Meal Planning

An Omega 3 Wrap Up

April 14, 2020

I challenge a nutrient to have more benefits for your overall health than Omega 3 (OK...potentially Magnesium … but that’s for another time).

Without writing an extensive novel, here are just a few of the general but crucial life giving benefits.

Fertility, pregnancy and breast feeding: Essential for babies brain and development. ALSO MEN: EPA DHA is an essential component of sperm.

Mood & cognition: Brains are 60% fat (EPA and DHA) where adequate intake is required to maintain and increase blood flow to lift and stabilise mood.

Weight management: Omega 3 fats in general help with fullness, satisfaction and metabolise carbohydrates. They also reduce bloating, improve digestion and reduce central adiposity (tummy fat).

Reduces risk of heart disease: By reducing blood triglycerides along with the benefits of reducing inflammation, a decrease on the growth of plaque in the arteries, and aid in thinning blood...thus lowering blood pressure (which also helps with weight control).

Reduces inflammation: To combat inflammatory diseases/disorders ( i.e. Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Eczema) along with associated physical and mood related symptoms: Omega 3 works by competing with Omega 6. Omega 6 promotes to inflammation by conversion of linolenic acid (LA) into arachidonic acid (AA)… AA is the fat that promotes inflammation commonly found in animal fat).

Hormones and PMS: Keeps hormones balanced and in check, soothes PMS related symptoms.... yyyaaaaa!!

FOOD FIRST ALWAYS

Salmon is your most potent source of omega 3 however it’s important to know that not all salmon is the same. Here’s a quick guide.

Wild caught is best for omega 3 content and is also lower in PCBS’s and mercury. This goes for fresh, smoked and tinned.

All Alaskan salmon is wild caught and totally sustainable.

The pristine waters of Milford Sound NZ produce salmon that is low in contaminants and readily available in Australia.

Just 2 x high quality wild caught salmon (120g steak) / week is all you need to reach your recommended daily intake of 250-500g/day. This shows when it comes to price, it’s best to purchase the premium quality at a smaller quantity.

Other food sources high in Omega 3

Other oily seafood such as mackerel, herring, tuna, sardines, anchovies are also great varieties to add into your weekly regime. On this, it is important to mix up your fish and not just stick to one type especially tuna which is particularly high in mercury.

Cold pressed olive oil (of course).

Avocado, walnuts (cause they look like a brain right?), chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seed, hemp proteins although be mindful here…nuts and seeds also contain omega 6, meaning-don’t go nuts …LOL. More on this below (ALA).

Organic eggs have 21 x omega-3, 7 x more vitamin E and considerably less cholesterol than non-organic.

SUPPLEMENTATION TIPS AND TYPES

Practitioner only brands can be trusted for purity and low-level contaminants. Most importantly they contain a much higher EPA DHA content that is between 80% - 90%.

For better absorption look for FFA (Free Fatty Acids), TG (Triglycerides), and PL’s (Phospholipids) and AVOID EE (ethyl esters) which cheaper chemist style brands commonly contain.

Buying in bulk is a bad idea as omega 3 is perishable and will most likely go rancid before you finish your bulk buy.

Take your supplement with a meal that contains fat which increases the absorption.

Fish oil: Your fish oil supplement will most likely contain 1000mg of fish oil, however it is the EPA, DHA content that is most important (Many over the counter cheap chemist brands contain no or very little).

Krill oil: Contains Omega 3 triglyceride and phospholipid form (Good!). Krill are tiny and have a short life span so don’t accumulate contaminants over their life time (Also good!)

ALA oil: The plant form of omega 3 commonly found in flaxseeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds. Our bodies can convert ALA to EPA DHA however ALA is high in omega 6 (inflammatory as discussed above).

Algal Oil: Marine algae is a triglyceride source of EPA and DHA. It’s actually the original source for fish meaning it doesn’t contain the contaminates that accumulate up the food chain. Being plant based it is environmentally sustainable so is a great potent option for vegans and vegetarians (Great!).

Green-lipped mussel oil: Native to NZ, however not common in Australia yet can be found in some health food stores, this form is made of triglycerides and free fatty acids (Good!)