A healthy lifestyle requires awareness of your diet and the foods you eat. However in some cases, your body may need a specific nutrient to prevent disease or to live as healthy a life as possible. Omega-3 fatty acids are a prime example.
One of the most crucial components you should include in your diet, omega-3s can promote optimal cardiovascular health, protection against age-related cognitive function, and continued mobility, even if you already suffer from arthritic joints.
The caveat is your body is not capable of producing omega-3s on its own. The only way to acquire omega-3s is through diet or supplementation. Even if you include recommended foods to add omega-3s, you will get better effects if you add a krill oil supplement along with your dietary changes. Krill oil includes astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant, as well as phospholipids, which allow for efficient absorption into the body.
Krill oil is one of the most effective ways to achieve your goals and is a potent complement to increased intake of foods rich in omega-3s.
Below is a list of 12 of the most omega-3 rich foods to add to your diet. Some of the foods contain more omega-3s than others, but as long as you are including a number of foods on the list, you will be taking steps to improve your health.
Eggs Yolks: The “sunny side” of the egg has gotten a bad rap over the years, but the yolk does provide important nutrients when eaten in moderation. Omega 3-enhanced eggs are also available.
Sardines: Small breeds of fish like sardines and herring are among the richest sources of omega-3 fats. In addition, contaminants like mercury are less of an issue in smaller fish, compared to tuna, swordfish, farmed salmon, and most fatty fish.
Herring: Like sardines, these fish are powerful sources of omega-3s. Try to consume smaller varieties, as larger fish tend to have increased contaminants like PCBs and mercury.
Anchovies: Better known as a pizza topping and a key ingredient in Caesar Salad, anchovies are the best seafood source of omega-3s. Cured anchovies have a much stronger taste than fresh anchovies. Anchovies are low in mercury.
Whitefish: This freshwater fish not only is a good source of omega-3, but without the issue of mercury contamination.
Mackerel: This oily fish is popular worldwide and is a good source of omega-3s. Atlantic mackerel contains less mercury than other species, primarily due to the size of the fish. Pregnant women and children should limit their consumption of non-Atlantic mackerel.
Tuna: Albacore white tuna, a popular choice for many, contains moderate levels of omega-3. Because of potential mercury levels, use of white albacore should be limited in children and pregnant women.
Wild Salmon: This seafood is one of the best sources of omega-3s. Wild salmon gets its red hue from the fish’s diet of small crustaceans like krill. Farm-raised salmon, which has omega-3s, also contains omega-6 fatty acids, which have been indicated to cause inflammation, and may be contaminated with PCBs.
Cold Liver Oil: Once commonly given to children to reduce risk of rickets, cod liver oil contains omega-3s, as well as vitamins A and D. According to Dr. Michael Fenster, board-certified gasteroenterologist, krill oil is the most effective source of omega-3s.
Flaxseeds: While many omega-3 sources are fish-based, there are also a few plant-based options. Flaxseeds, which can be added to salads, smoothies, as a topping for Greek yogurt, or in other recipes, contain omega-3s, as well as lignans, a plant estrogen and antioxidant, and fiber.
Chia Seeds: LIke flaxseeds, chia seeds can be used in a variety of ways. Rich in omega-3s, these seeds also contain antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and calcium. Unlike flaxseeds, chia seeds can be absorbed by the body. One popular way to use chia seeds is to hydrate, which forms a gel-like pudding.
Walnuts: These tree nuts are a source of omega-3s.
Omega-3s are divided into three different varieties. The plant-based ALA’s may not be as effective as fish-based DHAs and EPAs, which are not manufactured by the body. The body may be able to convert some ALAs into DHA or EPA but competition from more prevalent omega-6s makes it more difficult.
Avoid functional food with added omega-3s because the omega-3s may be in ALA form. To ensure productive levels of omega-3s, add a krill oil supplement.