Most North Americans are deficient of these essential fatty acids. They are “essential” in that your body needs them and if you don’t get enough, you’ll get sick. Your body doesn’t produce them, but depends on us eating the right foods to get them.
Many years ago, we were able to get enough by what we ate. If we lived close to the ocean, we’d get them from fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna. If we were land-locked, we hunted animals and ate just about everything -- organ meat and even the brains. Remember the chilled monkey brains scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? “It’s a delicacy” :-)
So, unless you regularly eat animal brains and salmon, supplements are your best bet.
The key is to get the right kinds in the correct form and right amount. Average Americans have an Omega-3 red blood cell (RBC) Index level of 2.5%. But, you don’t want to be average. Your goal is to get your levels to 9-10% as this significantly reduces your risk of heart attack, is awesome for brain health and reduces the lipoprotein production (those sticky little proteins that make plaque in your arteries) after you eat.
The right stuff: the 2 most important Omega-3 Fatty Acids are EPA and DHA. If you want to impress someone at a dinner party, they are eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Think of DHA as “Brain Grease” and EPA as “Tube Lube” (as in your arteries).
The right form: you want to find supplements in triglyceride form -- they absorb the best and tend to have fewer contaminants. Cheaper ones are in ethyl ester form -- you don’t want these.
The right amount: every body is different, but a good target is 3600 milligrams per day -- 1800 with breakfast and 1800 with dinner (remember, they help limit lipoprotein production in your blood).
Find some concentrated (with lots of EPA and DHA) gelcaps here or at your favorite grocery or supplement store and feed your brain and your heart/arteries with these important (essential) Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Read the label on the back and do the math. You can do it!
Here's an example: