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Published on May 6, 2021

15 Best Foods Rich in Omega-3

15 Best Foods Rich in Omega-3
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Foods rich in omega-3 are very important for every living person. Omega-3 foods provide nutrition for good health, energy, and focus to help us become more productive. These foods go well with daily meals or can also be used as the main ingredient. Fish, seafood, nuts, and plant oil are a few foods people need to eat to get omega-3.

Here are the 15 best foods that are rich in omega-3 that you should add to your diet.

1. Shrimp

In many restaurants, shrimp plays a major role in delicacies. It’s delicious, very nutritious, and easy to cook. Shrimps contain antioxidants to help boost immunity and fight infections. They also contain omega-3, which is very helpful in fighting heart conditions.

However, you also have to be careful. Shrimp also contains plenty of cholesterols that affect blood flow.[1] So, make sure you eat them in moderation.

2. Mackerel

Fans of white fish will love eating mackerel because of the tremendous amount of omega-3 it contains. For every four ounces of the fish, there is about 2,700 mg of omega-3. Mackerels are very affordable and have been a healthy food source for centuries.

There are several recipes online you can copy to create awesome meals for you and the family. People with mental disorders will also benefit a lot from omega-3 as eating mackerels help reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.[2]

3. Chia Seeds

Vegans love chia seeds because they contain omega-3, making them good for heart health. Also, they’re quite easy to make. Unlike flaxseed, you don’t need to grind them. You can eat them raw, make them into pudding, add them to a smoothie, or include them in your baking. Some people also like to sprinkle them on vegetables and yogurt.

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Eating chia seeds may also aid in weight loss, especially when combined with exercise.[3] The omega-3 content can also help improve eye health. People with eye problems have a low amount of omega-3 in their bodies.[4] That’s why eating these seeds is good for reversing problems with eyesight.

4. Kidney Beans

You can also get omega-3 from eating kidney beans. Even though it’s in low concentration, it still provides you with some of that useful nutrient. Along with omega-3, kidney beans supply protein, fiber, antioxidants, and plant compounds. It also promotes colon health, aid weight loss, and moderates sugar levels.[5] You can add kidney beans to hot or cold salads, side dishes, pasta, and soup.

5. Salmon

Oily fish is one of the foods richest in omega-3, so they are high in demand. Salmon is very important and is regarded as one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They contain omega 3, vitamin B-6, cobalamin, magnesium, protein, and saturated fats.[6]

People experience inefficiency in personal life because of a low amount of omega-3. Eating salmon can help boost energy and increase productivity because of its abundance of omega-3. Wild salmon contains 3,428 mg of omega-3 in 198 grams, the second-highest in the world.[7] There are several recipes online for adding salmons to food. Children will benefit a lot from eating salmons because it also helps develop brain cells.[8]

6. Flaxseed Oil

People who are looking to increase their heart health turn to flaxseed. It’s one of the foods rich in omega-3 and is good for cooking. Consuming flaxseed oil help reduce cancer cell growth and treats constipation and diarrhea.[9]

The omega-3 content also helps improve skin health and reduce inflammation. Eating flaxseed oil raw is the best thing to do. You can also add it to salad dressing or sauces or use it in low-heat cooking.

7. Brussels Sprout

For those who love vegetables, brussels sprout is one of the best foods rich in omega-3. Cooked Brussels sprout contains 135 mg of omega-3 per 78 grams. Apart from omega-3, the vegetable also offers fiber, vitamin K, and antioxidants.[10]

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Adding the vegetable to a meal is very easy. It’s simple to prepare and cook, and there are several recipes online you can copy. Brussel sprouts are also very delicious, and they provide many health benefits.

8. Walnut

Eating walnut is one of the healthiest things anyone can do. All you need to do is soak them in water overnight and munch them in the morning. People also like adding them to cereals for the flavor and taste.

There are benefits of eating walnuts, including decreased inflammation and promoting gut health. But their high omega-3 content remains the best reason for eating them. Walnuts also lower blood pressure and help you improve in physical activities.[11] You can find walnuts in stores or buy them online fresh.

9. Avocadoes

It’s no surprise that avocado is on the list of best foods rich in omega-3. Even though it contains low amounts, it’s still one of the best to consume. Avocado has a superfood status because it contains a large amount of healthy fats and oils. It’s delicious, easy to cook, and can be eaten raw or added to other meals. They contain more potassium than bananas, are good for the heart, and help lower cholesterol.[12]

Most people who eat avocado regularly tend to be healthier than those who don’t. There are several recipes for making delicious avocado for consumption. Guacamole is one of the most popular, which has become a part of international cuisine.

