Find out why you need Omega 3 everyday to stay healthy
Fish are one of nature’s superfoods and are packed full of important nutrients including protein, vitamins A and D; minerals iodine, iron, zinc and selenium, as well as special health-protective fats called Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs).
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are special fats that the body needs but cannot synthesize on its own. This means they need to be obtained every day from the diet, or deficiencies that leave the body vulnerable to poor health can occur.
There are two main groups of EFAs called Omega 3 and Omega 6. Omega 3 EFAs are found in oily fish, and some plants such as flaxseed, whereas Omega 6 are found in plant or seed oils such as sunflower, safflower, corn and sesame.
EFAs are found throughout the entire body, occurring in large quantities in the brain, nerve endings, adrenal glands, eyes and reproductive organs.
The overall levels of EFAs in today’s Western diet have declined considerably to one-sixth of what they were in the 1850s. More importantly, however, the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 EFAs has changed – partly because today’s diet includes more Omega-rich grains and processed foods. This has led to Omega 3 deficiencies, and an overall EFA imbalance.
Oily fish contain two special types of Omega 3 EFAs called EPA and DHA. Recently, these fatty acids have been the focus of a significant amount nutritional research. They have been studied for their many health benefits, some of these include:
EFAs are just as important as vitamins and minerals. They play many key roles in the body and are involved in processes as diverse as:
 Simopolous, A. The omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio, genetic variation, and cardiovascular disease. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2008;17 (S1):131-134
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