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The Key Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids


Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for our heart and brain health. Since our bodies do not produce omega-3's, we must get them from food sources.


Omega-3 fatty acids help keep the membranes that surround all cells in the body working well. Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to reducing inflammation throughout the body. Long-term inflammation can damage our blood vessels and lead to cardiovascular illnesses.

Heart attacks and strokes are the world’s leading causes of death. A study, published in April 2021 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed that four out of 10 Canadians have an omega-3 blood level that’s associated with a high risk of coronary heart disease. New research found that fish oil supplements lead to a significant reduction in stroke and heart attack risk. Studies show that omega-3's can also lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, that can accumulate inside the arteries of the heart. Omega-3's can also raise “good” HDL cholesterol levels.

Omega-3's are also crucial for brain growth and development in infants. Getting enough omega-3's during pregnancy and early life is crucial for your child’s development.

Some studies have suggested that omega-3 supplementation may help prevent cognitive decline, especially in older adults.


Eating at least two servings of fish a week could lower your risks of developing heart diseases.


Dietary guidelines recommends 300-500 mg DHA + EPA per day, equivalent to 2-3 servings of oily fish per week. Typically, 1,000 mg of fish oil supplies around 300 mg of combined EPA and DHA. DHA helps with cell membrane structure and assists in normal growth and development. While both EPA and DHA participate in key pathways of the immune system where they control key processes that support our health.


A key source of omega-3 fatty acids is found in cold-water fatty fish, such as: mackerel, salmon, herring, and sardines. Omega-3's can also be found in plant-based foods including: seaweeds, flaxseed and flaxseed oil, chia seeds, walnuts, edamame. Fresh Canadian albacore tuna is another rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, a 3.5-ounce serving contains approximately 2.1 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. Cooking tip: Tuna can be baked, grilled, or pan-seared in a skillet.


Get your daily dose of Omega-3's and keep your heart and brain healthy!


This information is not intended to provide any medical advice.


 

References:

  • Beck, L. (2021, May 10). Canadians need to boost their omega-3 Intake. The Globe and Mail, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/article-canadians-need-to-boost-their-omega-3-intake/.

  • Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2019, September 28). How eating fish helps your heart. Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/omega-3/art-20045614.

  • Omega-3 supplements reduce risk of stroke and heart attack. University of Utah Health. (n.d.), https://healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/shows.php?shows=0_nxifvdws.

  • Hjalmarsdottir, F. (2018, October 15). 17 science-based benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-health-benefits-of-omega-3#TOC_TITLE_HDR_5.

  • MediLexicon International. (n.d.). Fish oils and omega-3 oils: Benefits, foods, and risks. Medical News Today, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/40253#health-benefits.








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