10. Red Lentils

Protein, iron, and potassium are the main reasons people eat red lentils. Also, the edible legume is one of the best foods that are rich in omega-3. Eating red lentils is also good for the skin, helping you have that fabulous glow. It also supplies magnesium, which aids the flow of blood and oxygen around the body.[13]

You can also get folate from red lentils. These nutrients all work to improve blood vessels and promote a good heart. You can cook it, eat it alone, or add it to salads and vegetables.

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11. Mustard Seed

Eating mustard seed or mustard oil is good for health in many ways. It’s one of the foods in the world that provides healthy oil goods for consumption. Mustard seed contains not just omega-3 but also omega-6 and other saturated fat content. It also promotes energy and vitality.[14] Are you feeling tired and unable to do what you want? You can improve your productivity by chewing on some mustard seeds.

It also supports heart health, reduces inflammation, and treats colds. There are several ways to eat it. You can add to salads, sprinkled inside warm meals, or added to milk. The best way to consume mustard seed is by making it into a mustard paste. Then, it can go into salad dressing and other things.

12. Spinach

Eating leafy green plants is good for the health because of their nutrients. They also give energy and reduce oxidative stress. Spinach contains plant compounds like lutein, which is good for eye health. It also contains nitrates, which help to protect the heart and boost energy. You will get vitamin A, K1, C, and folic acid from it as well.[15]

Spinach is one of the best sources of omega-3 for people who love leafy vegetables. 100 grams of spinach has 370 milligrams of omega-3. Eating spinach energizes the body and helps promote an active and healthy lifestyle.[16] The garlic sautéed spinach is a delicacy that is well-known and appreciated around the world.

13. Navy Beans

People eat navy beans because of fiber, thiamine, magnesium, manganese, and folate. It also contains some amount of omega-3. If you love beans, then navy beans are an excellent way to get omega-3 into your system. The omega-3 in navy beans helps regulate sugar blood levels to prevent or manage diabetes.[17]

It also improves digestion, promotes blood circulation, and repairs damaged tissue. Navy beans soup is a delicacy that many people enjoy. You can eat the beans with bread for breakfast. The folate in navy beans provides energy, which keeps you active all day.

14. Caviar

People pay thousands of dollars to have a taste of caviar. The food comes from the roe of wild sturgeon in the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. It’s one of the most expensive foods rich in omega-3. So, when you’re paying that high amount, you know you’re getting something worthy.[18]

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There are several types of caviar distinguished by color and other factors. Beluga caviar is about the most expensive, which costs about $8,000 per kg. Caviar also has vitamin B12, A, E, B6, selenium, and magnesium.[19]

15. Sardines

For every three ounces of sardines, you get two grams of omega-3. Sardines have been a favorite food for centuries due to their healthy oil content that promotes heart health and also because they are very delicious.

They also contain vitamin D and calcium, which improves heart health. They are mostly served in cans, but some consume them grilled or smoked. There are several ways to eat sardines, including adding them to salads. Some people eat them straight out of the can, while others add pepper, salt, and garlic before consuming them.[20]

You can also add sardines to pasta to enrich the flavor and taste. Sardines are tasty and will help protect your heart and reduce inflammation.

Summary

Omega-3 is a nutrient that promotes good heart health, boosts immunity, and fights inflammation. You can live a healthy life by consuming foods that are rich in omega-3, along with a well-balanced diet and physical activity. This list of the 15 best omega-3 foods will help you add a variety to your meal plan while still staying healthy.

