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Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Types and Benefits

Jun 22, 2017

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats, which come with many health benefits, such as fighting inflammatory diseases and heart disease. Though there are 11 types of Omega-3 fatty acids, there are three that are essential for our body.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Types, Benefits, And Foods to Consume

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA): According to a 2004 study, EPA is emerging as a new potential in the treatment of depression. EPA also helps in fighting inflammation in our body. It is mostly found in fatty fish like salmon, eel, shrimp, sturgeon, in dairy products, and in algae.
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): A study indicates that DHA has a positive effect on various conditions, such as hypertension, arthritis, depression, and diabetes, among others. Seafood like fatty fish and algae contain high amounts of DHA. It is also found in grass-fed animal products.
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): ALA is found in plant food, seeds, and some animal fats. ALA needs to be converted into EPA and DHA for it to be active in our body. Some of the foods that contain ALA are spinach, walnuts, kale, soybeans, hemp seeds, flax, and chia seeds.

Omega-3 fatty acids are not produced in our body naturally. They need to be acquired through diet and supplements. There’s no standard recommended dosage for omega-3 fatty acids. Most organizations recommend a daily dose of 250 to 500 mg of EPA and DHA.

Mahesh Jayaraman
Mahesh is a traditional acupressure therapist and health counselor. He is certified in Functional Nutrition from Washington State University and uses a wide array of healing modalities to guide his clients to vibrant health and well-being.