What are the three most important types of omega-3 fatty acid?

ALA, EPA and DHA are the three main types of omega-3 fatty acids. In our daily diet, EPA and DHA are almost exclusively found in oily fish. The third acid, ALA, is found more widely in everyday foods, our body can make EPA and DHA from ALA, however, not very effectively, which is why may people recommend taking fish oil supplements.

  • ALA – The most common omega-3, is mainly found in plant foods such as dark leafy greens.
  • EPA – Plays a number of roles in the body including the reduction of chronic inflammation. It is also the omega-3 most linked to helping fight depression and anxiety.
  • DHA – This is a key part of our eyes, the retina specifically – a lack of DHA can contribute toward vision problems. DHA is also found in breast milk which has many developmental benefits for both mother and baby.
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