Omega 3 sources fall into two major classifications – plant sources and animal sources. Two of the most important plant sources of Omega 3 are flax seeds and walnuts. Milled or ground flax seeds contain very high levels of Omega 3, only that they are in the form of ALA, which means to say that they must be converted first to either EPA or DHA, the type of Omega 3 that is more beneficial to health. For conversion to be effective, one must not have too much of the bad fat in the body. Needless to say, being also rich in fiber, the benefits of flax seeds are not limited to Omega 3 content.
Walnuts are not only delicious to eat, they are good for the body, too. Eating a handful of Omega-3-rich walnuts every day can help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure level.
When it comes to animal sources, the two most important are fish and krill. The problem with fish is that they are likely to be contaminated with mercury, so while they are health beneficial in some way, they can also be harmful in another way. The challenge here is to look for fish that are high in omega 3 but low in mercury. Your best choices around are fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, bluefish, and tuna, have very high Omega-3 content. But even then, you cannot be 100% confident.
Krill resemble tiny shrimps. Like fish, they contain good amounts of Omega 3, but unlike fish, they don’t have high levels of mercury. The problem with krill is accessibility – they’re very difficult to obtain.
Given all these issues about the plant and animal sources of Omega 3 might give you the wrong impression that enjoying the benefits of Omega 3 is impossible. Well, it’s not, because there are alternatives in the form of supplements in answer to these issues. Fish oil and Krill oil supplements are in demand right now, and the great thing about them is that they do not cost a lot of money. Then again, it is never wise to base your choice of Omega 3 supplements from the cost alone. There are many considerations that you need to be mindful of, too, to ensure that you are taking only high quality supplements, no less.
When shopping for supplements, look for the following:
- Grade of the supplements. Supplements are also graded for their performance. Pharmaceutical grade is the highest grade given to supplements that are able to meet quality standards. Is your supplement pharmaceutical grade? If it is, it has to be a high quality supplement.
- Omega-3 content. It’s not enough to say a supplement contains Omega-3. All Omega 3 supplements claim to contain Omega 3 fatty acids, but only the best ones will disclose how much exactly is the content of all beneficial types of Omega 3 in every capsule.
- Ingredients. Your supplement must contain pure fish oil. There are many supplements out there that do not use pure fish oil or high quality Omega 3 sources, and those just aren’t good enough.