Every cell in our body depends on Omega fatty acids in making up cell membranes, keeping the nervous system functioning, maintaining proper cholesterol levels, and preventing inflammation. Numerous health benefits come with Omega fatty acids and that is why these nutrients are essential to our bodies.
How much Omega 3 is needed for our bodies?
The RDA for Omega 3 is 1.6 g/day and 1.1 g/day for adult males and females respectively. Eating healthy fats in your meals makes it very easy to meet these RDAs. About nine walnut halves are enough to provide a good source of Omega 3.
Once Omega 3 is in the body, it’s converted into fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These fatty acids are also essential for healthy living. Apart from algae or hemp seeds, there are virtually no vegan sources of DHA or EPA.
To get enough DHA and EPA, pure vegetarians must rely on their bodies to naturally produce the fatty acids.
Possible Prohibiting Factor of Omega 6
Eating foods rich only in Omega 3 does not guarantee that our bodies will get enough EPA and DHA. So there is something needed more of or a balance that we need to carefully choose from to make sure that Omega 3 is adequately absorbed by our bodies.
Some research suggests that Omega 6 inhibits the conversion of Omega 3 into DHA and EPA. Foods like walnuts (2,542mg Omega 3, 10,666mg Omega 6) or sesame seeds (105mg Omega 3, 5,984mg Omega 6) may not be adequate enough sources of Omega 3 compared to the too heavy Omega 6 content and thus bodily conversion to the vital fatty acids is much restricted.
Having such information, here is a compiled list of recommended sources of Omega 3 with a balances content of Omega 6 for optimal nutrition.
Comparing Omega 3, 6 & 9 Sources
Hemp Seeds & Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seeds are at the told of the list as they have a perfect ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 of approximately 1:3. One ounce of the seeds will provide 1100 Omega 3 and 2700 Omega 6. Hemp seed serves as a source of better, perfectly balanced ratio of omegas and more sustainable omega 3, 6 & 9 nutrition that alternatives like fish omega supplements.
Flax is a primary source of Omega 3. An ounce of flax seeds contains 6388mg of Omega 3. This one-ounce quantity contains respectively 1655mg of Omega 6 in flax, which gives a better ratio for absorption and conversion of EPA and DHA. A bigger boost can be acquired from a tablespoon of flax seed oil, which has 7196mg of Omega 3.
Chia seeds have received some recent attention as well. A single ounce of chia seeds has 4915mg of Omega 3 and 1620mg of Omega 6. They are also loaded with calcium, fibre and manganese. The only negative is the too low levels of Omega 6 & 9 in order to be a more balanced source.
If you are looking to cut back on your Omega 3 (because you are supplementing it another way), then you may consider using mustard oil. Mustard oil has 826mg Omega 3 and 2146mg Omega 6 in a tablespoon, which is better than the common alternative olive oil, which contains 103mg Omega 3 and 1318mg Omega 6 in a tablespoon.
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