EPA and DHA omega-3s are vital nutrients that help every cell in your body function optimally
Omega-3s are known for their benefits heart health, but they play a broader role in how every cell in your body functions. The major problem facing most consumers, though, is that they are not getting enough EPA and DHA in their diets.
In fact, a major study in the US found that not getting enough EPA and DHA omega-3s kills up to 96,000 Americans every year! That is more than the number of people who die from many of the things you hear about all the time, like eating too many trans fats or saturated fats, by not eating enough fruits and vegetables, or even using alcohol! So spread the word that everybody needs to get their omega-3s!
How do I get my Omega-3s?
EPA and DHA omega-3s can be found in multiple sources today, from seafood to supplements to regular foods and beverages. Oily fish like tuna or salmon is the best source, and in fact the American Heart Association and multiple other groups recommend that normal healthy people eat two servings of oily fish per week. Dietary supplements are another great source offering high dosages of EPA and DHA to ensure you meet your daily needs…and now even the foods you normally eat are being fortified with EPA and DHA so that you can get your omega-3s by eating a wide variety of products. If you have specific health concerns or problems you are worried about, you should check with your doctor. If they are helpful for your needs, your doctor may even prescribe a pharmaceutical or medical nutrition product containing EPA and DHA.
How much do I need to take per day?
For general health and nutrition, most authorities and scientific bodies are recommending 250mg to 500mg of EPA and DHA per day. Be sure you read the label correctly though to ensure you are getting the right amounts of EPA and DHA. For example, a 1000mg fish oil capsule does not have 1000mg of EPA and DHA, because the omega-3s are only one component of a fish oil. So if your product does not list out the EPA and DHA content separately, don’t hesitate to call the manufacturer.
What if I am a vegetarian, can I get EPA and DHA in my diet?
It is especially important for vegetarians to consume their EPA and DHA omega-3s because the primary source in the diet is from seafood. However, there are many vegetarian sources of EPA and/or DHA on the market today. Look for omega-3 oil supplements from algae or yeast or for foods fortified with EPA or DHA that are listed as suitable for vegetarians.