Why should you be taking omega-3?
Omega-3 fats are a must for everyone but they’re particularly beneficial for women, as they play a crucial role in hormonal health. They also reduce inflammation, which can in turn decrease PMS-related pain almost as much as popping an ibuprofen. Taking omega-3s regularly can improve symptoms of depression and anxiety, and if that’s not enough they can make skin glow from within. According to celebrity favourite dermatologist Dr Nicholas Perricone, “Omega-3 helps to keep part of the skin cell soft and supple, maintaining its fluidity. This contributes to powerful anti-ageing health and beauty benefits – more radiance and less wrinkled.” If there was ever a reason to include omegas in your diet, this is it!
How much should you be taking?
The recommended total amount of omega-3 for women is 1.1 grams per day. “Liquid forms of omega-3 need to be kept in the fridge versus gel capsules that tend to be more potent. The origin of the omegas is also a factor, so read the labels for where and how the fish where raised. However, if you’re restricted by budget, any addition of any omegas is better than none at all,” says Emily Clarke, health coach and founder of Busy Bee Well.
What are the different ways you get your quota?
Although the biggest concentration of omega-3 is in fish, to get enough to be effective, you would have to eat more than just a piece of salmon sashimi from your lunchtime sushi box – you need to eat a lot of fish. To put it to scale, every 100g of fish provides 1g of omega-3. Mackerel is the best source, followed by trout and then herring. If you’re not the fishy type, omega-3 can also be found in walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, avocados and Brussels sprouts.
The Benefits Of Omega-3
Brain Booster: A recent study at Harvard Medical School found that omega-3 also plays a role in preserving the blood-brain barrier. That means they protect the central nervous system from the likes of bacteria and toxins within the blood. Researchers are hoping that this finding will create a way to treat illnesses such as brain cancer, strokes and Alzheimer’s.
Energy: The University of Maryland Medical Centre conducted studies and found that being low in omega-3 can lead to fatigue, mood swings and depression. Omega-3 supplementation is one of the most researched areas and has shown particular benefits to mood and behaviour. The Oxford Clack Nutrition Study found that giving a teenager a multivitamin with purified omega-3 improved their behaviour and the ability to learn and concentrate better. Taking a fish oil capsule every day is an easy way to prevent you from feeling lethargic and sluggish.
Hair, Skin and Nails: Omega-3 essential fatty acids help to maintain the skins barrier functions (keeps out toxins) while also bringing beneficial nutrients in by helping with absorption. Fish oils stimulate hair growth at a follicle level and provide nourishment for nails. Dry and brittle nails or lacklustre hair can be a sign of omega-3 deficiency.
What the best way to take omega-3?
The most popular omega-3 supplements are made from fish oil, krill oil, and hemp or flaxseed oil. They're a great way to get all the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids while avoiding the problems of toxicity of seafood. Just a few capsules a day can give you as much omega-3 as a serving of any fish.
How should you choose which omega-3 supplement is for you?
When choosing a fish oil, look at where the oil is from – go for a fish body oil rather than a cod liver oil as the liver stores vitamin A, and if you combine this with a multivitamin you may get too much. Also look at the concentration of DHA and EPA per capsule to ensure you are getting good value for money.
Here’s how to get your O’s:
Best for all-rounder: The Organic Pharmacy Omega-3,6,7 & 9 Superantioxidant Oil Blend
Best for vegans: Votary Super Seed Supplement
Best for high cholesterol: Wiley’s Finest Wild Alaskan Fish Oil
Best for skin: Perricone MD Omega Capsules
Best for tweens and teens: Holland And Barrett Omega-3 Fish Oils with A, D, E & C