A recent study found that eight out of every ten Australians have below target Omega-3 levels. But what are Omega-3s, and how can you make sure you are getting enough of them?
What are Omega-3s?
If you regularly eat salmon, krill, sardines and walnuts, plus dark leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach, then you’re doing a good job of supporting your joint, heart, brain and eye health, and overall wellbeing.
Because these foods all contain Omega-3 fatty acids. Our bodies can’t make these essential fats, so it must source them from our diet.
Omega-3 fats are part of a family of polyunsaturated fats:
EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid): these essentials fats are mainly found in fish
ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid) – sourced from vegetable oils, walnuts, flax seeds, leafy green vegetables and fat from grass-fed animals.
If your diet is lacking in the above, supplementation is available through Krill Oil, which is a more easily absorbed form of Omega-3.
Why we need Omega-3s
Our bodies require Omega-3s to function well, and may prevent inflammatory diseases. Research shows that Omega-3 fats may help reduce the risk of arrhythmias.
Research found that those with higher-than-average levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in their blood may be 30 per cent less likely than those with the lowest levels, to develop atrial fibrillation, which can lead to stroke or heart failure. Similar studies have shown a reduction of the risk of cardiac death and major coronary event.
Take the test
The Omega-3 Index – a simple, self-administered finger prick test – helps your health practitioner understand whether you have enough of EPA and DHA levels in your red blood cells. Once you have received your results, you can discuss your health options and forward plan with your health practitioner.
The Omega-3 index Test is available through selected practitioners and pharmacies.
Always read the label. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare practitioner. Supplementation should not replace a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Always consult your healthcare practitioner.