That Omega 3 fatty acids are good for health, has been proven beyond doubt now. The question that comes next is – which are the best omega 3 sources that can give adequate amounts of these beneficial fats?
While you can get omega 3 from a wide variety of sources, they all have their pros and cons. You need to know all about them in order to make an informed choice. So here it is:
Broadly speaking, we can divide omega 3 sources into two categories – Vegetarian and Non Vegetarian
The most popular and most commonly taken vegetarian omega 3 source is Flaxseed oil. This oil contains high levels of ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid) omega 3 fatty acid.
The problem with ALA is – it’s not very beneficial for your body by itself. It has to be first converted into DHA and EPA fats which are actually responsible for the major health benefits to the heart, brain, eyes, joints and even your skin. This conversion is not a very efficient process and only a fraction of ALA is actually converted into DHA and EPA.
Other foods in this category that can give you omega 3 are – cauliflower, cabbage, kale, tofu, papaya, strawberries, cloves and mustard.
Non Vegetarian Sources
Sea food like fish, scallops, shrimp, and krill are a better option as they can directly provide DHA and EPA to your system.
Now scallops and shrimps are not the best omega 3 sources as they do not have adequate levels of these fats. Krill oil is a better option, and since krill is not directly available for consumption, you would have to opt for a supplement containing oil derived from these crustaceans. However, note that there are some concerns regarding the environmental impact of consumption of krill oil. This may cause an ecological imbalance as the krill plays an important part in the oceanic food chain.
Consuming fish is a better choice as fish harvesting is done in a controlled manner which ensures there is no ecological impact. The only problem here is – due to the heavily polluted ocean waters they live in, fish also ingest many contaminants like Mercury and Lead. These pollutants then make their way into your body when you eat fish and can cause health issues if their levels rise in the body. This is why the US E.P.A. recommends limiting the consumption of fish in order to minimize exposure to mercury.
There are multiple benefits you get by opting for a supplement instead of eating fish:
- These supplements contain oil derived from fish naturally rich in omega 3. This is just what’s needed to get all the possible health benefits you can get from these fats. Look for a supplement that contains oil derived from the hoki and tuna – they are the best sources right now for omega 3.
- The oil extracted from these fish goes through rigorous purification techniques like Molecular Distillation. This ensures all the contaminants are removed from it and you can take the supplement without any worries.
- These processes also concentrate the oil to a high degree, which means just a couple of capsules a day are enough to provide your body all the omega 3 it needs. No need of eating large quantities of fish everyday!
- And of course, a good supplement would be reasonably priced too, so it would be much easier on the pocket as compared to buying fish from the grocery store.
So there you have it. All the omega 3 sources you need to know about to make the right decision. Which one are you going to choose?
- What Are Omega 3 Fatty Acids And Why Do We Need Them At All?
- Fish vs. Fish Oil Supplement – Which is The Best Omega 3 Source?
- Top 3 Reasons Omega 3 Supplements Should Be A Staple Part Of Your Diet And How To Find The Best Ones
- The Best Omega 3 Foods For A Healthy Body
- Do You Really Need To Be Concerned About Omega 3 Side Effects?