The importance of Omega-3, EPA & DHA in cardiovascular health
Long chain Omega-3 fatty acids make up an essential part of a healthy diet and can be found in oily fish such as salmon. There are two important long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids which are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Together these essential fatty acids deliver certain health benefits. DHA contributes to the maintenance of normal vision and brain function while DHA and EPA together contribute to the normal function of the heart.†
How does omega-3 help with heart health?
Omega-3 helps by supporting normal heart function, maintaining normal blood triglyceride levels, and normal blood pressure.
Sources of DHA and EPA
Oily fish is the richest source of long chain Omega-3 fatty acids. The government recommends that we consume at least two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily - such as salmon, fresh tuna, mackerel and herring.
While you can choose from fresh, frozen, smoked and canned fish, it is important to always check the food labels as smoked and canned fish may contain higher levels of salt.
How much oily fish should I eat?
One portion of oily fish when cooked is around 140g and we should aim to have one portion a week. However, it is important to remember that oily fish can contain low levels of pollutants that can build up in the body, and for this reason, there is a maximum recommendation for the amount we should consume weekly. These recommendations do differ for different groups of people.
One portion of oily fish when cooked is around 140g and we should aim to have one portion a week.
The general population is advised to have no more than four portions of oily fish a week. Women who are planning a pregnancy, who are currently pregnant or breastfeeding should eat no more than two portions of oily fish a week as pollutants found in oily fish may affect the future development of a baby in the womb.
However pregnant women should avoid eating some types of fish and limit the amount you eat of others.
What Omega-3 supplement should I take?
For those who do not like to consume oily fish you can try taking a supplement to ensure you are still consuming Omega-3 fatty acids. Seven Seas Simply Timeless Cod Liver Oil range comprises of Fish Oil with Cod Liver Oil Plus Multivitamins, Omega-3 Fish Oil Plus Cod Liver Oil Maximum Strength and with Cod Liver Oil OneA-Day Capsules.
†The beneficial effects for heart function are obtained with an intake of 250mg EPA and DHA per day. For brain function, 250mg DHA per day is needed.