Omega-3s are essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. This means they are necessary for good health. Omega-3s are made up of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). EPA and DHA are the most potent forms of omega-3s and found in cold-water, oily fishes. ALA is found in plant foods and found mainly in seeds, nuts, and oils. Omega-3s are best known for their anti-inflammatory properties and protection against heart disease. Current research also finds they are helpful in recovering from traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions. They have been well studied and the American Heart Association recommends that individuals should eat oily fishes at least twice per week. Those individuals with cardiac disease should also consider taking a fish oil dietary supplement with EPA and DHA of 1000 mg daily after consulting with their doctor. One thing to remember about fish oil supplements is that fish oil can thin your blood and possibly increase risk for bleeding and bruising. Always tell your physician if you are taking any supplements.
Food Sources of DHA and EPA include: crab, herring, oysters, salmon, sardines, trout, and canned tuna
Food Sources of ALA include: brazil nuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, pecans, sunflower seeds, tofu, walnuts, and canola, corn, safflower, sesame, soybean, sunflower, walnut oils