We often hear about the fats we shouldn’t eat, like fried greasy foods. But what still gets little press is the fact that the majority of Americans are getting far too little of another vital fat—omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Omega-3s are critical for good heart health, they help to:
- Promote normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels,
- Keep blood pressure levels in the normal range,
- Support arterial health by promoting proper blood vessel dilation.
Omega-3s also help to keep your mind and vision sharp, your joints healthy, and your skin soft and supple.
Yet, getting your omega-3s can be tough. Some of the best food sources are flaxseed, hemp, and pumpkin seed oils, as well as dark leafy green vegetables. The source I prefer above all others, however, is fish, especially cold-water fish such as wild salmon and mackerel.
One popular way to get your heart-healthy EFAs is by taking fish oil or other marine animal (krill or squid) supplements, which can be found at health food stores and grocery stores. However, be selective when shopping. Because our ocean waters are getting more polluted, fish can be contaminated with heavy metals and toxic chemicals; and the large factory ships that catch the fish don’t always do a very good job of processing it right away, which means oils can oxidize even before they’re put into capsules.
So, look for a fish oil product that can guarantee freshness, preferably one that includes antioxidants such as rosemary extract and vitamin E to ensure stability and freshness. Also, choose a supplement that delivers at least 150 mg of the EFA eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 350 mg of the EFA docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Now it’s your turn: How do you get your omega-3s?
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