EFA stands for essential fatty acids. ‘Essential’ in relation to nutrition means that humans need to get it from our food, our bodies can’t produce certain nutrients from thin air. Here’s more info about essential fatty acids if you’re interested.
The most potent food sources of omega-3 fatty acids are:
Ground flaxseed is fantastic, but it can be difficult to digest and absorb. If you want to be sure you’re getting the omega-3 fatty acids, oils is a great way to do that. You can use this in salad dressings and cold dishes, but don’t heat it as these oils are extremely unstable in heat. Keep them in the fridge.
- Flaxseed Oil, or Flaxseed Oil Capsules
- Chia seed oil or Chia seed oil capsules
- Hemp seed oil
- Sacha inchi seed oil
Then there’s a specific type of omega-3 called DHA, which is important for brain and nerve function. Our bodies convert omega-3 to DHA, but isn’t always totally efficient at it. Taking a supplement of DHA directly is often the best way to get this nutrient.
This is one of the best vegan options for DHA, which is the most important omega-3 fatty acid. There are some supplements that include both EPA and DHA. I opt to go for pure DHA, because that’s the most difficult form to get (EPA is easier to get from whole foods), it’s the one that’s most proven in studies to have a beneficial effect on the brain and is the most important to supplement with. I’ve also heard that having too much EPA in relation to DHA can be a bad thing. Deva makes a liquid DHA supplement for those who are purists, and it’s not that bad, but it does definitely taste ‘fish’y, so if you’re not into that (as I am not) go for the softgels 🙂
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