The Importance of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

By Julie Thomas – Gleaners Nutrition Education Team

            Omega-3 fatty acids are the key to a healthier heart, a more focused mind, and overall provide for optimal bodily function. Learn how incorporating omega-3s into your diet can improve your health and well-being!

What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

            Omega-3 fatty acids are coined the “good fats”. They are polyunsaturated fats that carry out essential bodily functions. Specific types of omega-3 fatty acids include DHA and EPA (found in seafood) and ALA (found in plants). The body is unable to produce these essential nutrients on its own so we must consume them from food sources.

What are the Benefits of Omega-3s?

Omega-3 fatty acids provide many benefits for the body. Here are some examples:

  • Help with lowering triglyceride levels
  • May help lower blood pressure
  • May reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
  • May decrease your risk of certain cancers
  • May reduce the risk of cognitive decline
  • Help provide structure in cell membranes supporting cell interactions

What are Some Good Sources of Omega-3s?

  • Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, trout
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Canola oil
  • Edamame
  • Pumpkin seeds