Foods Rich in Omega-3: Omega-3 fatty acids are becoming increasingly popular for the array of health benefits they offer. These essential nutrients can impact the physical and mental well-being of an individual. Consuming foods high in omega-3 fatty acids helps improve the functioning of cells and membranes. It also helps maintain the metabolism of glucose and cells. Studies also suggest that intake of omega-3 fatty acids for more than six weeks may increase the body’s metabolic rate and decrease total body fat.
What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Foods Rich in Omega-3, Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential for the body. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the two major types of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Seafood is the main source of EPA and DHA.
The body also synthesizes small amounts of EPA and DHA from alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid found in flaxseed, canola, and walnuts. The body also forms docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) –also a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid–when it breaks down (metabolizes) DHA.
Foods Rich in Omega-3, A healthy adult should consume at least two portions of fish a week to obtain its health benefits, according to the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition.
Health Benefits of
1. May Help Combat Depression
Foods Rich in Omega-3, The deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids is linked to an increased risk of various psychiatric disorders, including depression. Depression is a multifactorial disorder, and depression due to insufficient omega-3 fatty acid intake can be of one type. People suspected to have this type of depression may respond well to a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids with no significant side effects.
2. May Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
Foods Rich in Omega-3, Omega-3 fatty acids protect the heart and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing high LDL cholesterol and blood clotting. The intake of omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce the risk of sudden death caused by cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat). Besides, it may also reduce all-cause mortality in people with known coronary heart disease.
An online survey conducted on 834 young adults found that 83% recognized the association between omega-3 fatty acids and brain and heart health. Furthermore, 48% of the respondents reported purchasing or consuming omega-3 foods, while 21% of the participants consumed omega-3 supplements.
Foods Rich in Omega-3, Omega-3 fatty acids are also used to treat hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol levels) and hypertensioni – which cause cardiovascular disease.
The American Heart Association recommends at least one serving of fish daily for those with coronary heart disease. It also recommends two servings of fish per week for persons with no coronary heart disease.
3. May Help With Cancer Treatment
Foods Rich in Omega-3, Inflammation causes tumors and their growth. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, and their intake may increase the efficacy of chemotherapy. These fatty acids are shown to preserve muscle mass and function in cancer patients even during active treatment. A combination of chemotherapy and supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids may enhance the treatment outcome.
4. May Help Reduce Cholesterol
Foods Rich in Omega-3, Elevated triglycerides (fats) may lead to hypertriglyceridemia (high-fat concentration in the blood). Managing LDL cholesterol levels helps manage triglycerides effectively. Omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA are proven to reduce triglycerides levels.
TIP: People on blood thinners must avoid taking omega-3 supplements to prevent drug interaction.
15 Foods High In Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Foods Rich in Omega-3, Purslane (a leafy green vegetable) is richer in omega-3 fatty acids than spinach. Fresh purslane leaves (100g) contain about 300-400 mg of alpha-linolenic acid. Including it in your diet may help you get a sufficient amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
Foods Rich in Omega-3, Walnut is one of the healthiest nuts that contain the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids. These nuts can also be a tasty addition to your diet.
3. Brussels sprouts
Foods Rich in Omega-3, Brussels sprouts resemble miniature cabbages and are low in calories. They contain a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acid content.
4. Soybean Oil
Foods Rich in Omega-3, The protein-rich soy is popular in many diets. Soybean oil is found to contain a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids. However, more research is warranted to understand the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids from soy.
Research shows that olive oil and canola oil are also all good sources of omega fatty acids and can be a substitute for soybean oil.
Which source of omega-3 fatty acids do you consume the most frequently?
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, or sardines.
Plant-based sources like flaxseeds, chia seeds, or walnuts.
Foods Rich in Omega-3, Seeds like chia seeds flaxseed are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Their oil extracts are also used in omega-3 supplements. Sprinkling these oils or ground seeds over salads or smoothies is an easy way to include them in a regular diet.
6. Egg Yolks
Foods Rich in Omega-3, Many people don’t prefer egg yolks due to their high-calorie content. But, they contain a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids. So, add egg yolks to your diet in moderation.
Foods Rich in Omega-3, Seaweed, like algae, is a great source of nutrients for people who prefer plant-based foods. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent inflammatory, cardiovascular, and nervous system disorders.
Foods Rich in Omega-3, Oily fish, fatty fish, cold-water fish, salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They are also rich in proteins and vitamins, and may help lower the risk of many health conditions. Cod liver oil, extracted from the liver of codfish, is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential for maintaining good health.
9. Wild Berries
Foods Rich in Omega-3, Different kinds of wild berries contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. They can be used as toppings on smoothies or consumed as an evening snack.
Foods Rich in Omega-3, Oysters are rich in many nutrients. 100 g of oysters contain 188 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 203 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
11. Scandinavian Caviar Paste
Foods Rich in Omega-3, Scandinavian caviar paste is a spread naturally enriched with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. It is used in making sandwiches, tapas, soups, and as a spread on toasted bread.
12. Wild Rice
Foods Rich in Omega-3, Wild rice grows in the shallow waters of North America and differs from brown and white rice. 100 g of wild rice provides 300 mg (0.3g) of omega-3 fatty acid.
13. Winter Squash
Foods Rich in Omega-3, Winter squash (100g) contains 26 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. This seasonal fruit can be a healthy inclusion in your diet.
14. Hemp Seeds
Foods Rich in Omega-3, Hemp seeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. They have also been found to improve cardiovascular health. You can add them to smoothies and salads or consume raw.
Foods Rich in Omega-3, Spinach and kale are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. You can make spinach dishes or add some spinach leaves to your juices or smoothies.