What is Omega-3 and why do we need it?
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What is Omega-3 and why do we need it?
Most unsaturated fats are good for you, and one of those unsaturated fats is Omega-3 fatty acids.
These fatty acids are essential for our body and have various positive effects on the body. Omega-3 fats consist of various fatty acids:
- EPA, (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA, docosahexaenoic acid. They contribute to the normal functioning of your heart. They help maintain normal blood pressure and are good for vision.
- ALA, alpha linolenic acid. ALA contributes to the maintenance of normal cholesterol levels.
To obtain these fatty acids, we depend on our diet. Scientific research shows that 9 out of 10 people are deficient in Omega-3. That is why we delve deeper into these essential Omega-3 fatty acids in the text below. Are you getting enough of these nutrients? Do you choose to obtain these nutrients by diet or supplements? Which foods and/or which supplements are rich in Omega-3? What are the symptoms of Omega-3 deficiency? in short, plenty of questions that need to be answered.
What are the benefits of Omega-3?
Research has shown that the fatty acids EPA and DHA have a positive effect on many different parts of our body and on our bodily functions. These acids are necessary for the normal functioning of our heart, the brain, blood pressure and is also good for our nervous system. Omega-3 is also good for vision. Omega-3 fatty acids (ALA, EPA and DHA) help in building and maintaining good vision. They are important for all ages, from the development of vision in babies to maintaining the proper functioning of the eyes in later life. An international study has shown that the intake of sufficient Omega-3 reduces the risk of developing Macular Degeneration by 50%. DHA is common in the retina and helps to keep it healthy. Omega-3 fatty acids seem to help against dry eyes. They keep the eyes moist through a higher production of tear fluid.
Nutrition and Omega-3
We mentioned the benefits that Omega-3 offers earlier. However, the fats in Omega-3 that have this positive effect on your body are essential fatty acids. This means that your body cannot produce these fatty acids itself, so we are dependent on their intake. In order to get enough of these important Omega-3 fatty acids, you will have to ingest them in the form of food. Below the top 10 Omega 3-rich foods:
- Mackerel – (4107 mg per 100 g)
- Cod liver oil – (2664 mg per tbs)
- Salmon – (2255 mg in 100 g)
- Flax seeds (2338 mg per tbs, one tbs is approximately 12 g)
- Walnuts – (2542 mg 30 g, which is approximately equal to 7 walnuts)
- Chia seed – (2100 mg per tbs, one tbs is approximately 12 g)
- Herring – (1729 mg per 100 g)
- Caviar – (1086 mg per tbs and 6789 per 100 g)
- Omega-3 eggs – (876 mg omega-3 per 100 g. That is an average of 525 mg per egg)
- Anchovy – (2100 mg per 100 g)
Other sources of Omega-3 that are worth mentioning are spinach, sardines, meat and dairy, soya beans, pulses, brussels sprouts, pumpkin and avocado.
How much Omega-3 per day?
There are no official guidelines for this. Generally, 1000 mg per day is recommended for women and 600 mg per day for men. If you look at the list of Omega-3 per food, you will see that this is generally easy to achieve. However, it concerns foods that not everyone uses daily, and foods that not everyone likes, otherwise 90% of the population would not have an Omega-3 deficiency. If you are unsure whether you are getting the recommended amount per day, you can opt for a supplement. Given the popularity of the Omega 3 supplements, most people opt for this.
To choose a good quality Omega-3 supplement, it is important to read the labels carefully. Preferably choose capsules with natural, unprocessed fish oil. Omega-3 extracted from algae provide good quality where you are less bothered by the fishy aftertaste or burping. These are better for your health and for the environment, we will come back to this later.
We can be very brief about whether you need more Omega-3: the chances that you are currently getting enough Omega-3 is 1 in 10. Scientific research shows that no less than 90% of the population is deficient in Omega-3. And half of this 90% have a serious Omega-3 deficiency. Ensure the correct Omega-3 level by paying attention to these six signals of a potential deficit:
1. Visual Problems
Omega-3 is important for protecting eye health. Ensuring proper intake of this essential fatty acid can prevent common eye conditions such as macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome, and glaucoma. As indicated above, a study found that people who often add Omega-3 fatty acids to their diet were half as likely to develop macular degeneration. So, you can say that Omega-3 is good for eyesight.
2. Dry Skin
Fatty acids are essential for the proper functioning of every body cell, and therefore also your skin. Because Omega-3 hydrates the skin cells and keeps them healthy, dry skin and premature wrinkles are signs of a deficiency. The more deficits you have, the drier your skin.
3. Poor Concentration
Omega-3 fatty acids constitute 60% of our brain. A regular intake of these fatty acids is therefore essential for supporting a healthy and vital brain.
4. Joint Pain / Arthritis
As Omega-3 fatty acids are potent anti-inflammatory remedy, research suggests that regular consumption of these essential fatty acids can reduce joint weakness, stiffness which can result in a reduction of medication for arthritis symptoms.
5. Brain Functions
Research shows that countries with a regular Omega-3 consumption have a lower percentage of depression. Because Omega-3 is an essential part of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is known to improve the state of mind, regular Omega-3 use can normalise the neural activity of the brain. In addition, a 2014 study found that Omega-3 can even help reduce the inflammatory status of the brain, making it an essential ingredient for brain functioning.
Omega-3 Food supplements, fish oil or algae oil?
The only reason that fish contains Omega-3 is because fish eat algae. The good fatty acids that we need are therefore not originally found in fish, but in the algae. We can easily extract this extra step from our Omega-3 food chain and extract the fatty acids directly from algae, instead of fish. This is how the vegetable Omega-3 supplement, made from algae, originated. No less than 25% of worldwide fishing is used to produce Omega-3. And this is not necessary at all! So why should we take fish oil capsules? Below the advantages of algae oil capsules compared to fish oil capsules:
- Sustainable choice: you do not contribute to overfishing and unnecessary bycatch
- 100% vegetable capsules, therefore also suitable for vegetarians and vegans
- Where fish oil needs to be cleansed from harmful substances, algae oil is pure, free from fish oil toxins
- No unpleasant fishy taste
- Better DHA / EPA ratio than fish oil
If you opt for algae oil capsules, you are not only making a good choice for your own health, but also for a healthy fish stock and a healthy environment.
Order Omega-3 algae oil directly?
Our Omega-3 is extracted from algae. We do this on land in large basins. This way we always have access to clean water, and we can optimally control all parts of the process. The result is a 100% vegetable and pure Omega-3 supplement. No fish means no harmful substances such as heavy metals, PCBs and dioxins. Nothing but the valuable properties of pure Omega-3 has to offer your brain, eyes and heart. Check our homepage for more information about our product or order directly.View our nutritional supplements