Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that the body needs to function properly. Your body uses it to control blood clotting and to build cell membranes in the brain. Omega-3s can reduce inflammation and can greatly help people with heart problems and rheumatoid arthritis. They are highly concentrated in the brain and important to brain function as well as behavioral function. Your body starts needing omega-3 fatty acids even before birth. Researchers have discovered that if expecting mothers don’t get enough omega-3s in their diet they can put their child at risk for developing vision and nerve problems.
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If you experience fatigue, dry skin, heart problems, poor memory, depression or poor circulation you could have an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency. You may need more omega-3s in your diet! Since your body can’t naturally make this type of fatty acid you need to get it from certain foods. There are three different types of omega-3s: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA). ALA is found in vegetable oils and green vegetables like flaxseed, soybean, kale, spinach and salad greens. EPA and DHA can be found in fatty fish like salmon, anchovies, bluefish, tuna and lake trout. You can also get more EPA and DHA in the form of fish oil supplements.
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