Sources Of DHA

There are actually very few effective sources of DHA available today. There are two different forms as options. The most beneficial and concentrated form is from animal sources. The second option is DHA from plants. This is often the form used by those on vegetarian or vegan diets.

DHA is one of the three essential fatty acids that comprise the Omega 3 fatty acids. DHA can, in very limited amounts, be generated through a synthesis of ALA or alpha linolenic acid. ALA and EPA are the other two Omega 3 fatty acids. DHA essential fatty acids have to be consumed in the right ratio with the other Omega 6 and 9 fatty acids to provide full health benefits.

Daily intake of Omega 3 fatty acids is essential for good health. They not only provide relieve from inflammation in the body but they also help to regulate all cellular functioning. Lower than optimum levels of Omega-3 fatty acids can have very far reaching health issues.

Fish Sources

The best form of DHA for humans is found in cold water fish. These are the fatty or oily fish that are part of the diet for many people. However, simply eating fish once or twice a week will not provide you with all the Omega-3 fatty acids you need.

Sources of DHA

The top types of fish and seafood for DHA include:

  • Krill
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Herring/Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Tuna
  • Halibut
  • Swordfish
  • Mussels
  • Cod
  • Catfish

Other fish and seafood such as flounder, grouper, red snapper, mahi mahi and prawns can also be good sources but their levels of Omega-3s are less than half of the fish listed above.

Animal Sources

Different meat and poultry can also provide much lower levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. These include turkey, lean red meat and even eggs. The Omega-3 fatty acids in land based meat sources come from the grass that the animals consume.

Eggs from organically range fed chickens, ducks or geese will be much higher in Omega-3 fatty acids than those that are commercially produced or mass produced. Some commercial egg producers have tried to address this issue by feeding marine based foods. These may contain green algae and various types of seaweed in the laying hen food. While this may boost the Omega-3 levels it can also lend a fishy taste to the eggs, particularly the yolk that is rich in fat.

Plant Sources

The best source of DHA and Omega-3 fatty acids in plants is microalgae and seaweed. It is important to realize that most Omega-3 fatty acids from plants are ALA which can then be covered to EPA and on a more limited basis to DHA. Microalgae, on the other hand, do provide DHA in a usable form for the human body.

Other possible sources include nuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, leafy green vegetables and some beans. The beans that recommended include pinto, kidney and soybeans as well as garbanzo beans.

Remember that plant sources of DHA are going to convert ALA to mostly EPA and just a bit of DHA. This may lead to imbalances that can create other issues. It is therefore highly recommended to include a Krill oil supplement along with your food sources to ensure the correct daily intake and balance of Omega-3s.

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