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07- May-2017

Top 10 Omega 3 Foods*

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Dt.Astha
Dt. AASTHA M.Sc. (FSN), CDE

Omega 3 fatty acids are foods you would never want to cut back on in the diet. Two most important of these fatty acids are EPA and DHA, which are primarily found in fish and fish oil. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), the third omega 3 fatty acid, is also found in plant sources such as seeds and nuts. Our bodies need these fatty acids to function, as they possess some great health benefits.

Omega 3 fatty acids have a variety of health benefits and we cannot deny the goodness of these nutrients. Omega 3s comes in three forms – EPA, DHA, and ALA.

There are many health benefits including Omega 3 fatty acids in the diet, and a few are listed below:

  1. Diet supplementation with omega 3 lowers the blood pressure in dyslipidaemic patients.
  2. Omega 3 fatty acids are shown to improve the cardiovascular health of patients with metabolic syndrome.
  3. Diet supplementation with omega 3 fatty acids reduces the chances of sudden cardiac death in patients suffering from myocardial infarction.
  4. A moderate intake of fatty acids such as DHA and EPA may postpone cognitive decline in elderly males.
  5. Omega 3 fatty acids are good for patients with arthritis as they reduce inflammation in joints.
  6. Fish oil capsules containing omega 3 are beneficial for women with fibrocystic disease of the breast.

After understanding the many health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids, it is important to know their sources. Seafood, supplements, and fortified foods are all good sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. I have listed the Top 10 sources of Omega 3.

  1. Fish and Fish Oil: Fish in your diet can provide you the entire omega 3s you need. Unfortunately, most fish supply is now severely polluted with industrial toxins and pollutants, such as heavy metals that include mercury, lead, arsenic, and cadmium, and radioactive poisons. These pollutants cause fish consumption to no longer be recommended as a dietary food. Therefore, fish oil supplements are a primary source to enhance your dietary intake of omega 3 fats. Fish oil is a concentrated form of omega 3 compared to fish, so fish oil supplement is preferred over including fish among foods in the diet. Nevertheless, many people complain about burping and fishy smell after using fish oil supplements. After much research, I have found Omega-3 Fish Oil supplement from BestSource Nutrition to be free from the fishy smell and burping effect. BestSource Nutrition’s one omega-3 fish oil soft gel contains 350 mg of omega 3.
  2. Flaxseed and flaxseed oil: Flaxseeds are a great source of fiber and a good source of omega 3, 6 and 9. However, to get the maximum benefits of omega 3, flaxseed oil supplement is the best option as it contains concentrated forms of omega 3, 6 and 9. Then again, the oil extraction process may harm the chemical properties of flaxseed oil. Therefore, I always recommend Flaxseed oil capsule from BestSource Nutrition as these are extracted by the cold press processing that does not change any property of this volatile oil. BestSource Nutrition’s one flaxseed Softgel contains 340 mg of omega 3, 6 and 9.
  3. Prawns: Prawns are a good source of protein, vitamins B-12, B-6, and niacin. Moreover, prawns also contain ample amounts of fat, omega 3 fatty acids. There is approximately 300-600 mg of omega 3 in 100 grams of prawns.
  4. Algae or algal oil: Algal oil is extracted from marine algae. Algal oil is rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids. Algae being the marine food for fish, also makes fishes rich in Omega-3 content. Algae oil is the best source of omega 3 for vegetarians. Currently, algal oil capsules are being introduced in the market.
  5. Canola oil: Canola is the richest cooking oil source of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega 3 fatty acid. It can help reduce bad LDL cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease. Each 100 gm of canola oil contains 9100 mg of omega 3.
  6. Chia Seeds: Despite their small size, chia seeds are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. They are loaded with the goodness of protein, fiber, Omega 3 fatty acids, and various other micronutrients. Chia seeds have 4915 mg of omega 3 per 100 gm.
  7. Oysters: Oysters are really among the most nutritionally well-balanced foods. They are low in fats, calories, and cholesterol while being high in protein, calcium, zinc, iron and omega 3 fatty acids. Oysters contain about 1300 mg per 100 gm of omega 3 fatty acids and are good diet source of omega 3.
  8. Soybean oil: This oil has a good balance of fatty acids. From this, we can get the important and necessary fatty acids in our diet, including those that regulate cholesterol levels. Soybean oil contains 6800 mg/100 gm of omega 3.
  9. Walnuts: Of all the nuts present on the earth, walnuts are the true omega 3 champions. They contain the most significant amount of omega 3 fatty acids, at about 2542 mg/100gm.
  10. Dietary Supplements: An Omega-3 supplement is an insurance policy for your heart, brain, and eyes, especially if you are not eating any of the above-mentioned foods at least twice a week. One such supplement available in the market is Omega 3 Fish Oil soft gels from BestSource Nutrition. These soft gels are smell free, easy to consume and free from toxins such as heavy metals and Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

The daily recommended dose is 250-500 mg of omega 3 fats. Though foods containing omega-3 fatty acids provide health benefits, they can be high in calories. Hence, dietary supplements such as omega-3 fish oil and flaxseed oil are the best options to fulfill daily diet requirements of Omega 3s.

Disclaimer: All content provided in this section is for informational purposes only. Any views or opinions or claims represented in this content are personal, belong solely to the writer and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the writer may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity unless explicitly stated. Bestsourcenutrition.com makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this article.
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Dt. Maithili Pashtekar, Registered Dietician ,P.G.Dip Clinical Nutrition
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