Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the key essential fats needed by our bodies. Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) and offer numerous health benefits like mental and cardiovascular health.
Some Of the Key Health Benefits Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Cardiovascular health
- Helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease
- Improves mental health
- Reverses anxiety or depression
- Helps reduce arthritis pain
- Prevents and kills many cancers
- Help cut oxidative stress and diabetes
- Good for eye health
- Boosts immune system
- Improves nails, skin and hair health
- Improves fertility in men and women
Since our bodies are not capable of producing these essential fatty acids, we need to include foods in our diets which are rich in omega-3s.
Read all about the benefits of omega-3 and how it is beneficial for your healthy. Check the link from a previous article and get to know everything you would want to know.
One of the healthiest population in the history of mankind are the people from Okinawa, Japan.
If you compare them with Americans, the life expectancy of people from Okinawa is 84 years which is 78.8 years in America. What is even amazing that five times as many people from Okinawa live to be 100 years in comparison to people in the rest of Japan.
Researchers have been studying the Okinawa diet for decades and it is believed that a typical Okinawa diet is eight times higher in omega-3 compared to a standard American diet. Probably this is one of the reasons why these people are considered the healthiest.
Surprisingly, most people fail to consume adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 deficiency can cause or contribute to serious health problems like mental, physical, and heart-related issues.
When it comes to getting enough omega-3s into your diet, it is vital to eat foods which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. If you know about the foods which can meet your dietary needs, you could avoid taking fish oil supplements.
If you are not consuming enough omega-3’s, you could be at a higher risk for:
- Inflammation and related health hazards
- Higher risk for heart disease and
- Raised Cholesterol
- Digestive disorders and lower immunity
- Various allergies
- Rheumatic Arthritis
- Reduced bone health
- Joint and muscle pain
- Mental disorders like depression, anxiety
- Poor brain development
Best Food Sources Of Omega-3
Fish – One of the best and easily available sources of Omega-3
Not all fish offer the same amount of omega-3. This chart will help you know and choose the fish with the highest omega-3 content.
Omega-3 Content Of Some Popular Fish
Serving size = 6 ounces of cooked fish
|OMEGA 3 FATS|
|Salmon, Atlantic||3.1 – 3.7|
|Sardines in sardine oil (3 oz)||2.8-3.3|
|Trout, Rainbow, wild||1.7|
|Anchovy, European (3.3 oz)||1.4|
|Herring, Atlantic and Pacific (3 oz)||1.2 – 1.8|
|Mackerel (3 oz, canned)||1.0|
|Catfish||0.3 – 0.4|
|Crab, Dungeness (3 oz, steamed)||0.3|
|Shrimp (3 oz, steamed)||0.3|
|Tuna (canned, 3 oz)||0.2 – 0.7|
|Clams (3 oz, steamed)||0.2|
* The omega-3 fatty acid content can vary on how you cook and also dependent on variety like wild caught or farm raised.
This chart shows the healthiest foods which are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. The chart gives all the information you would need like calories, serving size, omega-3 per serving and the percent Daily Value (DV%).
The ratings are based on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling.
Other Sources of Omega-3
|World’s Healthiest Foods ranked as quality sources of|
|Sardines||3.20 oz||188.7||1.46||61||5.8||very good|
|Salmon||4 oz||157.6||1.32||55||6.3||very good|
|Beef||4 oz||175.0||1.10||46||4.7||very good|
|Brussels Sprouts||1 cup||56.2||0.27||11||3.6||very good|
|Cauliflower||1 cup||28.5||0.21||9||5.5||very good|
|Mustard Seeds||2 tsp||20.3||0.15||6||5.5||very good|
|Winter Squash||1 cup||75.8||0.19||8||1.9||good|
|Collard Greens||1 cup||62.7||0.18||8||2.2||good|
|Summer Squash||1 cup||36.0||0.15||6||3.1||good|
|Romaine Lettuce||2 cups||16.0||0.11||5||5.2||good|
|Green Beans||1 cup||43.8||0.11||5||1.9||good|
|Turnip Greens||1 cup||28.8||0.09||4||2.3||good|
|Bok Choy||1 cup||20.4||0.07||3||2.6||good|
Density>=7.6 AND DRI/DV>=10%
|Very Good||DRI/DV>=50% OR|
Density>=3.4 AND DRI/DV>=5%
Density>=1.5 AND DRI/DV>=2.5%
Data Source: World’s Healthiest Foods
If you are a vegan or for any reason cannot consume fish, There are many foods which contain decent amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
In case you are not able to consume enough omega-3 rich foods, you could consult your medical practitioner and start on supplements.