There are a number of nutrients that the human body requires for healthy survival. Omega-3 is one such fatty acid which aids in maintaining sound health. There are 3 variants of omega 3 acids namely; alpha linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eiosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Out of these three forms, DHA and EPA are relatively more common.
While these acids are considered vital for fetuses and children for the healthy formation of the brain; in adults’ omega 3 fatty acids assist in functions such as reduction of blood pressure and the triglyceride level, and averting any problems related to the heart.
The recommended intake of omega 3s varies for different individuals. As per the Omega-3 FAQ, 220 milligrams of omega 3s must be consumed by children and adults on a daily basis. During the phase of pregnancy and lactation, women must increase their intake to 300 milligrams every day. In addition to this dosage, a DHA supplement like Expecta DHA is often recommended during pregnancy to support the healthy brain development of the fetus. For the same reason, mothers who are not breastfeeding their infants should administer formula comprising of DHA like Similac Advanced Infant Formula. The prescribed intake of omega 3 again varies for those who have high triglyceride levels or those suffering from heart ailments. Omega-3 FAQ suggests intake of 2 to 4 grams of DHA and EPA supplements for the former and 1 gram of the same for the latter category on a daily basis.
Fish is a primary source of DHA and EPA in food products. It has been evaluated that 1 gram of DHA and EPA is equivalent to about 15 oz wild catfish or 20 oz farmed catfish; 7 oz of flounder; 15 oz of haddock; 3 to 7 oz of halibut; 2 oz herring; 2 to 9 oz mackerel; 2 to 4 oz wild Atlantic salmon or 2 to 3 oz farmed Atlantic salmon; 2 to 3 oz sardines; 3 to 12 oz fresh tuna or 4 oz white canned tuna; 11 oz shrimp, and 9 oz of crab. Oil of soybean, canola, walnut, fish and flaxseed; and nuts, beans and green leafy vegetables are also rich sources of ALA.
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