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The Essentials of Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids, or EFAs for short, are necessary for the body to perform important health functions. They are deemed “essential” as the body is unable to make them on its own so they must be consumed in the diet. 

EFAs belong to either one of two groups - linoleic acid (the omega-6 group) or alpha-linolenic acid (the omega-3 group). While we need both groups to survive, the Western diet features a disproportionate intake of omega-6 over omega-3. As it’s important to get a healthy balance of the two, this commonly means reducing our omega-6 food sources and increasing our omega-3s. 

The three main types of omega-3 EFAs are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Omega-3s feature in abundance in certain foods including fish, in particular salmon, oysters, flaxseeds, walnuts, spinach, seaweed and avocado. As you can see there are both plant and non-plant-based sources of omega-3, making it easy to incorporate omega-3s into your diet, even if you’re following a full plant-based diet. 

EPA and DHA are considered the heavy hitters of the omega-3 world and while they’re commonly discussed together, individually they offer many health benefits. 

EPA supports heart health and cardiovascular system health, while also supporting healthy mood balance. DHA, on the other hand, is an important building block of the brain, making an important contribution to brain health, while also supporting healthy foetal brain development and eye development in breastfed infants. 

Herbs of Gold Triple Strength Omega-3 is a highly concentrated fish oil supplement that provides high-strength EPA and DHA to support general health and wellbeing.