reduce the danger of pregnancy preeclampsia (high blood pressure), premature birth and postpartum depression. Fish oil fatty acids also facilitate a healthy placental blood flow and the efficient exchange of nutrients and oxygen between mother and baby and greatly contributes to proper brain development, increasing the child's intelligence.
  • Lowers incidence of childhood disorders. Just to show how fish oil fatty acids leave nobody out, studies show that children (and adults) with ADD and ADHD experience a greatly improved quality of life. And those with dyslexia, dyspraxia and compulsive disorders have gotten a new lease on life thanks to omega 3 oils.
  • Decreases chances of osteoporosis. Having high levels of fish oil fatty acids has been shown to lower the risk of osteoporosis, which is an especially high for women after menopause.
  • Reduces Breast, Colon and Prostate Cancer. And finally, omega 3 fish oil has been shown to help prevent three of the most common forms of cancer - breast, colon and prostate. Science tells us that omega 3s accomplish these in three ways. They stop the alteration from a normal healthy cell to a cancerous mass, inhibiting unwanted cellular growth and causing apoptosis, or cellular death, of cancer cells.
Omega 3 Fish Oil benefits

Omega 3 Foods

• Grains

• Spirulina

• Brazil Nuts

• Hempseed Oil

• Mustard Seeds

• Pumpkin Seeds

• Chia Seed Oil

• Wheat Germ Oil

• Canola Oil (Rapeseed)

• Green Leafy Vegetables

• Raw Walnuts & Walnut Oil

• Flaxseeds or Flaxseed Oil