ARE WE GETTING ENOUGH OMEGA 3 IN OUR DIET …
We’re often being told that we need to be including more Omega 3 (EFA) in our diets but understanding the different factors which can influence this is a little bit more complicated than you may think.
There are lots of influencing factors from –
- Are you vegan / vegeterian / pescatarian?
- Does you smoking, drink alcohol, suffer from excess stress, have poor diet choices – these can all affect our bodies ability of converting ALA to EPA and DHA
- Are you predisposed to genetic factors whic negatively impact the body’s ability to convert ALA.
The term omega 3 covers both the shorter-chain alpha lipoic acid (ALA), which can be found in the oils of hemp, flax and chia seeds, as well as the longer chain oils, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), found in algae, fish and sea creatures
Short-chain fatty acids (ALA) found in chia seed, flaxseed and hemp seed must go through a lengthy conversion process in the body to the long-chain fatty acids EPA and DHA. As a vegan / vegeterian and influenced by negative lifestlye factors the body may not be subsequently efficient at converting ALA and large amounts of these food sources may need to be consumed to get an optimum amount of Omega 3.
Alternatively, as a pescatarian, there are chances that the fish source, eg Tuna may be contaminated with mercury and other industrial pollutants. Canning processes can also destroy omega 3. Small fish such as sardines and anchovy are an excellent source but best eaten fresh.
Supplementing the body directly with Omega 3 made from sardine and anchovy is therefore highly recommended if you are struggling with health issues relating to the nervous system, musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular system and immune system. This cuts out the conversion process and provides the body with exactly what it needs.
As with any supplement, read the research and choose wisely or you may be just wasting money.