Here’s our expert guide to getting your head around these essential fatty acids, plus the top-selling omega-3 supplements from 

There’s no denying that fats make up an important part of a balanced diet as they’re needed for providing the body with energy. So, if you’ve been feeling sluggish recently, consider this your cue to find out about one of the most important groups of fats – omega-3.

Here, top nutritionists give us their insider info on omega-3 and how you can incorporate it into a healthy, balanced diet.

What are omega-3 fats?

These are a family of fats, including the essential fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid (ALA). Why is ALA considered essential? Because it’s needed to make other omega-3 fats and it cannot be made in the body in sufficient amounts, so we need to get it through the foods we eat.

Are there different types of omega-3 fats?

Yes, there’s different types, which can be found in a variety of foods. Consider the below the stars of omega-3.

ALA (alpha linolenic acid)

ALA may help prevent heart disease. As our bodies can’t make ALA, we need to get it from our diet. Opt for vegetable oils, nuts and seeds to get your fix. 

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) & DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)

EPA and DHA are long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCN-3 fats). They are incorporated in many parts of the body including cell membranes and play a role in anti-inflammatory processes. Our bodies can produce these LCN-3 fats from ALA in the foods we eat. However, it’s only a small amount, which is why it’s helpful to eat foods that already contain EPA and DHA, such as oily fish (more on this in a moment).

How do omega-3 fats help support health?

"They can help support health in so many ways," says Florence Nwude (MSc ANutr), nutritionist at Victual Wellness. For example, EPA and DHA contribute to the maintenance of normal blood pressure, normal triglyceride (a fat that enters your blood after a meal) levels and the normal function of the heart. According to the British Dietetic Association, they may also help prevent the blood from clotting and help regulate the heart rhythm.

What are the best foods containing omega-3?

Oily fish is the best source of EPA and DHA. "I’m a fan of the acronym SMASH, which stands for salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring," says Lauren Windas, nutritionist and co-founder of ‘All of these oily fish are rich in omega-3 fats, DHA and EPA, while walnuts, hemp seeds, flax seeds and chia seeds are high in ALA.’

Other types of oily fish rich in omega-3 that’s worth considering include pilchards, trout, sprats, whitebait and swordfish. Oily fish also contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D, calcium, zinc and iron, among others. Interesting fact: in countries where people eat more oily fish, such as in the Mediterranean, Greenland and Japan, there are fewer instances of heart disease in comparison to countries where people eat very little (such as the UK).

In terms of how much oily fish you should be eating, the NHS recommends eating at least one portion (around 140g when cooked) a week and no more than two a week for girls, women planning a pregnancy or to have a child one day, and pregnant and breastfeeding women. This is because oily fish contains low levels of pollutants that have no immediate effect on health but, if they build up in the body, could affect the development of an unborn baby. There are also some types of fish that children under the age of 16 and pregnant women should avoid, because they contain high levels of mercury, including shark, swordfish and marlin.

And if you don’t eat fish or you’re vegetarian or vegan, nuts, seeds, soya products, soya and rapeseed oils are good omega-3 options, in addition to green, leafy vegetables and vegetable oils. There are also certain brands of milk, eggs, bread, yoghurt and spreads that have omega-3 added to them. Check the labels to see which types, if any, of omega-3 fatty acids they contain.

What about omega-3 supplements?

A diet-first approach is best when it comes to getting your fill of omega-3. "It’s best to get omega-3 from the food sources recommended above, as these foods often contain a variety of nutrients that are important for health," says Florence.

However, if you do choose to support your levels with a supplement, here are three of the top-selling omega-3 supplements at to consider. Have a browse of the full range of omega-3 supplements to find more. For advice specific to your needs, pop in store for a chat with your Boots pharmacy team. 

Top-selling omega-3 products at

Try: Boots Kids Daily Health Multivitamins + Omega 3 – 30 Orange Flavour Gummies, £4.99

Try: Vitabiotics Pregnacare Plus Omega-3 – 56 Tablets, £12

Try: Haliborange 3-12 Years Omega-3 & Multivitamins – 60 Orange Softies, £10

All prices correct on date of publication