RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—In a brand-new study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Harvard researchers found that a certain form of omega-3 fatty acids called DHA can help protect you from the gum disease periodontitis. The scientists believe the anti-inflammatory action of omega-3s may be at work here, helping to fight the disease’s telltale chronic inflammation at the gum line.
It’s one more reason to include sources of omega-3s in food that you eat every day, and one more of the incredible number of benefits you can gain from the omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid—otherwise known as EPA and DHA. For example, they’re known to boost heart health by lowering blood pressure and fighting arterial inflammation. They can also boost mood, help with depression, and help keep your mind sharp as you age. Oh yes, and they’re also vital for healthy, supple skin.
They’re truly essential to get because you only get omega-3s from foods; your body doesn’t manufacture them. Experts recommend that we consume about 1 gram a day, but hitting that daily quota is less important than getting a weekly total of 6 to 8 grams. Sources of omega-3s include fish like salmon, mackerel, and anchovies. Three ounces of salmon provide up to 1,800 milligrams (mg), or 1.8 grams. Plants contain omega-3s, too, with the most potent source being ground flaxseed. While flaxseed contains no EPA or DHA, it is an excellent source of another healthful omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, which our bodies use to produce EPA and DHA. Other great food sources include soybeans, tofu, walnuts, and omega-3–fortified eggs. Amazingly, an ounce of walnuts provides nearly the same amount of omega-3s as a serving of salmon.