Sources Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Written by Jared Vincenti
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Originally called "Vitamin F" by nutritionists, omega-3 fatty acids are an essential part of the human diet. While they lost the official "vitamin" name when they were re-classified with other fats, they are no less important than other vitamins. Furthermore, many scientists believe that many modern humans are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids.

Most directly, omega-3 fatty acids are used by the body as a precursor to prostaglandins, which are the body's natural anti-inflammatories. Omega-3 fatty acids have long been thought good for heart health, and are now also suspected to be good for your brain, too. Early studies show that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may stave off dementia in old age, and may act as a mood stabilizer at all ages. Omega-3 fatty acids are being researched for potential uses in fighting depression and bipolar disorder, and may be recommended by a naturalist or homeopath for such ills.

Getting Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Your Diet

Most people get omega-3 fatty acids from diet supplements, but a well-rounded diet should include enough omega-3 fatty acids without pills. Walnuts, flax seed, and canola oil are three vegetarian sources of omega-3s, but the best source is by far seafood. This is because animals have greater need of fatty acids, especially in colder climates.

Among seafoods, fish is the best source of omega-3s, and salmon is one of the best fish sources. Recent studies have indicated that farmed salmon have lower levels of omega-3s than wild-caught salmon. Especially known for high omega-3s, as well as remarkable flavor, are Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) from Alaska.

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