Omega-3 is has become quite the buzzword when it comes to healthy eating. We all know it’s supposed to be good for us and it has something to do with fish, but why exactly is it healthy and where can we find it exactly? Well, it’s really not so complicated.
Omega are fatty acids are long chains of fat (read: the good kind!) that are considered “essential” since our body does not produce them on its own.
They’re also associated with reducing risks for chronic diseases that include diabetes and heart disease, brain health issues, and inflammation. Omega-3s also help decease hunger levels, improve blood sugar regulation, and can help increase the effect of exercising while training to lose weight. Sounds pretty good, right?
Luckily, we don’t have to go much out of our way to find sources of Omega-3, as they’re found in many healthy foods. Researchers have found that getting your Omega-3s from consuming healthy foods is definitely better than getting them through supplements. You hear that? Time to eat up!
So which foods naturally contain high amounts of Omega-3s? Here are the top five:
Flaxseed oil contains about 7,258 mg of Omega-3 per tablespoon. That’s a hefty amount! You can incorporate flaxseed oil into your diet by drizzling some over your salad. Flax seeds have also been found to aid in cardiovascular disease symptoms, which include hypertension.
Just half a salmon fillet (that weight approximately 198 grams) contains 3,428 mg of our trusty Omega-3s! For comparisons sake, if you take one Omega-3 supplement pill, it contains less than one third of the amount you’ll get from an actual meal of salmon. Take that into consideration next time!
As stated elegantly in the New York Times, “mackerel is milder than salmon, [but] just as delectable.” In one 4 oz fillet of mackerel, you’ll be consuming 2,753 mg of Omega-3s. This is a bit less than its salmon counterpart, but for those of us who enjoy white fish, this is still great news. So enjoy some mackerel and know that you’re also consuming the anti-inflammatory nutrient by doing so.
Snack on a quarter cup of shelled walnuts and you’ll be taking in 2,656 mg of Omega-3s. The most Omega-3 nutrient rich nut, walnuts also offer high levels of other disease-fighting antioxidants. Walnuts can help reduce blood pressure as well as reduce blood vessel inflammation during periods of high stress.
In one tablespoon of flax seeds, you’ll find 2,350 mg of the nutrient. The best way to get the most out of flax seeds is to grind them up, as they can tend to be tough to digest. Just like the oil version, you’ll get plenty of Omega-3 benefits from incorporating flax seeds into your diet.