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Omega 3 Fatty Acids - Are you deficient?

posted Apr 7, 2014, 10:55 AM by AndrewandSarah Witzel
Research in the past few years has found an association between low levels of omega 3 fatty acids and postpartum depression. While more research in this area is needed, increasing omega 3 intake is relatively easy to do. Plus, omega 3 acid consumption has health benefits that go beyond depression (enhancing your heart health, for example). 

There are two kinds of omega 3 fatty acids. Short chain (ALA) are found in plant sources, such as walnuts and flax seeds. Long chain (DHA and EPA) are found mainly in fish. Wild-caught salmon, sardines, and herring are some good sources of DHA/EPA that are affordable, sustainable, and low in contaminants. Health Canada recommends eating two servings of fish weekly.


It is important to note that ALA does not offer the same health benefits as DHA and EPA. Many people do not enjoy fish, however, and are interested in other options. Some kinds of eggs and milk are fortified with DHA. You can also talk to your healthcare provider about taking fish oil capsules. Alternatively, you can work on developing a taste for fish - it is possible! Try starting with mild tasting fish such as pollack or haddock. Coating fish in a breading or sauce can also acclimate your taste buds gradually.


References, links, and further reading:

http://www.toronto.ca/health/hphe/pdf/fishbooklet_f1.pdf

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/omega3-fatty-acids

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/775013

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/order-commander/eating_well_bien_manger-eng.php
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