Omega-3 fats are “essential fatty acids”. They are considered essential because our bodies are not capable of creating them on our own. So we have to obtain these omega-3 fats through our diet and the foods we eat.
The preferred sources of Omega-3 fats are DHA and EPA which you have probably heard of and the most common food we hear about that is high in DHA and EPA is salmon. There is also another omega-3 fat called ALA.
ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is found in certain plants and also certain nuts.
The reason ALA is not one of the preferred soucres of Omega-3 consumption is because our bodies have to convert ALA into a useable form of DHA and EPA which isn’t the most efficient way to get enough DHA and EPA. So while it is good to include these plant foods and certain nuts into our diets we recommend consuming foods that can directly provide DHA and EPA without any converting.
Why Do We Want To Consume So Much Omega-3 Fats?
Well, many studies have shown that omega-3 fats help maintain and even improve our cardiovascular health. It does so by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and reduces our chance of having a heart attack or stroke.
It can also help to stabilize blood sugar levels which reduces the risk of diabetes.
There are also a host of benefits such as boosting immunity, improving the health and look of our skin, improve mood and also improve our digestion.
We suggest you consume 1,000 mg of DHA/EPA per day and 4,000 milligrams of total Omega-3 fats.
Here is our list of Top 12 Omega-3 Foods that you should add to your diet.
- Atlantic Mackerel: In one cup of cooked mackerel you can consume 6,982 mg of Omega-3 fats.
- Salmon Fish Oil: In just 1 Tbsp you can consume 4,767 mg of Omega-3 fats.
- Cod Liver Oil: This is another oil that is high in Omega-3 fats with 2,664 mg per 1 Tbsp
- Walnuts: You have to be careful to not eat too many of these as the calories will pile up quickly, but ¼ cup of walnuts contains 2,664 mg of Omega-3 fats.
- Chia Seeds: This is a popular food item right now because of all its health benefits including 2,457 mg of Omega-3 fats per 1 Tbsp.
- Herring: If you haven’t noticed the fish category is a great source of Omega-3 fats. Just 3 ounces of Herring contains 1,885 mg of Omega-3 fats.
- Alaskan Salmon: This is the common food most people think of or hear about when it comes to consuming more Omega-3 fats. Ironically as you can see it isn’t the best source in regards to the amount of Omega-3 fats per serving. It is still a great source though with 1,716 mg of Omega-3 fats per 3 ounces of this fish.
- Flaxseeds: This is a great option to put on salads or to mix into a shake and get in some more Omega-3 fats. Just 1 Tbsp of flaxseed contains 1,597 mg of Omega-3 fats.
- Albacore Tuna: Nothing is simpler that opening a can of tuna and eating it for lunch on some crackers. One 3 ounce can contains 1,414 mg of Omega-3 fats.
- White Fish: This type of fish is the most popular to eat in general. Even though it doesn’t contain quite the Omega-3 fats that Salmon or Macerel do it is still a good source of Omega-3 fats. 3 ounces of a white fish still contains 1,363 mg of Omega-3 fats.
- Sardines: We go from very popular white fish to not so popular Sardines. J For those that do like Sardines they are consuming 1,363 mg of Omega-3 fats in just one can.
- Hemp Seeds: Hemp seeds can be used like flaxseeds in salads, as a topping or blended in a shake. 1 Tbsp contains 1,000 mg of Omega-3 fats.
Try to get in as many of these 12 Omega-3 rich foods that you can on a consistent basis because as we discussed earlier our bodies can not produce Omega-3 fats so we have to consume them through our diet.
Supplementation in many cases is suggested if you are unable to consume enough Omega-3 fats on a daily basis or consistently.