Omega-3s help with the development and growth of your cells and will aid your body to survive and be a better version of itself.
There are six essential nutrients: carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, water and fats.
We are going to zoom in on FATS as an essential nutrient.
Not all fats are bad!
Fats have earned a bad reputation over the years, but as you know, not all fats are bad and there are different types of fats that you can derive from your diet.
Saturated fats (or Trans fats): these are the ‘bad’ fats... (the often very tasty ‘bad’ fats... lovely in food, but not so good for your health if you eat too many of them). They are mainly found in: processed foods, meat products like red meats and pork, dairy products such as butter and cheese, ... In general you can say that saturated fats are solid at room temperature.
If you would eat too much of saturated fats, your blood cholesterol can raise and you are more prone to heart disease and diabetes type 2, so better to keep these fats to a minimum.
Unsaturated fats: these, on the other hand, are the ‘good’ fats. They can be found in: olive oil, most vegetable oils, avocados, nuts and seeds, fatty fish, ... Unsaturated fats tend to be liquid at room temperature.
There are Mono-Unsaturated fats that improve your cholesterol levels, lower your risk of having cardiovascular disease and may help to control your insulin levels and blood sugar.
There are Poly-Unsaturated fats that help with muscle movement and blood clotting, they are beneficial to the heart and may help against inflammation in the body.
These poly-unsaturated fats is where Omega-3s fall under and are called in full ‘Omega 3 fatty acids’. They are an essential nutrient for your body and it can’t be produced by itself, so you need to get it from your diet.
Omega-3s are the good fats your body needs to function properly. They help the body to absorb certain vitamins (including vitamins A, D, E and K), they give your body energy and help the protection of your organs from damage by helping the growth of cells.
A portion of unsaturated fats will boost your energy level and help your body to function better.
To have sufficient ‘good’ fats in your system, approximately 20 to 35 percent of your daily intake should be from fats and this is where Omega-3s come in...
As they contain the much needed unsaturated fats for your body, you have to make sure to eat plenty of healthy omega-3 fats in particular, just like the ones below which are high in omega-3.
>>> Long-chain Omega-3s EPA and DHA: EPA and DHA have the most direct health benefits and are the most efficient to the body.
OILY FISH AND SEAFOOD like salmon, mackerel, trout, tuna, herring, anchovies, mullet, sardine, bream, snapper, mussels, oysters, crab, pilchards, ...
You will find that DAIRY is often fortified with Omega-3, such as: eggs, milk, soy milk, yogurt, cheddar cheese, ...
>>> Short-chain Omega-3 ALA: ALA as Omega-3 is not as powerful as EPA and DHA. Your body needs to convert ALA to EPA and DHA first to reep the benefits, but it is not as effecient in doing this, so many dietitians recommend that if you can, you better opt for EPA and DHA.
VEGETABLE/PLANT OILS like olive oil, sunflower oil, linseed oil, rapeseed oil ...
(Little side note: coconut oil is an exception to most plant-based oils as it is a saturated fat source and although it doesn’t contain cholesterol like most saturated fats, it doesn’t fit in the list of unsaturated fats)
AVOCADOS AND OLIVES are also rich in omega-3.
NUTS like walnuts, cashews, almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, ...
SEEDS like flax, chia, sunflower seeds, ...
Some GREEN VEGETABLES, especially leafy vegetables, can also be a source of ALA Omega-3, veggies like brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, broccoli, ...
Some people do really well at incorporating Omega-3 into their diet, like Japanese people, Eskimos, Icelandic people, as they eat fatty fish on a daily basis and consume it much more than us Western people (and if we do, we more often eat white, less omega-3-rich fish). These populations are known to have well nourished cells and have much less problems with heart disease.
Soooooo.... if you are confident that you eat plenty of these essential long chain Omega-3s then you are doing very well! If you like seafood and you eat more than 2 servings of 140g of fatty fish per week, then that will do the trick.
It can be a challenge to meet the required levels of Omega-3 for the body though, so if you don’t, don’t worry... You can top-up your essential fatty acids by taking additional supplements to ensure your body has enough Omega-3 to stay on top of things and keep those cells healthy and happy.
There are different types of Omega-3, so have a read here why krill oil is the best form of Omega-3.
Get your JellyFish Krill Oil here!