What on Earth are Omegas?

Want to know something? When we asked consumers up and down the country about omega oils, everyone agreed that they’re an important part of a balanced diet. But when we asked people why… silence. We’ve all heard omega oils mentioned now and again – they are the things you find in oily fish like salmon and sardines and many people take cod liver oil as a supplement – but what is this nutrient really all about?

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.

What are the benefits?

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. Gamma Linolenic Acid (or GLA) is part of the omega-6 family and is known for its role in easing the symptoms of PMS and supporting the growth of healthy skin, hair and nails while omega-9 plays a role in promoting heart health by supporting balanced cholesterol levels and improving immune function.

How much should I be eating?

Based on the average adult, the daily intake of omega-3 ALA recommended by nutritionists is 2g per day and for omega-6 it is 10g per day. This works out at around two portions of oily fish per week.

What foods can you naturally find them in?

You find omegas in oil and nuts, oily fish like salmon and tuna, wholemeal bread, pumpkin, sunflower and (of course) hemp seeds.

How can I get more in my diet?

Eat more hemp! While most people in the UK eat too much omega-6, most are deficient in omega-3. Hemp seeds are packed full of omega-3 essential fatty acids – just 1 tbsp of Good Oil provides 94% of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of omega-3 and one 250ml serving of Good Hemp Drink provides 50%. 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. We have plenty of fantastic recipes that are rich in this amazing fatty acid such as our cod in hemp seed crust, our homemade granola and our Good Hemp green peanut butter smoothie.

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