More Healthy Omega-3 Foods You Should Try

Featured photo credit: leonie wise via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources: Nutrition Considerations in Aquaculture: The Importance of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Fish Development and Human Health
[2] Healthline: How Omega-3 Fish Oil Affects Your Brain and Mental Health
[3] Healthline: Chia Seeds and Weight Loss: What You Need to Know
[4] Harvard School of Public Health: Chia Seeds
[5] Healthline: Kidney Beans 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
[6] WebMD: The Health Benefits of Salmon
[7] National Institutes of Health: 7 Things To Know About Omega-3 Fatty Acids
[8] Grow by WebMD: Top 10 Brain Foods for Children
[9] Healthline: 6 Benefits of Flaxseed Oil — Plus How to Use It
[10] Healthline: 10 Ways Brussels Sprouts Benefit Your Health
[11] Forbes: Why The Omega-3s In Walnuts Are Not The Same As The Ones In Fish And Algae
[12] Cleveland Clinic: Why Avocados Are a Healthy — and Delicious — Addition to Your Diet
[13] Medical News Today: What are the benefits of lentils?
[14] VeryWellFit: Mustard Oil Nutrition Facts
[15] Healthline: Spinach 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
[16] SciElo: Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Antioxidants in Edible Wild Plants
[17] Healthline: The 9 Healthiest Beans and Legumes You Can Eat
[18] PubMed.gov: Effects of Scandinavian caviar paste enriched with stable fish oil on plasma phospholipid fatty acids and lipid peroxidation
[19] California Caviar: HEALTH & NUTRITION: Benefits of Caviar
[20] Medical News Today: Are sardines good for you?

More by this author

Sara Leandro

Sara Leandro is a certified health coach who helps people make lifestyle changes that meet their unique needs and health goals.

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Published on June 17, 2021

Flaxseed Oil vs Fish Oil: Which Is Better?

Flaxseed Oil vs Fish Oil: Which Is Better?
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Both flaxseed oil and fish oil supplements are sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have so many known benefits, such as having a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer, glaucoma, and stroke. This nutrient is essential for the body’s function, but our bodies are unable to produce them on their own. That’s why you should get enough Omega-3 fatty acids from outside sources as well.

In this article, I’ll discuss flaxseed oil vs fish oil and their various benefits and drawbacks to help you quickly make a more informed decision about which one of these is right for you.

Are These Supplements Safe?

According to the National Institutes of Health, side effects experienced by users of fish oil supplements, if any, are usually mild. These side effects may include unpleasant taste, bad breath, headache, and gastrointestinal symptoms. This could include symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, or heartburn.[1]

In terms of possible medication interactions, it’s noted that fish oil supplements may interfere with medicines that many Americans take to prevent blood clotting. If you’re on one of these medications or if you have a seafood allergy, it’s important to speak with your doctor before deciding to start taking Omega-3 supplements.

Regarding the safety of flaxseed oil supplements, according to Mayo Clinic, these supplements are also generally considered to be safe. However, they report that if taken in excess and without sufficient intakes of water, users may experience various gastrointestinal symptoms. These symptoms include bloating, gas, and diarrhea.[2]

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also advise that these supplements should not be taken during pregnancy. This is because some studies suggest that taking flaxseed oil later in pregnancy may increase the risk of premature birth.[3]

Mayo Clinic notes that, like fish oil supplements, flaxseed oil may also have negative interactions with some medications. Specifically, it’s important to consult your doctor before starting these medications if you’re on medications to reduce blood clotting, lower blood pressure, or manage your diabetes as these may interact negatively with a flaxseed oil supplement.[4]

How Much Should You Take?

The tricky thing about these supplements is that there is no standard recommended dosage for any of them. To be safe, it is recommended that you read the label on the supplement you choose to buy and make sure to only take the recommended dosage.

Regardless of whether you’re taking a fish oil or flaxseed oil supplement, you may benefit from speaking with your primary care doctor to determine what dosage is right for you. They may be able to work with you to come up with an appropriate dosage, which may help prevent unwanted side effects.

If you are interested in researching a particular brand of Omega-3 supplement, you can use the Dietary Supplement Label Database from the National Institutes of Health.[5]

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Flaxseed Oil vs. Fish Oil

Before we get into the various benefits of Fish Oil and Flaxseed Oil supplements, it’s important to have some basic knowledge about Omega-3 fatty acids.

There are three types of Omega-3 fatty acids: Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). EPA and DHA come mainly from fish while ALA comes mainly from plant sources such as flaxseed and walnuts.[6] This means that if you choose to take a fish oil supplement, you’ll be getting DHA and EPA, and if you choose a flaxseed oil supplement, you’ll be taking ALA.

