Omega 3 Fatty Acids – What are They and Why Do I Need Them?

Foods-rich-in-omega-3-fatty-acidsOmega 3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that our body needs to function.  Unfortunately, our bodies cannot make them ourselves so we have to get them from outside sources.  The benefits of omegas are numerous but they are most known for their anti-inflammatory properties. They also play a very crucial role in nervous system development and brain function. Omega 3 fatty acids have also been shown to improve heart health and lower the risk of heart disease.

While these fatty acids are so vital for our health, many Americans are deficient in them.  Symptoms of omega 3 fatty acid deficiency include poor memory, fatigue, dry skin, heart problems, and joint pain. The typical American diet is often high in omega 6 fatty acids and low in omega 3’s. Omega 6 fatty acids are found in things like grains, eggs, and grain-fed livestock. These fatty acids will actually promote inflammation within the body. Ideally, you want to have a 2:1 ratio of omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids. Most Americans linger around a 20:1 ratio.

The great news is, there are tons of healthy and nutritious sources of omega 3’s. The following are just a few:

  • Salmon
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Flaxseed
  • Chia Seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Tuna
  • Grass-fed dairy

Using supplementation to improve your omega 3 levels is always great as well! This way you know your body is absorbing the proper amounts it needs.

Dr. Meghan

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