Omega-3 is a very important nutrient for human’s health. Its capacity to help in the development and growth of tissues and brain and its ability to improve some of the body’s organ functions are some of the reasons why it has been required by medical experts to be added in a regular diet.
There are three types of omega 3: the ALA, the EPA and the DHA. ALA can usually be obtained through plant sources while EPA can be obtained through meat and marine food sources. DHA can be obtained sources. Here are top sources of DHA and EPA:
The American Heart Association recommends that normal healthy people should eat two servings of oily fish per week, and tuna is one of the two best examples (the other is Salmon). Among the types of tuna, fresh bluefin tuna has the highest amount of DHA. Albacore tuna, another type of tuna, which is the only tuna canned and labeled as “premium white meat” contains 3 times as much as DHA as “light” tuna canned in water.
Canned tuna, especially those water canned tuna, is an always available and economical source of omega 3. It is better to get water canned tuna instead of oil packed because water and oil don’t mix, and so when you oil drain the tuna, that precious omega 3 does not go down the drain. In an average 5-ounce can of tuna, you are likely to get about 7-28 milligrams of EPA and 140-850 milligrams of DHA.
Another good source for animal based omega 3 is Krill. Since most of the fish in the seas pose high risk for being contaminated with industrial pollutants such as mercury, krill maybe the best option possible. Krill oil contains essential EPA and DHA in a double-chain phospholipid structure that makes it far more absorbable than the omega-3 in fish oil. Krill oil naturally contains astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant. The antioxidant potency of krill oil is almost 50 times higher than fish oil as research has shown. This will ensure that you get the essential EPA and DHA and you will not have worry about oxidation. Furthermore, since krill is small, accumulation of toxins is less before being harvested.
Also, Krill can be a good source of Vitamins A, E and D.
Recently, squid is getting a good reputation as a green source of omega-3. Also, squid population is so abundant because they have a short life cycle and breed more, plus the fact that harvesting is very eco-friendly, it does not pose any danger to other sea species.
Wild squid or calamari is fast becoming one of the popular choices for omega 3 DHA and EPA. Several companies have started marketing calamari oil and apparently, it is 35% richer in DHA and EPA than Salmon and 100% more than Krill. Calamari oil possibly is the best among the omega-3 sources.
Eggs bought in the market are known to be rich in omega 3. However, it is still best to get those that specifically say enriched with DHA. They contain 12 times more omega 3 fatty acids compared to regular eggs.
Flaxseed may be the one of the best option for vegan sourced omega-3. Although primarily, flaxseed contains another strand of omega 3 called alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. ALA is the “parent” strand of DHA and EPA when converted, which in turn can be synthesized by the human body. Issues regarding vegan sourced omega 3 include not conversion of ALA to DHA and EPA instead being burnt for energy, variation of the body’s ability to convert to DHA and EPA depending on factors such as gender and age, and very low ALA absorption from plant sources.
However, flaxseed may still be a favorable source as it does not have contaminations from pollutants as much as animal sourced omega 3 has. It should only be assured that to get the most out of flaxseed, there should be a healthy diet and abundant supply of ALA into the body.
Whatever the source of omega-3 DHA and EPA you have in the diet, it is very essential that we incorporate them into our menu. The body needs these fatty acids in order to ensure proper brain development and a healthier heart. It is best to stay healthy by taking good care of our heart and brain.