Omega-3 Fatty Acid

Background Information:

  • Essential fatty acid that must come from food intake
  • There are 3 types, EPA, DHA, and ALA
    • DHA is found in marine foods
    • ALA is found in plant foods

Health Benefits: 

  • DHA is an integral part of cell membranes and plays a key role in brain development and function
    • Contributes to 18% of the brain’s weight
  • EPA plays a major role in supporting heart health and may help reduce inflammation in the body
    • Can combat arthritis, asthma, and autoimmune disorders
  • Can preserve bits of DNA on the ends of chromosomes called telomeres which prevents early aging & premature death
  • May boost metabolism
  • Alters levels of leptin, a hormone that directly effects metabolism and determines whether you burn calories or store them as fat. Consuming foods with omega-3 fatty acids increases the levels of fat-burning enzymes in your body and decreases the levels of fat-storage enzymes.

Sources: 

  • Anchovies
  • Black cod
  • Bluefish
  • Chia seeds – 4915 mg in 1/8 cup
  • Chinese broccoli – 227 mg in 1 cup
  • Flaxseed (must be ground or oil)
  • Herring – 3171 in a 5 oz filet
  • Kale
  • Mackerel
  • Rainbow trout
  • Salmon – 3982 mg in 1/2 filet
  • Sardines
  • Seaweed
  • Spinach – 381 mg in 1 cup
  • Soybeans
  • Tuna (bluefin and albacore)
  • Walnuts

Absorption: 

  • Plant forms are not as easily absorbed by the body

Deficiency: 

  • fatigue, mood swings, memory decline, depression

 

References:

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