Omegas 3’s have made it into the mainstream of lifestyle importance. Until a few years I recommended omega 3’s to only those with heart disease. Research exploded exponentially linking increased intake of omega 3’s to lowered risk of not only heart disease, but other types of inflammation such as arthritis, insulin resistance, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, hormonal disorders, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition, the fish oil/flax seed combination is helpful for symptoms associated with PMS, menopause, and hormone stabilization in general. ADD and ADHD can also be helped.
How can one simple thing help so many medical problems? Feeding your body starts with adequate food for your brain. Since a large percentage of your brain is fat, feeding and lubricating the brain with enough fat can restore the rest of the systems in your body to balance.
The 3 Omegas
There are 3 types of omega 3 fats: ALA, DHA and EPA.
ALA is found in the highest concentration in ground flax seed. One tablespoon per day meets your needs. Flax seeds has an important lignan in it that gives you a host of health benefits. The Spectrum brand has a nice taste. Put it on your morning yogurt or cottage cheese, or toss in a salad. The flax seed has to be ground in order to obtain the ALA. Otherwise, it goes through your system as fiber.
Fish oil contains the remaining 2 omega 3’s: DHA and EPA. What type of fish oil is best? Many times the brand of a supplement is not all that significant. However, with fish oil it IS important. Proper storage and quality brands are important for freshness, avoiding rancidity and avoidance of PCB’s. A few years back several brands were sued in the last few months due to PCB’s.
The brand of fish oil I usually recommend is Carlson or Nordic Naturals, neither of which I get royalties from. Studies show optimal amounts are at least 1000 mg. of both DHA and EPA to achieve benefits.
Since a typical gel capsule contains only 200-300 mg. of each it requires taking at least 4-5 capsules per day. One teaspoon of the Carlson Lemon Fish oil contains 800 mg. of EPA and 500 mg. of DHA. Taking one tablespoon is sufficient for the day. It tastes like lemon oil and has the highest level of absorption.
One tablespoon per day each of ground flax seed and fish oil and less risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s – sounds like a no-brainer to me. And in the midst of COVID, omega 3’s are even more essential.