Omega 3 fatty acids are known as essential fats, this means you need to get them through your diet as your body cannot produce them from other fats.
The benefits of high intake of omega 3 fats have been known for years and are supported by 100s of clinical trials, with evidence to support their use for many areas of health including:
The best food source of omega 3s by far is oily fish. Although omega 3s can be found in plants such as flax and walnuts, to be really useful your body needs to convert them using enzymes into EPA and DHA, the form of omega 3s naturally found in fish oil. Unfortunately many factors can affect this conversion such as availability of other nutrients.
Oily fish is often described as one of the healthiest foods you can eat – a great source of protein, high in vitamins and minerals, low in saturated fats and of course high in omega 3s. Nutritionists often recommend most of us should eat 2-3 portions per week, however many of us in the UK are failing to reach even one portion, leaving us deficient.
Is it safe?
You may be aware of the reports over the safety of contaminants effecting our seas and fish. This is a valid concern and as a nutritional therapist one that worries me deeply. Unfortunately, mercury, amongst other pollutants, is a big problem. High levels of mercury and dioxins are found in some large oily fish and can, in high doses, be dangerous.
The NHS guidelines ask pregnant and breastfeeding woman and children in particular to limit certain types of oily fish as pollutants such as mercury can build up in the body.
You can still enjoy the health benefits without the risks. A good rule of thumb is to choose small fish, as they will have the lowest levels of mercury and other pollutants. This is due to the extended food chain. A large fish will accumulate a lot of mercury over its lifetime as it feeds.
Choosing smaller fish such as salmon, sardines, shellfish and anchovies are fairly safe. Tuna and king mackerel should be eaten no more than twice weekly and swordfish and marlin less than once a month.
If you choose to supplement
Some will choose to avoid oily fish completely or maybe you don’t enjoy the taste. In this case choosing the right omega supplement is important. This is why here at Higher Nature our nutrition team have developed our new Super Potency Fish Oil to the highest possible standard giving you a supplement which is:
Our new super potency fish oil supplement is made from wild anchovies from Peru, carefully processed to ensure the oils are protected and reach you in perfect condition. It is the perfect one a day option to top up your levels of these vitally important fats.