In Part 1 of this series, we learned how omega 3 fatty acids fight disease and optimize how our bodies function (if you need a refresher, you can revisit Part 1 here).
In this installment, you will discover where you can find omega 3s. Youâ€™ll learn what healthy foods are excellent sources of this â€śessentialâ€ť fatty acid, and how you can easily create a healthy balance of omega 3s throughout your diet.
But first, a quick word about that word â€śessential.â€ť Did you know it has special meaning in the world of nutrition? When we call a nutrient essential, it indicates that your body is unable to produce that nutrient in sufficient quantities from other building blocks in your diet. The only way to get essential nutrients, like Omega 3s, is by eating foods which contain them naturally.
Part 2: Become Rich With Omega 3
The good news is, sourcing foods containing high levels of omega 3 isnâ€™t difficult. In fact, these foods are probably already scattered here and there throughout your diet. Now it’s time to bring them to the forefront of your fridge and ensure the amount of omega 3 fat you’re consuming is optimal for your health.
If you’re a fan of seafood, youâ€™re in an excellent position for meeting your omega 3 needs; this fatty acid is found in oily fish. The top sources are tuna, salmon, sardines and blue mackerel. Other seafood including barramundi, flathead, scallops and mussels also contain substantial levels of omega 3.
Just make sure that you consider how your seafood is prepared when you are choosing an option from the menu or planning your weekly dinners. Deep fried fish and chips may provide you with omega 3s, but the amount of unhealthy saturated fats that it contains will outweigh the health benefits youâ€™ll receive from the essential fatty acid that it provides.
Select fish that looks fresh and shines with its natural oils. Eat it fresh, baked or lightly grilled to ensure the nutritious oil is retained. Aim to eat 2 – 3 servings of seafood rich in omega 3s throughout your week.
Plant Based Foods
You can’t go wrong eating plant based foods. They are packed full of vitamins and minerals, and specific sources also contain large amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. Canola oil and soybeans are high in omega 3s, as are the particular seeds and nuts they come from. Walnuts, flaxseeds (also known as linseeds), hemp and chia seeds contain large quantities of this essential fatty acid as well. The good news is, you can consume these nuts and seeds in any form as their omega 3 content isn’t affected when converted into oils and spreads.
A good rule of thumb is to include 1 gram of omega 3 rich plant based foods per day. Opt for the natural form as opposed to products that have been roasted or packaged with added sugars or salt.
Fortified Foods & Supplements
If you canâ€™t fit a sufficient amount of fish or plant based omega 3 sources into your diet, you can always get your daily dose of this fatty acid from fortified foods or supplements. Youâ€™ll find fortified foods in the dairy aisle, such as eggs, yogurt, milk, and margarine. You can also find them in the form of pasta, bread, juices and soy milk.
If the supplement route sounds like the best fit for your lifestyle, omega 3 supplements are commonly derived from fish oil, but you can also use an algae supplement as a vegetarian option. The good news is, however you choose to consume it, all of these convenient alternatives are considered an effective way to ensure your diet includes an ample intake of omega 3.
From its extensive health benefits to where to find it, this two part series has armed you with the knowledge you need to maintain a healthy balance of Omega 3 fats throughout your diet.
Omega 3s give you the gift of enhanced health. With such an array of positive effects, they can improve your quality of life and let your body thrive. Are you ready to feel better, look better and be better? It’s all possible with omega 3s.