Omega 3s fatty acids are one of the “good” types of fat. They can help lower the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, and arthritis. The body can’t make them. We have to eat them in our foods or take supplements. Because I adhere to a plant based lifestyle, it’s important to me to get my Omega 3s through sources other than fish oil or fish based products. Fortunately, there are plant based options!
Omega 3s are a specific type of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The body can synthesize saturated fatty acids, but doesn’t have an enzyme that allows it to create omega 3s on its own. The three omega 3s found in food are ALA, EPA and DHA. I’ll create a separate post about ALA. This post looks at the health benefits of EPA & DHA.
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) is a 20-carbon fatty acid found in oily fish, algae oil and some plants. The body is able to synthesize this molecule in its original form. This, along with DHA, are the omega 3s most needed in high quantities to achieve the benefits they offer.
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is a 22-carbon molecule is also found in oily fish, algae oil and some plants. The body will convert some DHA molecules back to EPAs in order to keep them at fairly equal levels if you consume more DHA.
Plants that are high in Omega 3s include walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and Brussels sprouts.
Health benefits of having enough Omega 3s include improved heart health, decreased inflammation throughout the body, fight against mental disorders and mental decline, lowered risk of cancer, support for healthy bones and joints, improved quality of sleep, infant and child development, relieve menstrual pain, anti-aging, healthy skin, and lowered risk for macular degeneration.
EPA & DHA repairs and strengthens areas of the nervous system that have been damaged by the shingles virus. They fortify the endocrine system so that it is less susceptible to damage from excessive amounts of adrenaline that can be the result of a thyroid condition, an over abundance of stress, or both.
Although I try to include foods that are rich sources of Omega 3s, I take a supplement to ensure that my body is receiving this vital nutrient. It was especially important to me while I was eliminating the shingles virus from my body. Omega 3s helped to repair the damage to my sciatic nerves.
Look for plant based options, if avoiding fish is important to you, as it is to me. Click the link below to order a non fish version of Omega 3s.
Order non fish EPA & DHA by clicking the link below.
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