Omega-3 fatty acids, what are they?
What are Omega-3 fatty acids and what are their benefits?
Omega-3 fatty acids are known as very healthy fatty acids. Everyone has heard of them. They are polyunsaturated fats and they stay liquid at both room temperature and in the refrigerator. All cells in the body need omega-3 fatty acids to function properly, as they are important components of the membranes of all cells. It makes the cells smooth. In other words, we cannot do without omega-3!
Omega-3 is very important for the proper functioning of, for example, the brain and nervous system. Even a burnout or depression can be related to a lack of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is of great importance for the development of the brain in children. Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to a healthy heart and immune system. In addition, they have a positive effect on vision.
Sources of omega-3
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, because our bodies need them, but cannot (or only to a limited extent) make them themselves. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for our health. Therefore it is important that we get omega-3 from food, possibly supplemented with dietary supplements.
The best known vegetable omega-3 fatty acid is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), but the body also needs animal omega-3: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The body can produce EPA and DHA from ALA itself, but this conversion is very inefficient. That is why it is important to eat foods rich in EPA and DHA. Fatty fish is the main source. The Health Council recommends eating fatty fish at least once a week: mackerel, herring or salmon. Unfortunately hardly anybody gets enough of it. Are you getting enough DHA and EPA omega-3 with your diet. Do you eat a large portion of fatty fish at least once a week?
People who eat little or no fish can take a natural omega-3 supplement, such as fish oil or cod liver oil. By taking cod liver oil you will also be provided with your daily need for vitamin D.
How do you choose an omega-3 supplement?
Why is omega-3 so important?
Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA are important in every phase of our lives. They keep the cells flexible and have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for:
- Good heart function*
- Good brain function** (DHA is an important building block for the brain)
- Good vision**
* Beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 250 mg DHA and EPA
** Beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 250 mg DHA
As you age, your body functions decrease and the risk of diseases and limitations increases. However, sufficient intake of omega-3 can help you age healthily.
Omega-3 during pregnancy and when breastfeeding
Our brain depends on good nutrition to develop and function properly. That certainly applies to children from an early age, actually from pregnancy. A healthy diet and lifestyle are extra important during this period. With a healthy diet, you basically get enough vitamins and minerals. As regards to vitamin D and folic acid supplementation is desired. It is also important to get sufficient omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acid DHA is important for the development of the brain and vision of the fetus.
Omega-3 is also passed to the baby through breastfeeding. This contributes to the development of the eyes and brain of your baby, because the DHA omega-3 fatty acids are transferred to your baby through breast milk. Both during pregnancy and breastfeeding, intake of DHA omega-3 by the mother is of great importance. There is an association between the consumption of DHA by the mother and good development of the child’s brain with a daily intake of 250 mg DHA.
Omega-3 for children
Besides the fact that omega-3 supports brain functions and has a positive influence on cognitive functions, omega-3 also has a positive effect on the development of children. DHA omega-3 is an important building block for the brain and is good for the eyes, with a minimum intake of 250 mg DHA per day. For young children, extra DHA intake is advised to contribute to the development of their nervous systems. Omega-3 is therefore good for brain development! Did you know … it takes 25 years for the brain to fully develop?
Research shows that omega-3 can have a positive effect on behavioral and learning problems. An improvement in ADHD symptoms is also observed.
Children benefit from a healthy body. In addition to the physical exertion that their body has to make every day, there is also the mental exertion of a school day for school-aged children. It is not only important to be physically present, it is also important to keep your head there. Omega-3 could play an improving role in this. Give your child omega-3, that way you support the child’s brain!
How do you choose the right omega-3 supplement?
There are many different omega-3 supplements, varying in price, quality, purity, origin and additives. How do you choose the right omega-3 product?
It is important when purchasing an omega-3 supplement to make sure that it contains the correct type of omega-3, that it contains a large amount of omega-3, that the omega-3 is naturally present, and whether substances are added.
1. The right type of omega-3: DHA and EPA
There are several types of omega-3 fatty acids. Important omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fatty acids have a wide variety of scientifically documented health benefits. DHA and EPA are mainly found in fatty fish, such as herring, salmon and mackerel.
The vegetable omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is found in rapeseed, linseed and soybean oil, chia seeds and walnuts, among others. However, ALA still needs to be converted in our body into useful DHA and EPA. This conversion occurs only to a limited extent (according to research, only 2 to 10% of the ALA ingested is converted). So it is important to look specifically at the amount of DHA and EPA in a supplement.
Möller’s Omega-3 is naturally rich in DHA and EPA, so that’s okay!
2. The amount of omega-3 per daily dose
The Dutch Health Council recommends an intake of at least 450 mg DHA and EPA per day (the correct types of omega-3). However, taking 1,000 mg of DHA and EPA per day has been shown to lower the risk of fatal coronary heart disease.
One dessert spoon of Möller’s Omega-3 contains 1,000 mg of DHA and EPA omega-3.
3. Omega-3 in natural form
It is important that the omega-3 is in natural triglyceride form. For example, omega-3 fatty acids are present in fish and this form provides a better absorption of the fatty acids in the body than, ethyl esters of other fish oils. Ethyl esters are synthetic purified in such a way that they reduce the absorption of the fatty acids.
Möller’s Omega-3 is produced in a unique way, which preserves the natural form of the omega-3 fatty acids.
4. Other nutrients in the supplement
An omega-3 supplement often contains not only omega-3, but also vitamins. Please note: everything in the ingredients list has been added. Apart from vitamins, there can be fillers, dyes, preservatives, artificial flavors, gelatin casings and other additives. It is important to choose the most natural omega-3 product.
Möller’s Omega-3 is naturally rich in vitamins A and D, unlike other fish oils.
Make sure to study both the ingredients list and the nutritional values carefully. The ingredients list tells you how the supplement is formulated, the nutrition table shows which key nutrients the supplement contains and in what amount.
“After reading the reviews on this site, I bought the Möller’s Tutti Frutti. My child hardly eats fish and as a parent I think it is important that my child gets the right vitamins and minerals every day. We always a good start in the morning with Mutter’s Tutti frutti! ” – Ebru, February 2019.
It is not without reason that we call Möller’s Omega-3 ‘the golden drop‘.