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What are the best sources of Omega-3 EPA and DHA?

A common question we get here at NaturalMeds is why we don't stock krill oil or flax seed oil - great sources of Omega-3 EPA and DHA, right? Well, not exactly. Let's look at the facts...

Lets start with vegetarian sources of omega-3 such as green leafy vegetables, flax seed, and chia. These sources contain ALA, which then converts to EPA and DHA in our body. The problem is, the conversion rate is limited and variable - so even if your body is working optimally to convert that ALA, you still only end up with a very small amount of DHA and EPA. In fact, you would probably need to take over 30 flax seed 1000 mg soft gels daily just to get the recommended dietary intake.

So what about krill? A marine based source of omega-3 means your body is receiving EPA and DHA directly with no need for conversion. However, krill only contains a small amount of EPA and DHA compared to fish oil - EPA and DHA is what our body requires and generally what the omega-3 studies are referencing in their recommendations. Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence that the DHA and EPA from krill is better absorbed by the body (regardless of what you may hear). In fact a study was done in 2013 that contradicts that claim:

       > Ground-breaking Study on Ultimate Omega

Here is a comparison chart that provides a simple and easy way to compare the different sources of EPA and DHA:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, a high-quality, purified fish oil is the safest, most effective source of the omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA.

Please contact us on our Facebook page or leave a comment below if you have any questions regarding omega-3 and we will assist you with your query. We may even cover it in our next blog!

Now that your child is back to school, it is important to give them the nutrition they need to stay focused and attentive. Nourishing meals rich in omega-3 are important to give your child the extra head start they need. Research has proven that a daily dose of omega-3 supplements may boost brain activity in children.

Below are 7 things you didn’t know about omegas for your child’s health:

1.       Essential fatty acids are necessary to remain healthy

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are omega-3 essential fatty acids found in fish and fish oil that are essential for healthy foetal, infant, and child development.

2.       Omega-6 isn’t as healthy as it sounds

It is hard to avoid omega-6 as they are highly abundant in the modern Western diet. It is advisable to swap some of your child’s grain based foods such as bread and pasta for more fruits and vegetables such as berries, mangos, leafy greens, squash and cauliflower.  When cooking, try to avoid soy, safflower, sunflower or ‘vegetable’ oils as these are considerably higher in omega-6 than most other oils.

3.       Omega-3 can be found in food

Cold water fish such as salmon and sardines contain high levels of omega-3, as well as free-range eggs and natural yoghurt. Although adding these to your child’s diet will definitely increase their omega-3 levels, balancing their omega-6 and omega-3 is important. Your child would have to eat an abundant amount of fish to even come close to tipping the balance in most household circumstances. That is why a fish oil supplement may be of benefit.

4.       Fish oil supplements are all different

The many natural features of fish oil which make it so beneficial for adults, apply equally, if not more so, to children. To ensure safety from toxins and free radicals, and to avoid a fishy aftertaste or burps, choose a supplement that is third-party tested for purity and freshness, with a certificate of analysis available to demonstrate this. Only third-party analysis can verify the quality of a fish oil supplement.

5.       Children lack omega-3 in their diet

The vast majority of children are not getting enough EPA and DHA because they do not regularly consume enough cold-water fish, either because they are picky eaters or because it is simply not available to them.

Although adding omega-3 foods in their diet is beneficial, due to the large amounts of omega-6 in the modern Western diet there may often still be an unbalance. A fish oil supplement that includes both EPA and DHA will ensure your child gains an adequate amount of these essential nutrients.


 

 

6.       Cognition and learning improvements with omegas

DHA is essential to normal brain function throughout life, supporting development, memory and learning. There is strong scientific evidence that both EPA and DHA help contribute to overall cognitive health, and research consistently shows that fish oil is associated with higher cognitive performance in children.

7.       Omegas may benefit mental health and behaviour

EPA and DHA have also shown positive effects on mood and behaviour, and may promote improved learning capabilities in a school setting.

This is why it is important to ensure that children have enough of these important essential fatty acids in their daily diet.

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