Honor Omega-3s

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Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of three fats – ALA, DHA, and EPA. These fats are considered essential, meaning they’re needed to survive, yet your body cannot produce them on its own. Therefore, you must get these fats from your diet.

 

Many experts say the most important of these three fats are DHAs and EPAs found in certain fish, algae, and krill (tiny, shrimp-like crustaceans). ALAs – present in flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and certain other plants – are the precursor to DHAs and EPAs.

 

Some researchers contend that the body does a poor job of converting ALAs to the other two fats.

 

However, as with many topics in nutrition, this is widely debated. Some evidence exists that omega-3s may help prevent breast cancer. One meta-analysis reviewed the results of 26 studies including almost 900,000 participants and 21,000 cases of breast cancer. It showed a 14 percent reduction in risk for women who got their omega-3s from marine sources. In addition, DHA has been shown to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death – a good thing when it comes to cancer cells) in triple-negative breast cancer cells. Last, one laboratory study showed that omega-3s may help prevent the spread of breast cancer.

 

In addition to potentially lowering your risk of breast cancer, omega-3s have been linked to preventing sudden cardiac death. They are also linked to lower triglycerides, lower blood pressure, better cholesterol profile, reduced arthritis symptoms, improved autoimmune disease symptoms, help with depression, and many more benefits.

 

While fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna are great sources of omega- 3s, the issues of over-fishing and environmental toxins can’t be ignored. When it comes to toxins such as mercury, the smaller the fish, the less mercury will have accumulated in its body. Therefore, turning to sources such as sardines, anchovies, and krill is another good way to get your omega-3s.

 

(Note: If you are vegan, plant sources of ALAs may not give you all the omega-3s you need due to the potentially poor conversion of ALA to DHA and EPA. However, algae sources are a good way to obtain DHA and EPA.)

 

Aim to take in at least 500 mg of combined DHA and EPA a day. Whichever source you choose – fish or algae – purchase the best quality you can find to protect both your body and the earth from environmental toxins.

 

Confused about which fish oil brands are best? Check out this list of the top rated fish oils.

 

 

Catch ya at the top

 

 

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