What are Omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 are a group of unsaturated fatty acids with many important functions in the body. The body is unable to produce omega-3 on its own and it is therefore important to supply the body with omega-3 from food sources or supplements.
Important omega-3 fatty acids include ALA (α-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). ALA is present is food sources from plants such as nuts and seeds, and their oils. EPA and DHA can be synthesized from ALA, but due to low conversion efficiency, it is recommended to have a diet with food sources rich in EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA are present in seafood, algae, and fish oils and are often called marine omega-3 fatty acids.
It is recommended to consume 1-2 grams of omega-3 per day. Eating fish, particularly fatty fish, at least 2-3 times per week will meet this recommendation. However, a diet with less than this amount will require omega-3 from other sources.