What is omega-3 for?

Think omega-3 and you will think fish oil, olive oil, and other oils. There are so many omega-3 products it can be really confusing.

What is omega-3 for?

Omega-3 does a variety of things in the human body, including helping to maintain skin, brain, and heart health.

Omega-3’s anti-inflammatory properties counter the inflammatory effects of the excessive levels of omega-6 in today’s diets. Just how excessive are our omega-6 levels? We’re supposed to be eating equal levels of omega-3 and omega-6, but typical Western diets contain around 16 times more omega-6 than omega-3!

What is omega 3 and omega 6?

Omega-3 and omega-6 are fatty acids that have their respective functions in the human body. We need them both.

What is omega 3 fatty acid?

A more accurate question would be, what are omega-3 fatty acids? They are three types of fatty acids, namely

  • ALA, which exists in plants
  • EPA, which the body can make from ALA
  • DHA, which the body can make from ALA

What is omega 3 fats?

This is basically the same question. But it does highlight one thing: that omega-3s are oils. Oils means calories.

My omega 3 foods list

  • Chia seed: crush before eating to release the omega-3.
  • Kiwi fruit seed: yup, you’d need to crush this too if you’re going to absorb the omega-3.
  • Perilla
  • Macadamia: makes a great cooking oil with high smoke point.

Chia seed vs flax seed

While both are rich in omega-3, chia seed is a safer source as flax seed contains potentially toxic compounds, including cyanogenic glycosides. Because of this, I avoid all flax seed products!

Are omega-3 supplements safe?

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2 Comments on "What is omega-3 for?"


  1. Hey Regina,
    great post. Omega-3 is really important in your diet and I think everyone should be aware of whether or not they consume enough of it.
    I know you mentioned chia and flax seeds. Have you ever tried Hemp? I use the protein powder because it has a lot of iron and additionally a lot of the healthy omega fatty acids.
    I can only recommend it!

    Reply

    1. Hi Sarah! Unfortunately hemp, unlike chia or flax, has several times more omega 6 than omega 3. When you choose your omega 3 sources, make sure you find out their omega 6:omega 3 ratio. To balance the high omega 6 levels in your diet, it should ideally be between 1:4 to 1:1. Hemp’s is around 3:1.

      While hemp does contain omega 3, the additional omega 6 you are getting will probably defeat the purpose of balancing the already excessive omega 6 levels in the average person’s diet today.

      Chia seed is 1:3, flax seed is 1:4. But as I mentioned, flax seed should be avoided, so we are left with chia seed, if you’re looking at seeds commonly available.

      Reply

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