Omega 3 are polyunsaturated fatty acids perfect 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. Specialists recommends 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 s fatty acids.
Flaxseeds (2350 mg per serving)
Flaxseeds are small yellow or brown seeds and contain high contents of omega 3 fatty acids. They are often used as ground, milled, or 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 food for kids. Cod liver oil is more of a supplement than food. The oil is extracted from the livers of codfish and has vitamins D and A as well. A tablespoon of the oil provides 170% and 453% of RDIs, respectively, and you’re 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. Anyone can take cod liver oil; it’s not just limited to children.
Mackerel (4,107 mg per serving)
Mackerel is a fatty fish and contain 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. The recommended amount per serving includes three ounces (100 grams). Mackerel fish has a fat content of 2.5 to 2.6 grams. Additionally, this fish is rich in other nutrients, such as vitamin B12. The fish is quite easy to prepare, and a piece of salted mackerel contains 5,134 mg 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 getting diseases like dementia, depression, and heart disease. Other nutrients found in salmon include vitamin D, B vitamins, and selenium. A three-ounce (100 grams) of salmon contain 4,123 mg with 1.8 grams of fat.
Chia seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and are very 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. You can consume chia seeds as a whole by adding them to smoothies, juice, yogurt, oatmeal, or sprinkled on a 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. The vegetable provides the body with phytonutrients and antioxidants, plus it’s 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. It has other nutrients like magnesium, potassium, mineral, and soluble sugar.
You can obtain omega 3 fatty acids in some animal foods, seafood, and algae. Apart from those, we have omega 3 enriched eggs, meat, and dairy products. As we’ve seen above, it’s relatively easy to obtain large amounts of omega 3 fatty acids from whole foods. Omega 3 fatty acids have very many health benefits, including fighting inflammation and heart disease. However, you should consider using omega 3 supplements if you think you’re lacking in omega 3s.
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