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Published on May 6, 2021

15 Best Foods Rich in Omega-3

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15 Best Foods Rich in Omega-3

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 October 19, 2021

13 Fish Oil Benefits For Women And Men

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13 Fish Oil Benefits For Women And Men

Fish oils are great sources of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. Omega fats are essential, meaning that they can’t be synthesized in your body and have to be eaten in your diet. Omega-3 is synthesized by microalgae—not by fish—but accumulates in the tissue when they are eaten by fish and shellfish further up the food chain. Oily fish contains about 30% fat in their tissues, and this is where the omega fatty acids are found. There are many claims about omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils. But what is the evidence of the real benefits of fish oil for men and women? Can fish oils really improve your brain health, reduce your cholesterol, or help your heart?

Learn about the role of omega-3 as signaling molecules, in cell membranes, arthritis, and even eye disease. Find out the main benefits of fish oil for men and women and how to get enough.

What Are Omega Fatty Acids?

There are two types of fats or fatty acids that are essential and can’t be produced in our bodies: omega-3 and omega-6. Omega-3 can be broken down into three main forms: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Fish oils contain DHA and EPA omega fatty acids and are a good source of these essential fats.

13 Benefits of Fish Oil (Omega Fatty Acids)

There are several different health benefits of omega fatty acids. Below are the 13 most common fish oil benefits for men and women.

1. Structural Role in Cells

Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids have an important structural role, as they are needed for cell membranes. You have an estimated 724 trillion cells in your body, and that is a lot of cell membranes to keep healthy.

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2. Energy Source

Both omega-3 and -6 are sources of energy, just like any other fat source. This means they can be used alongside energy from carbohydrates to power your body, providing energy for essential functions and exercise.

3. Signaling Molecules

Omega fatty acids are used to form signaling molecules called eicosanoids, comprised of prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotrienes that have extremely important functions within our bodies.

Prostaglandins

There are many different prostaglandins with wide-ranging roles, such as the sensation of pain, inflammation, regulation of pregnancy and birth, control of blood pressure, secretion of stomach acid, contraction, and relaxation of smooth muscle.

Thromboxanes

Thromboxanes regulate blood clotting by causing constriction of blood vessels and the aggregation of platelets (so they stick together), which are early steps in blood clotting.

Leukotrienes

Leukotrienes are involved in immune function by attracting immune cells, such as neutrophils, to sites of inflammation. They also constrict bronchioles in the lungs and make capillary walls permeable.

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4. Prevent Heart Diseases

Cardiovascular events are diseases related to blood vessels, such as clots, rhythm problems, and heart attacks. Studies have found that ALA may reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.[1][2]

5. Decrease Cholesterol and Triglycerides

Triglycerides are part of your cholesterol profile. Higher levels are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Studies have found that there is an inverse relationship between omega-3 and triglyceride levels.[3] This means that an increased intake of omega-3 led to a decrease in triglycerides and that higher doses of omega-3 led to a greater effect. This effect was stronger in people who already had raised triglycerides.

One of the ways of decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease is by lowering your cholesterol. One study found that EPA and DHA decreased triglycerides by about 15% and reduced the risk of coronary artery death and coronary events, which are illnesses of arteries supplying the heart.

6. Improve Brain Health

A grouped meta-analysis has not found any link between omega 3 and dementia, but more information is needed to see if omega-3 can prevent cognitive decline. Learn more about this here: How Fish Oil Boosts Your Mental Clarity And Brain Power

7. Help With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Omega-3 supplements have been found to benefit the clinical outcomes of rheumatoid arthritis and may even delay the need for medications.[4][5]

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8. Decrease Progression of Osteoarthritis

A large prospective study in patients with wear and tear (osteoarthritis OA) found that a higher intake of total and saturated fat was associated with an increased risk of worsening OA, whereas a higher intake of unsaturated fats was associated with decreased progression of OA measured via X-rays.[6]

The current opinion is that the metabolic products of omega-3 fatty acids are less inflammatory than those produced from omega6 fatty acids. Western diets are associated with an imbalance of omega-3 and -6 such that instead of levels of omega-3 being higher than omega-6, the reverse is more commonly seen.

9. Prevent Autoimmune Diseases

There is also limited evidence that omega-3 supplementation may benefit people with other types of autoimmune arthropathies like systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), but more research is needed.

10. Good For Eye Health

The macula is part of the retina at the back of the eye, and although it is tiny—only about 5mm across—it has a very important role in vision. It is responsible for our central vision, most of our color vision, and the fine detail of what we see. Getting enough omega-3 is linked to a reduced risk of macular degeneration, one of the world’s leading causes of permanent eye damage and blindness.[7][8]

11. Boost Your Mood

It is suggested that omega-3 may play a role in the prevention and treatment of depression. However, meta-analyses of the data have not confirmed clear benefits. Instead, more research looking at the effect of supplementing omega-3 in people with depression is needed.[9]

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12. Lower Blood Pressure

The evidence of the benefit of omega-3 fatty acids on high blood pressure (hypertension) is mixed with large-scale studies showing either no effect or a small reduction in risk of hypertension.[10][11] Omega-3 fats do have other health benefits, though. They are unlikely to do harm and are easily incorporated into your diet by eating oily fish twice a week and seeds, such as chia seeds, flaxseeds, and nuts.

13. Help With Fertility

Omega-3 appears to have a role in a healthy gamete (eggs and sperm) formation with consumption associated with increased probability of pregnancy and live birth rate.[12][13][14]

Where Are Omega Fatty Acids Found?

If you are allergic to fish or don’t eat it, how can you get enough omega-3? There are other sources of ALA is found in plant oils, such as flaxseed, soybean, and canola oils. DHA and EPA are found in oily fish, fish oils, and krill oils. DHA and EPA are synthesized by microalgae, not by the fish, but they accumulate in the tissue when they are eaten by fish and shellfish further up the food chain.

Final Thoughts

While there is evidence of the benefits for eye health, arthritis, improved cholesterol, and heart health, evidence to support the benefits of fish oil in helping high blood pressure, protecting brain health, and preventing dementia are less convincing.

Studies have found a “whole food effect” where eating oily fish appears to be more beneficial than supplementing with a fish or cod liver oil. There are also other plant-based sources of omega-3. Although some of these studies suggest that the more omega-3 the better, there is a limit to the recommended dose of supplements unless prescribed by your doctor.

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Omega-3 supplements may interfere with warfarin, due to its anti-platelet role in clotting, so it’s best to check with your doctor before starting a supplement.

Featured photo credit: Louis Hansel via unsplash.com

Reference

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