Fish Oil Benefits

Fish Oil supplements typically contain oil that has been extracted from fatty fish, such as herring, tuna, or anchovies.[7] The Omega-3 found in fish oil is very important for our heart health. It can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and blood clots.[8] It can also help to reduce high blood pressure, which is common among adults in the United States.[9]

They can also help to reduce high cholesterol and plaque formation in your arteries.[10][11] They can also help reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death, which occurs when the heart is either pumping irregularly or ineffectively, making it unable to pump blood as intended to the rest of your vital organs.[12]

These supplements may have non-cardiac benefits as well. Studies show that they can reduce your risk of glaucoma, certain cancers, and certain mental health disorders.[13][14][15]

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Some studies have also shown that including Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil in your lifestyle may lead to improved weight loss when combined with a healthful diet.[16]

Flaxseed Oil Benefits

As we’ve noted, flaxseed oil contains the third type of Omega-3 fatty acid, Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). What the body does with ALA is incredibly interesting. It actually converts it into DHA and EPA, which are the Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil.

Something important to note, however, is that the body is not all that efficient at converting ALA to DHA and EPA. This means that the benefits of ALA may not necessarily be the same as those that you would get from just taking DHA and EPA. Studies seem to be overall mixed on whether taking flaxseed oil provides the same cardiac benefits as fish oil does. Specifically, it’s unclear whether or not flaxseed oil supplementation can lower cholesterol or reduce your risk of heart disease.[17]

According to the National Institutes of Health, studies have shown that taking flaxseed may help individuals with type 2 diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels. However, it’s important to note that these findings are for flaxseed, no flaxseed oil. NIH does note that it is unclear whether flaxseed oil would provide such a benefit.[18]

One big health benefit of flaxseed oil is its possible cancer-fighting ability. Studies have shown that taking flaxseed oil can stop the growth of cancer cells as well as cause apoptosis or death of cancer cells in certain types of cancer. One study found that the types of cancer which saw benefits from flaxseed oil intakes included breast cancer, cervical cancer, leukemia, and melanoma.[19]

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Flaxseed Oil Vs Fish Oil: Which Should You Take?

When deciding whether to take flaxseed oil vs fish oil supplements, there are some important things to consider. As I’ve discussed, fish oil supplements are a great source of DHA and EPA. In contrast, flaxseed oil supplements provide ALA, which the body ends up converting back to DHA and EPA, although inefficiently.

Additionally, the benefits of fish oil seem to be more deeply studied and more overall conclusive than the benefits of flaxseed oil. Fish oil supplements have been shown to provide so many benefits, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, glaucoma, certain cancers, and various mental health disorders.

In contrast, the research regarding the benefits of flaxseed oil supplementation is lacking. While these supplements may have anti-cancer properties, the findings on further benefits are overall mixed.

In terms of safety, these two supplements come out relatively even. They’re both regarded as generally safe. However, both have interactions with various medications that need to be taken into consideration before starting supplementation.

If you’re trying to settle on an Omega-3 supplement, I recommend trying a fish oil supplement over a flaxseed oil supplement. Fish oil has so many proven benefits while the research on flaxseed oil is significantly less convincing. Fish oil also has the benefit of providing EPA and DHA directly, so your body does not need to do any extra work to convert it.

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If you choose to take a fish oil supplement, know that you’ll be quickly reducing your risk of various chronic diseases with overall very minimal effort on your part. As always, make sure to check with your doctor before starting any supplementation to prevent negative side effects or drug interactions.

Featured photo credit: New Food Magazine via newfoodmagazine.com

Reference

[1] National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: Omega-3 Supplements: In-Depth
[2] Mayo Clinic: Flaxseed and flaxseed oil
[3] National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil
[4] Mayo Clinic: Flaxseed and flaxseed oil
[5] National Institutes of Health: Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD)
[6] Harvard School of Public Health: Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An Essential Contribution
[7] Healthline: What’s the Difference Between Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil?
[8] Cleveland Clinic: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
[9] PubMed.gov: Moderate consumption of fatty fish reduces diastolic blood pressure in overweight and obese European young adults during energy restriction
[10] ResearchGate: Omega-3 fatty acids in health and disease and growth and development
[11] PubMed.gov: Effect of omega-3 fatty acids supplementation on endothelial function: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
[12] Mayo Clinic: Ventricular fibrillation
[13] TVST: Oral Omega-3 Supplementation Lowers Intraocular Pressure in Normotensive Adults
[14] PubMed.gov: Dietary fatty acids and colorectal cancer: a case-control study
[15] PubMed.gov: Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids for indicated prevention of psychotic disorders: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial
[16] PubMed.gov: Randomized trial of weight-loss-diets for young adults varying in fish and fish oil content
[17] Mount Sinai: Flaxseed oil
[18] NIH: Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil
[19] NCBI: Treatment with flaxseed oil induces apoptosis in cultured malignant cells

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