Omega 3 fatty acids – they reduce the risk of heart disease, lower your blood pressure and raise intelligence among 59 other things. Wouldn’t you want to eat more of it?
The tricky thing is that these amazing fats can not be made by your body and so they need to be obtained from all the food you eat. Studies have documented enough evidence of the omega 3 benefits in human health, ranging from skin health to disease prevention, to improving the conditions of heart problems, inflammation, diabetes, arthritis and hypertension. For optimal health, the current recommendation is to consume at least one gram of omega 3 fat each day. Just ONE gram! That’s it! Whether you are a vegan or meat-eater you don’t have to circle around fewer choices to enjoy omega 3 benefits.
Below is a list specifying exactly where you can obtain your omega 3 and how much of it you need to include in your diet. It is so plentiful and abundant – you need to make the most of this incredible nutrient!
So where can you find Omega 3 foods?
Plant sources of Omega 3:
Vegetables: Winter squash, broccoli, collard greens, bok choy, green beans, romaine lettuce, turnip greens, spinach, summer squash are all good sources of omega 3 foods. A cup of these vegetables can give between 100 to 200 mg of ALA which is considered good to excellent.
Beans: Among the bean varieties, a cup of soy beans give 1000 mg of omega 3 ALA which is an excellent amount in your menu. Furthermore, soy beans are also rich in protein and can to be added to most recipes, be sure to choose organic and non- GMO soy.
Nuts & Seeds: They are by far the best vegan source of omega 3 fats that are also rich in protein.
Walnuts: A quarter cup of walnuts provides 2.7 grams of omega 3 ALA. Walnuts are heart-healthy and have high amounts of gamma-tocopherol (a form of vitamin E), antioxidants and phytonutrients that protects you from heart disease.
Flax seed: Just 2 tablespoons of flax seeds are enough to give 3 grams of omega 3 ALA. Flax seeds are also naturally high in fiber and other phytonutrients that are super beneficial for your body.
Chia seeds: Two tablespoons of Chia contains about 5g of omega 3 that helps to combat inflammation on a daily basis. Chia seeds are another amazing source of soluble fiber and is also known for its ability to stabilize blood sugar levels. As a bonus, Chia also gives copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus.
Hemp seeds: Three tablespoons of hemp seeds provide 3 grams of omega 3 ALA, being high in protein, it is a must-have in your menu.
Animal sources of Omega 3:
Beef: About 100 grams (4 ounces) of beef contains a gram of omega 3 ALA, but note that only grass fed beef can provide omega 3 fat and not the conventionally obtained beef.
Free-range Eggs: Free-range/pastured organic eggs supply a far more superior omega 3 and other nutrients compared to conventional eggs. A 2007 Mother Earth News ‘egg testing project’, concluded that free-range eggs have two times more omega 3 fats (0.66 grams) than conventional eggs (0.22 grams) per 100 grams of egg.
Marine Omega 3 foods:
Omega 3s are abundant in fish that feed on marine algae rich in omega 3 DHA. Deep sea fish accumulate plenty of this omega 3 under its fatty tissue, which makes it a direct source of omega 3 fats EPA and DHA.
Salmon: A 100 gram (4 ounce) serving size gives you 1.32 grams of both omega 3 EPA and DHA. Be sure to choose wild-caught salmon as opposed to regular store-bought salmon since wild-caught varieties are relatively high in omega 3.
Sardines: About 80 grams (3 ounce) serving gives you 1.5 grams of omega 3 EPA and DHA. Sardines are packed with protein and vitamin D which are necessary for optimal health. Ideally find fresh sardines as anything tinned has less benefits.
Shrimp: A 100 gram (4 ounce) serving gives you 340 mg of omega 3 fats. Apart from being a rich source of omega 3, shrimps are an excellent source of protein and high in antioxidant pigment astaxanthin as well as antioxidant mineral selenium.
Most of us consume too much fat or follow a low-fat eating pattern; in either case our current food choices do not supply enough of omega 3 and may even lack this essential fat. Fortunately, there are many tasty choices that are easy to incorporate in a recipe for a healthy, omega 3 rich meal. Including 2 – 3 omega 3 rich foods a day is a great way to make sure your body is getting enough to protect you from diseases and live a healthy vibrant life.