Omega-3 fatty acids are an important element for the body to have, and going without them for too long can lead to inflammatory conditions in the body. By not getting enough of them each day you are shortchanging your body and leaving it without the basic building blocks it needs to function at its full potential. If you go a long time with an omega-3 shortage you might suffer from premature aging and leave yourself susceptible to diseases and conditions that otherwise would not have surfaced. Use this list as a way to make sure you’re meeting your needs and staying as healthy as you can.
Walnuts may not be the most popular nut when it come to snacking, but they should experience a surge since they’re so rich in omega-3s. They’re also a good source of healthy fats, and can help you stave off hunger between meals, supplying energy to power you through your day. The nice thing about eating some walnuts as an energy boost is that you don’t end up with a crash later. Just be sure to go with raw organic walnuts for the best purity and to avoid unneeded additional ingredients.
Salmon is one of the most well-known sources of omega-3s, and it’s not just a rumor, it really does pack a punch when it comes to these fatty acids. This makes it a tasty dish to serve up, and by adding a vegetable and carb you’re getting a complete meal with plenty of vitamins and minerals. Salmon shows up as an approved food on many of the most popular diet programs, including The Zone Diet and the Paleo Diet, and many health experts recommend having it at least a few times a week.
3. Flax Seeds
These tiny seeds are great to keep in your kitchen because they can go in or on just about anything, and provide instant omega-3 benefits. They are also high in fiber and healthy fats, so you’re really getting multiple benefits from just one food item. When you have these on hand you can pour them into the blender when making a smoothie, sprinkle them on a main dish as a healthy garnish, or add them to a soup for an immediate nutritional upgrade.
Tuna is another source of omega-3s that you might have already known about. It’s one of the more readily available foods, and something that you can easily have on a regular basis. Choosing a version like albacore or tuna steaks is your best bet nutritionally, as these are high quality proteins that will help you feel full longer and build lean muscle. Just be sure to keep an eye on your overall tuna intake, as it contains a fair amount of mercury, which can offset the benefits you’re getting from the omega-3s.
Kale is getting more and more popular as the mainstream catches on to its healthy benefits. It even provides omega-3s, making it one of the most well-rounded vegetables you can eat. Try eating kale chips if you want a delicious way to get more omega-3s, as well as increase your intake of fiber, protein, and top up on your Vitamin A and Vitamin C levels.
Perhaps not a food that you’ll eat often, oysters contain a respectable amount of omega-3s and they’re also not a bad option if you’re looking to lose weight and be healthy. That’s because they’re pretty low in calories, as well as fat, and high in protein, so they can be a welcome addition on many diet plans. They also contain a fair amount of vitamins and minerals. When you eat an oyster you’re eating the entire animal, like when you eat an egg, so there’s plenty of nutrition.
7. Grape Leaves
Grape leaves might not be a part of your regular menu, but if you’re looking to increase your omega-3 intake, you may want to start having them on a more regular basis. They have other health benefits as well, like being low on the Glycemic Index, and helping you stick to an anti-inflammatory diet. There are plenty of recipes out there that can help give you ideas on how to cook them.
You’ll want to opt for eggs that are fortified with omega-3s. Be sure to go with the ones that are also organic and free range so that you’re getting a high quality product. There’s still much debate over whether eggs are good for you or not, and if so how many you should be having each day, and whether or not you should eat the yolk or just have the whites. When it comes to getting your omega-3 needs met, you’ll need to eat the yolks, as that’s where they’re located.
Spinach has a lot going for it, high in iron, potassium, and other important minerals, with protein and fiber for overall health. What many don’t realize is that it’s also a source of omega-3. There are plant sources of omega-3, and spinach is one of them. Perhaps that’s why it’s often associated with being helpful at preventing cancer and heart disease, and is often promoted as being one of the healthiest foods you can eat.
Sardines are an oily fish that have the same kind of benefits as salmon, but perhaps are less likely to make it to your plate. But it’s in your best interest to work them in, as they aren’t just a good source of omega-3s, but also a great source of Vitamin D, an important vitamin that many Americans run short on. Sardines are best prepared with other ingredients and not just eaten directly as they have a rather strong flavor. With a little tinkering you can find your favorite way to eat them.
11. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds provide an excellent amount of omega-3s, and they also provide plenty of other benefits, like giving you a dose of fiber, as well as helping to keep your blood sugar levels in check. They contain important minerals like manganese and phosphorous, while providing you with additional protein. They’re small size means that there are countless ways you can use them in your cooking.
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