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Know Your Nutrients: Omega-3 in your diet

Posted on January 02 2013

So what’s all this talk about including omega-3’s in your diet? Are they natural supplements? What are the benefits? Well, one thing’s for sure, omega-3’s are becoming the talk of the town and are just as healthy as the gossip surrounding them. Omega-3’s are polyunsaturated fats that are not produced by our bodies but are essential fatty acids. The three types are called: ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). The human body cannot create its own supply of these fatty acids so it is important to consume foods and supplements that contain them. These foods are the best source of omega-3’s so make sure to stock up!
  • Flaxseeds or flaxseed oil
  • Seafood: salmon, anchovies, sardines, trout, tuna
  • Canola or soybean oil
  • Walnuts
  • Spinach
  • Winter squash
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Dietary supplements
When you add these foods to your diet the omega-3’s will start to improve many aspects of your health. The amount of fat in your blood can be reduced and triglycerides (which are a risk factor in heart attacks) will be lowered. They also reduce inflammation and can prevent inflammatory diseases like heart disease and arthritis. Mental health can also be improved and may help people with depression and bipolar disorder. Omega-3’s also improve skin health by relieving psoriasis and acne. There is also a great need for omega-3 in your diet while pregnant because it helps with the fetal development. Omega-3 fatty acids provide our lives with many health benefits that make it impossible to overlook. It is such an easy way to improve our lives, so why wait? Add some flaxseeds or walnuts to your yogurt in the morning, cook with canola oil and sneak some spinach into your families’ dinner salad. You will begin to see improvements that will give the New Year a healthy and happy start! Photo credit: Flickr user ralph and jenny. Used with permission through Creative Commons.

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