iHeart 7 Week Challenge: Week 6 | Add Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Jul 20, 2016 by Kelsey Wood | 7 Week Challenge, Health, Nutrition, Diet

Last week’s challenge was to add a source of omega-3 fatty acids to your diet in the form of foods such as salmon, or as high quality nutritional supplements.

I’ve heard that omega-3 fatty acids are good for heart health. I didn’t really know much else about omega-3s so I did a little reading and discovered a few things I want to share with you.

First of all, studies from 16 countries suggest that eating fish, seafood, seeds and nuts rich in omega-3 fatty acids regularly may help to lower the risk of dying from heart attacks. In fact, consuming omega-3s from plant and seafood sources several times a week was associated with about a 10 per cent lower risk of fatal heart attacks.

It is important to note that there are three kinds of omega-3 fats:

ALA (alpha-linolenic acid)

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)

I found out that our bodies can make EPA and DHA from ALA, but this is very limited. Therefore, it is important to include foods rich in DHA and EPA in your diet. Here’s a list that breaks down food with omega-3s and shows which sources contain EPA, DHA and ALA: Food Sources of Omega 3 Fats

Research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation. They may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids also appear to be important for cognitive and behavioural function of the brain. It’s pretty important stuff!

After reviewing food sources of omega-3 fats, I realized that I was getting a significant amount of my daily dose from what I was eating— flaxseeds in my granola, chia seeds in my yoghurt, tofu stir-frys, tuna salad, salmon, raw oysters, scrambled eggs and almond milk smoothies — but I wasn’t always getting the recommended intake. So I took some supplements last week as well.

Apparently not all nutritional supplements are created equal. Luckily, Labdoor, a 3rd party testing facility, has graded some of the major products out there for high quality and best value so that I can make an educated guess about which supplements to get in the future. I already had fish oil supplements in the house, Kirkland Super Concentrate Omega 3 Fish Oil, so I took them for a couple days (They were not on Labdoor’s list.).

I’m pleased to report that my average internal age for the week went down by a year compared to the previous week! I also felt like I had more energy throughout the day, more focus at work and I slept better. I found this part of the challenge so interesting because I didn’t really know anything about omega-3 fatty acids up until this point! I will definitely be making an effort to incorporate sources of omega-3s into my diet.

I can’t believe there is only one more week left! Want to join me on this 7 week challenge? Get your iHeart system here and follow my posts!

Author: Kelsey Wood

Kelsey is an entrepreneur specializing in brand communications and community building with a passion for storytelling. With a Psychology Degree from the University of British Columbia and Spa Therapy training from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy, she has always been keenly interested in human behavior, physiology and the mind body connection. As a social media consultant for VitalSines, she shares the team’s passion for providing better ways for individuals to monitor and manage their health. Kelsey lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, where she enjoys trail running and hiking with her family and friends.