It is a scientific truth that omega-3 fatty acids are good for you. Omega-3 fatty acids lower the risk of heart disease, boost our serotonin and help our bodies make energy.
Many in the special needs community realize that they also help children with speech disorders (You can read about the studies here) and children on the austism spectrum (ASD), get the proper fats to their brains. They are also well-known to help children with ADHD concentrate better and help cognition.
There are three different types of omega-3 fatty acids
You may have heard of this before, they are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Basically, these three acids make up the omega-3 fatty acid. However, each food contains different proportions of these acids. Generally, you need high amounts of ALA to boost your cell energy and help the EPA and DHA to function better. Consider the ALA as the gasoline for the EPA and DHA engine.
Why is this important? Well, you can only get the full benefits of omega-3 fatty acids from either a fish oil supplement, or from meat products. Plant and nut sources will contain more of the ALA, and some will contain only the ALA fatty acid and you must supplement with other food or supplements to obtain the EPA and the DHA acids to balance them, especially if you are on a strict vegan diet. You can more about this here.
Food sources of omega-3 fatty acids
- flaxseed and oil
- grass-fed meats
- grass-fed dairy products
- pastured eggs
- winter squash, such as butternut
- rainbow trout
- mustard seeds
- Brussel sprouts