Okay, so maybe you understand why you need to have more Omega-3 in your life but how do you get it there? This segment explains how to do that all the way from choosing a supplement to diets and foods rich in the essential fatty acid.
I have been taking Omega-3 supplements for many years that contain extremely high quality, toxin free ingredients. If you are interested in saving your valuable time and want to avoid researching the myriad of offerings on the market, contact me and I’ll tell you all about them.
To your health!
Balancing Your Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Essential for Health and Long Life
by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP
How to choose the best omega-3 supplement
The best way to get omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is from fresh sources. However, there are some very good supplements, and you can choose those based on the quality and purity of the product. The best omega-3 fish oils should come from deep-water fish (these fish are generally less polluted) However, oily fish can have high levels of lethal pesticides, dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), or heavy metals (such as lead and mercury), which need to be removed in the preparation process for omega-3 supplements. There are advanced omega-3 extraction and distillation processes that efficiently remove the toxins and impurities and also maintain stability and freshness. If you want to know about the purity, contact the manufacturer and request a certificate of analysis. This will display the results of tests for levels of lead, mercury, and cadmium in each batch.
The American Heart Association daily recommendation is 1–3 grams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). For some medical diseases, higher doses (up to 4 grams per day) of omega-3 products can be used safely. There are recent studies indicating that higher-dose omega-3 fatty acids can be very helpful to lower high triglycerides. I suggest that you discuss this with your healthcare provider if you plan to use more than 3 grams of omega-3 daily.
At Women to Women, we know your healthy lifestyle is always based on balance, not overabundance. It is best to purchase omega-3 supplements with the following criteria:
- Look for natural forms that have been purified by molecular extraction, to guarantee that the product does not contain mercury or other pollutants.
- Look for additional antioxidants.
- Look for the suggested dose on the label to be sure that it doesn’t suggest more than 3 grams of EPA and DHA per day (see above).
- Look for both EPA and DHA. They can be interconverted, so the ratio of EPA to DHA is not as significant as quality and amount are, but both should be present. A good ratio is 3:2.
- Look for the expiration date. Be aware and do not take if they have a bad smell or bad taste, as this could mean that the product was poorly purified, has expired, or has already oxidized. However, a fishy smell does not necessarily mean that the fish oil is bad, it could just be that it did not go through a process to remove that odor.
- Make sure the product says mercury and lead free. Some manufacturers are not as stringent as need be and do not add this to the labels. You do not want to get Omega-3’s at the expense of consuming more toxins.
Another way that you can optimize your omega-3 intake is to follow a Mediterranean diet. By eating richly colored fruits and vegetables, virgin olive oil, and fresh fish, you can help your body obtain a healthier balance.
The Women to Women approach for increasing omega-3’s
Increasing your omega-3 fatty acid intake will promote better health. From premenstrual syndrome, menopause, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and osteoporosis, taking omega-3 can help all women reduce inflammation. It will also help you regain the balance that you lost with a diet heavy in omega-6 fatty acids.
Now that you are aware of this essential part of your healthy lifestyle, here are some suggestions to help you reestablish the balance between omega-6′s and omega-3′s:
Test your omega-6/omega-3 ratio. If you have inflammation or health risks discussed previously in this article, please ask your practitioner for a fatty acid profile test. Testing will provide an objective number for your starting point.
Transition to Mediterranean eating. It’s easy to look for simple recipes that are made from fresh whole foods that can be prepared ahead of time. You can quickly have a wholesome meal for you and your family with a chance to relax and fully savor it. When you are shopping, get a variety of brightly colored fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts for quick and easy snacks. Keep your nuts and oils refrigerated. Do not buy junk food or overly processed food.
Supplement your diet daily with high-quality omega-3. If you eat at least two seafood servings a week and you don’t have any health concerns, then 600–650 mg of EPA and DHA per day is probably sufficient. However, if you have issues with your health, you can benefit from a daily dose of 1,000–3,000 mg omega-3. If you choose to take up to 4,000 mg per day, please do so with your healthcare provider’s approval. If you want to use fish oil as a supplement, only choose natural, stable preparations of the highest quality and purity.
Include a high-quality, multivitamin-mineral, complex supplement. Pyroxidine, biotin, calcium, copper, magnesium, and zinc are nutrients that assist with the conversion of omega-3 to EPA and DHA. It’s difficult to plan and prepare meals to get the recommended doses of these nutrients. You can be sure that you are getting adequate amounts by taking a high-quality nutritional supplement.
A lesson from the past—balance
In the past, our diet provided omega-3 fatty acids in larger amounts because it was primarily from the earth and the sea. For millennia humankind ate what it could hunt, catch, dig, or pick and didn’t really worry about good or bad nutrition. People only wanted to be full and nourished—their challenge was to find enough to eat. In modern times, we have an overabundance of food choices, and we still have to search and hunt for the finest omega-3 foods and supplements.
There is a lot of research being released about omega-3′s. However, please always keep in mind that it’s all about balance. This balance affects things on a cellular level with your omega-3 and omega-6 ratio and the balance of your whole life. There is no supplement or pill that will do away with all your challenges. But if you incorporate good nutrition and a positive outlook toward life, this will let you continue your journey to a long and healthy life.
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