The body needs two types of unsaturated fat in particular that the body cannot make itself, and that we must obtain from our diet:
- Linoleic acid: a type of omega-6 oil
- Alpha linolenic acid: a type of omega-3 oil
Oily fish is a source of both of these essential fatty acids.
The significant health benefits of Omega 3 are now widely recognised. The earliest evidence of their benefits came from observations of the long life and absence of heart disease noted amongst those with a high-fish diet, such as Danish, Inuit and many Mediterranean people.
Other research relating to Omega 3 relates to benefits in combating heart disease, and many studies have demonstrated that Omega 3 can make a vital dietary contribution at every stage of human life.
Some of the key health benefits thought to be associated with Omega 3 include:
- Heart health – In October 2003, the Joint Health Claims Initiative (JHCI) approved the claim that increased consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids from seafood helps heart health.
- Autoimmune diseases – fish oils are believed to be therapeutic for autoimmune disease (lupus and certain kidney disorder), Crohn’s disease and inflammatory skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis.
- Brain and mind – studies by John Stein, professor of neurophysiology at Oxford have suggested that Omega 3 fish oils are good for the brain, in the treatment of dyslexia and other disorders such as schizophrenia and depression. In particular this has implications for improving the brain development and concentration of the unborn, children and young people.
Recommended intake of Omega 3
Many studies have demonstrated that Omega 3 can make a vital dietary contribution at every stage of human life.
The NHS recommendation is that everyone should eat 2 portions of seafood per week, one of which should be oily (a portion is about 140g). The recommended intake of EPA/DHA (long-chain omega 3) is 3g per person per week. For more information please follow the link below:
We believe it’s best to get your intake of Omega 3 by eating fresh or frozen seafood, rather than taking supplements. This is because of the wider benefits associated with eating fish and shellfish. It is now generally accepted that Omega 3 fish oils can play an invaluable role in human health and should be consumed at least once a week by everyone.