Researchers have identified a number of benefits from consuming omega-3 fatty acids:
- Improving inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and asthma
- Lowering blood pressure and triglycerides
- Increasing HDL (good) cholesterol
- Reducing depression, as well as the symptoms of bipolar disorder and Alzheimer's disease
The American Heart Association recommends we consume the following amounts of omega-3s:
- for people without heart disease, at least two servings each week of a fatty fish such as salmon
- for people with heart disease, 1 gram each of DHA and EPA (types of omega-3s) daily
- for people with elevated triglycerides, 2 to 4 grams each of DHA and EPA daily, in capsule form
This supplementation should be done under your doctor's supervision.
Foods that naturally contain omega-3s include fish (salmon, tuna, white fish), flaxseed, walnuts, pinto beans, and broccoli, as well as canola, soybean, and flaxseed oils. To find out how much omega-3s are in some of the foods you eat, look up particular foods in NutritionData.