The Importance of Omega-3 – Barefoot Nutrition

The Importance of Omega-3

What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids? 

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that the body cannot produce on its own and must be obtained through diet or supplementation. Omega-3s: ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), have been extensively studied for their numerous health benefits, with EPA and DHA reducing inflammation, lowering triglyceride (a type of fat (lipid) found in your blood) levels, improving brain function, and supporting heart health.

When our bodies do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids, deficiencies develop and can lead to significant health problems. While some issues that stem from deficiency may not be apparent to the sufferer, the following more obvious symptoms warrant a check of omega-3 levels.

  • Problems with skin, hair, and nails
  • Fatigue and trouble sleeping
  • Deficits in concentration and attentiveness
  • Joint pain and leg cramps
  • Allergy symptoms
  • Excessive ear wax
  • Cardiovascular concerns
  • Difficult menstrual cycles for women

Alongside these potential symptoms, high triglycerides may contribute to hardening of the arteries or thickening of the artery walls (arteriosclerosis), which increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease. Extremely high triglycerides can also cause acute inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).

So, how can you source Omega-3 naturally?

Animal-based sources that provide EPA and DHA come in the form of oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and anchovies, as well as eggs.

Why Take Omega-3 Supplements?

You may well be asking the above question, and the answer for many of us, is yes.  As a benchmark, if oily fish is not a staple in your diet, it might be advisable to turn to supplements.

Some diets and eating plans can dictate a low level of oily fish. For example, diets that are high in red meat and poultry or that significantly restrict fat may lead to fatty acid levels that are too low, causing deficiencies.

Omega-3s DHA and EPA, the types linked to the health benefits mentioned earlier, are primarily found in fish oil and select marine algae oils, suitable for vegetarians. However, they are not present in plant sources of omega-3, which predominantly contain ALA.  While herbivores have the ability to convert ALA to DHA and EPA, humans exhibit a significantly low conversion rate ranging from 0-15%. Therefore, fish oil or algae oil remains the only viable option to obtain healthful amounts of these fatty acids.

How to determine which Supplement to buy

With so many variations on the market this can be a minefield!  A big part of what inspired us to start Barefoot Nutrition™ is that it was almost impossible to get supplements without having to consume a variety of artificial added ingredients; anti-caking agents, bulking agents, flow agents, excipients, colours, the list goes on.   It was, and is, important that we responsibly and sustainably source ingredients in their natural, most bioavailable forms, ready to use by the body without needing to convert first.

Barefoot Nutrition’s Omega-3 Ultimate Supplements meet the EFSA recommended dietary allowance for EPA and DHA.  Fished sustainably from deep cold-water oceans, wild mackerel, anchovy and sardines are processed to extract the highest purity omega-3 oil.  Unlike many other fish oils of less pure quality that contain mercury and other heavy metals, ours are ultra-purified and triple distilled using molecular distillation, ensuring ALL heavy metals, chemicals and toxins like dioxin are removed.   

The natural DHA and EPA fatty acid ratio in fish is maintained at 18:12 ensuring you get the ratios nature intended with no artificial concentrating.

Just one 5ml teaspoon will give you a generous 1400mg of omega 3. Including the types associated with heart, brain and eye health (EPA and DHA).  We decided on creating a free oil instead of a capsule as that means you get a much higher dose of omega-3 in a 5ml spoon.  Another factor was that the oils in capsules tend to go rancid as they oxidise – which is what makes the fishy smell!  Ours is scent and taste free - with some lemon extract.  As well as this, when kept in the fridge, ours will last over 100 days without being oxidised. 

Balancing omega-3 intake ensures individuals reap the benefits of these essential fatty acids without experiencing adverse effects, promoting overall health and well-being. As always, if in doubt you should consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate omega-3 supplementation regimen based on individual needs and health status.

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