So what are Omega 3 fatty acids?
Omega 3 – we’ve all heard it mentioned now and again with regards to healthy eating, but what is this underestimated nutrient really all about? What are the different types of fatty acids, what foods can you naturally find them in and how much does your body need to live a long, healthier life?
So what are they?
There are three types of Omega fatty acids: Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9. Omega 3 and Omega 6 are both types of polyunsaturated fats. They are considered essential fatty acids that our bodies cannot produce themselves so they must be supplied by food. Omega 9 fatty acids are from a family of monounsaturated fats that are also beneficial when obtained in food.
How much should I be eating?
Based on the average adult, the recommended daily intake of Omega 3 ALA is 2g per day and for Omega 6 it is 10g per day. This works out at around 2 portions of oily fish per week.
Where can we find it and what are the benefits?
While most people in the UK eat too much Omega 6, most are deficient in Omega 3. Oil and nuts are a source of this but are also high in calories, so these need to be eaten in moderation. It is best to get your intake from fresh oily fish like salmon and tuna, wholemeal bread, pumpkin, sunflower and hemp seeds and other food sources like hemp milk and hemp oil.
Hemp seeds are packed full of Omega 3 essential fatty acids which many experts believe aid good brain and heart health as well as boosting circulation and the immune system - just 1 tbsp of Good Oil provides 94% of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of Omega 3 and one 250ml serving of Good Hemp Milk provides 50% RDI of Omega 3. Hemp is, in fact, the most effective source of plant based Omega 3 available. That's because it is much easier for us to digest and metabolise than chia or flax.