Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acid contributes to heart health and can lower triglycerides. Research also suggests that omega-3s can help rheumatoid arthritis, depression, and other medical conditions. So what are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids?
Fish oil is probably the most infamous source for omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are essential fatty acids (ALA, DHS, and EPA), and we need them in order for our body to function normally. These fatty acids are not made by the body, therefore we need to get them from food.
Fish oil is a very well-known supplement to get your DRI of omega-3s. It can be found in both liquid form and capsules.
The two most important types of omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA, both of which are found in certain kinds of fish. Salmon is an infamous source of healthy fats, as well as being rich in omega-3s. Farm raised salmon contains about 1.8 grams of omega-3s per three-ounce serving. However, even though farm raised salmon is fattier than wild caught salmon, it provides less usable omega-3s and contains far more pesticides and antiobiotics. Stick with wild caught salmon, and you'll gain all the benefits of this heart-healthy fish without all the chemicals.
Although salmon is one of the best sources for omega-3s, there are plenty of other options. Bluefish, mackerel, herring, tuna, anchovies and sardines are also excellent sources of omega-3s. It is generally recommended that fish be consumed two to three times per week.
ALA is another vital omega-3 fatty acid. ALA is converted into omega-3s in the body. Several different types of oils are considered great sources for ALA omega-3 fatty acids. These include olive oil, flaxseed oil, canola oil and soybean oil.
Olive and canola oils can easily be incorporated into your diet. Try adding one or two tablespoons to a mixture of vegetables (like broccoli, asparagus, carrots, onion, and/or potatoes) and roast them in the oven as a healthy side for dinner.
Both flaxseed and flaxseed oil are fantastic sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed can typically be found in the health food section of your local grocery store, both the seeds themselves and ground flaxseed meal. The great thing about flaxseed is that it can easily be added to a smoothie or your morning oatmeal. Try two tablespoons with oatmeal and frozen blueberries, or in your post-workout protein shake.
If you're not a fan of fish, eggs can be a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. These enriched eggs can be found at most grocery chains. Swap them for regular eggs and gain about seven times more omega-3s than regular eggs.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to overall health. There are many options beyond fish that can easily be incorporated into any diet, making this nutrient both kid-friendly and versatile! Head to your local grocery store and make a healthy change for you and your family today.