There are many benefits to getting an adequate daily supply of omega 3 fatty acids. Meeting your daily requirements of omega 3 is indeed crucial to optimum physical and mental health.
Omega 3 fats have been shown to reverse heart disease, boost immune function, fight degenerative disease, help increase fertility, improve mental health and promote healthy skin.
An adequate omega 3 supply makes you less vulnerable to inflammatory diseases and autoimmune disorders. You are less likely to have asthma, or mental/emotional disorders including depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
But which form is best, from a health standpoint?
Fresh Fish for Omega 3
In the olden days, people could meet their daily requirements of omega 3 in sufficient quantity from eating a variety of wild game and fish. The dietary availability of omega 3 fatty acids has declined in the USA today to barely 20% of what it used to be a century ago.
Also, farmed fish that’s available in the market today has much higher levels of toxic chemicals and pollutants than wild fish. Each underwater cage houses upto 50,000 fish. The water is contaminated by their accumulated wastes. Only by administering drugs, hormones and antibiotics can they even be kept alive!
Tinned Fish for Omega 3
Canned tuna and salmon from a tin used to be a recommended suggestion for those who don’t prefer sea food, as a safe and effective alternative that’s rich in omega 3 fats. Unfortunately, while natural fish is a good source, it also increasingly contains pollutants and heavy metals like mercury.
Tinned salmon is also farmed, and can be harmful to your health. The Chicago Tribune in a recent investigation found that “US tuna companies often package and sell a high-mercury tuna species as canned light tuna”.
This makes pharmaceutical sources of fish oil more attractive as health supplements, as these sources are purified and most contaminants are filtered out effectively.
Fish Oil for your daily Omega 3 needs?
Fish oil sources of omega 3 have some advantages over plant sources. Fish oil is a better source of long chain omega 3 fatty acids like DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaneoic acid), both of which are necessary for healthy functioning and development. No plant source provides significant long-chain fatty acids.
But while fish oil is the best source of critical long-chain omega fatty acids like DHA and EPA, it is still the most likely to be contaminated with PCBs, DDT and dioxin, along with heavy metals like mercury.
An option that allows you to enjoy the benefits of fish oil, without the risks, is to take fish oil capsules. 3 grams a day of fish oil provides 1 gram of DHA and EPA, which is all you need.
Several brands use oil from fish caught in the cleanest and coldest waters, far from commercial shipping lines and industrialized countries where there is the highest risk of water contamination by wastes. Making fish oil capsules even safer is the practice of molecular distillation, a process that removes any mercury or other heavy metals, dioxins, PCBs and other contaminants.