Ensuring that your body is getting the right types and amounts of nutrients is essential for your wellbeing. One of the most important nutrients that we need to remain healthy is omega-3.
This fatty acid is most commonly found in foods like fish and comes with a whole bunch of health benefits that include helping decrease our chance of developing heart diseases. But recent studies have even found that the average adult is severely lacking in the amount of omega-3 they need in their body.
For many people, a great option to boost their omega-3 levels is to start incorporating an omega-3 supplement into their daily routine. But it is important to know how much omega-3 is too much and to not overdo it on this fatty acid. So before you start incorporating this supplement into your lifestyle, make sure to chat to a nutritionist or doctor first and also educate yourself on this essential nutrient.
To support you on your wellness journey, we have put together the ultimate beginner’s guide to omega-3 supplements, from defining what they are to discussing the benefits and possible side effects as well.
In scientific terms, omega-3 is a fatty acid that is part of the polyunsaturated fatty acid family. There are three types of omega-3s that have been thoroughly researched, which are alpha-linolenic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and eicosapentaenoic acid.
Fish naturally has eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Plants and nuts contain alpha-linolenic acid. But sometimes even eating fish, nuts, and vegetables is not enough to get the right levels of omega-3 that your body needs. This is where the supplement form comes in to save the day.
How Omega-3 Helps
There are many different benefits that omga-3 can provide you with. This includes helping reduce inflammation in your body, offering relief from arthritis symptoms, supporting the structuring of cell membranes, protecting your heart, reducing your risk of dementia, and even supporting pregnant women and infants.
Of course, omega-3 alone will not give you the ultimate wellness. It is the combination of omega-3 plus a variety of other life choices and additional nutrients that can truly give you all these health benefits and more.
It is always great to get your essential nutrients through your diet. And you can get a lot of your omega-3 from a variety of foods that include seafood, flaxseeds, chia seeds and vegetables. So eating healthy and clean will naturally help increase the amount of omega-3 your body gets on a daily basis.
However, there are a variety of reasons why omega-3 supplements may be needed in your daily diet as well. These supplements are actually made from the nutrient-rich food that we mentioned previously and simply converted into a supplement capsule or gel that can easily be consumed.
In most cases, these supplements also include other nutrients like vitamin E so that your body can get the full benefits of this fatty acid.
The most common types of omega-3 supplements include cod liver oil, fish oil, and krill oil. But if you are a vegetarian or vegan and want an option that is friendly to your diet, there are also vegan omega-3 supplements available, which get the fatty acid from algae.
What To Consider
It is important to remember that every single person is different when it comes to their nutritional needs. So there is no one-fits-all solution for omega-3 supplements. That is why you should always first talk to a medical professional about if this supplement option will be beneficial to you.
There are also multiple factors to consider when it comes to omega-3 supplements. First, you will want to do your research on the brand of supplements. There is always the risk that fish in general can be contaminated with mercury. So you want to get fish oil supplements from brands that have done verified testing around these toxins. If contamination concerns you, the lowest risk option is normally the vegan-friendly algae supplement.
Another consideration should be the timing in which you take this supplement. In general, supplements are often best consumed by the body when you take them during a meal. For omega-3 supplements, you want to try to consume them while you are also eating a meal that has healthy fat in it. This is because healthy fats like olive oil or avocados can help your body absorb the supplement better.
Finally, make sure that you store your omega-3 supplements in a safe and secure place. You want to make sure that the supplements are placed in a cool area that will allow it to stay fresh. Often, one of the best places to put these is in the refrigerator.
Omega-3 supplements can really help support your overall wellbeing. If you think that supplements are an option for you, talk to your doctor and start researching the best supplement brands out there.