Omega 3 are polyunsaturated fatty acids required for our heart health, increasing good cholesterol in the body, and lowering blood pressure. There is a misconception associated with fatty acids and people tend to stay away from foods that contain that name. However, omega 3 fatty acids are an important part of a healthy diet obtained from various food sources. Our body and brain need omega 3 fatty acids. Health specialists recommend a daily minimum intake of 250 – 500 mg of omega 3s. Apart from supplements, you can get high levels of omega 3 fats from algae, fatty fish, and several high-fat plant foods. Here are some of the top foods high in omega 3 fatty acids.
Flaxseeds (2350 mg per serving)
Flaxseeds are small yellow or brown seeds that contain high contents of omega 3 fatty acids. They are often used ground or milled, and can also be used to make oil. Flaxseeds are also rich in fiber, magnesium, and other nutrients including a great omega 6 to omega 3 ratio as opposed to most oily plant seeds. The recommended amount includes 2,350 mg per tablespoon (10.3 grams) of whole seed or 7,260 mg per tablespoon of oil.
Generally, flaxseeds have multiple health benefits like improved digestion and a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Over the years, these seeds have gained popularity as a health food because of the high levels of heart-healthy omega 3 fats and other unique plant compounds.
Cod Liver Oil (2682 mg per serving)
In almost every home, you’re likely to find a bottle of cod liver oil since it’s the ideal omega 3-rich food for kids. Cod liver oil is more of a supplement than food. The oil is extracted from the livers of codfish and contains high vitamins A and D content as well. A tablespoon of the oil provides 453 percent and 170 percent of RDIs (required daily intake) of vitamins A and D respectively. You are required to take only 2,664 mg per serving. You shouldn’t take more than one tablespoon at a time because too much vitamin A can be harmful. Some people prefer consuming liver oil as a supplement since it’s safe for consumption. The good thing is that anyone can take cod liver oil; it’s not just limited to children.
Mackerel (4,107 mg per serving)
Mackerel is a fatty fish that contains great amounts of heart-healthy omega-3s. In Western countries, mackerel are commonly smoked and eaten as whole fillets. This fish is considered environmentally friendly seafood, although eating too much of it can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Mackerel fish has a fat content of 2.5 to 2.6 grams and the recommended amount per serving is three ounces (100 grams). Additionally, this fish is rich in other nutrients like vitamin B12. It is quite easy to prepare this delicacy, and a piece of salted mackerel contains 5,134 mg omega-3 content per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
Salmon (4,123 mg per serving)
Generally, salmon is a nutrient-dense food containing a variety of nutrients and high-quality protein. This fish has excellent amounts of omega 3 and studies have shown that individuals who eat fatty fish, such as salmon have a lower risk of developing diseases like dementia, depression, and heart disease. Other nutrients found in salmon include vitamin D, B vitamins, and selenium. A 3.5 ounce (100 grams) of salmon contains 4,123 mg of omega 3.
Chia seeds are not only rich in omega 3 fatty acids but are also exceptionally nutritious. In addition, the seeds contain magnesium, manganese, selenium, and a number of other nutrients. A 28 gram serving of chia seeds contains five grams of protein, including essential amino acids, and 5,060 mg of omega 3. You can consume chia seeds as a whole by adding them to smoothies, juice, yogurt, oatmeal, or sprinkled on salad. When chia seeds are added to hot dishes like oatmeal, they tend to swell up but retain a slight crunch.
Cauliflower is naturally high in fiber, choline, and B-vitamins. This vegetable provides the body with phytonutrients and antioxidants, and it’s also said to protect against cancer. The fiber present in cauliflower enhances digestion and weight loss, while choline is crucial for learning and memory. What’s more, it’s a plant-based omega 3 fatty acids. Other nutrients you can get from eating cauliflower include magnesium, potassium, mineral, and soluble sugar.
Fish is not the only source of high omega 3 content. Walnuts are packed with 2,570 mg of omega 3 per ounce (28 grams). They are delicious to eat and a rich supply of nutrients like manganese, vitamin E, and copper, on top of other essential plant compounds. To reap maximum benefits, be sure to take the walnuts with the skin intact. The skin is said to be rich in antioxidants, which are known for their health benefits.
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