Omega 3-Rich Foods Boost Your Health

Omega 3-rich foods such as fish oils have various beneficial effects in the body. Fish oils are a rich source of two long-chain, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids:

  • EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid
  • DHA or docosahexaenoic acid

Omega-3 fish oil is extracted from omega 3-rich foods like the flesh of oily fish such as salmon, herrings, pilchards, skippers, sardines, and mackerel. These beneficial oils are derived from the microalgae on which the fish feed.

Typical Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Grams per 150 g of Fish

  • Kippers: 3.89
  • Salmon: 3.25
  • Mackerel: 2.89
  • Pilchards: 2.86
  • Herring: 1.97
  • Fresh Tuna: 1.95
  • Trout: 1.73
  • Sardines: 1.67
  • Tuna in oil (45 g can): 0.17

White fish are NOT omega 3-rich foods because the flesh like that of cod, whiting, coley, and haddock contains little omega-3.

Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) belong to a group of oils called long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (poly- means more than one double bond). They are essential because the body cannot manufacture them in the amounts needed, so they must come from omega 3-rich rich foods.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Here’s some chemistry: EFAs come in two forms: omega-3s and omega-6s. They are called as such after their chemical structure. For example, if the first double bond in the molecule chain appears at carbon atom number 3, the structure is that of alpha-linolenic acid, which is the omega-3 fatty acid:

Omega 3-rich foods have alpha-linolenic acid

However, if the first double bond in the molecule chain appears at carbon atom number 6, the structure is that of linoleic acid, which is the omega-6 fatty acid:

Omega-6 linoleic acid

Notice the different spellings! Omega-3 has the extra letter ‘n.’ These compounds are called ‘fatty acids’ because of their unsaturation – meaning they have double bonds along the hydrocarbon chain that terminates in a carboxylic acid group: –COOH).

  • Linolenic acid – is an omega-3 fatty acid
  • Linoleic acid – is an omega-6 fatty acid

Okay, there’s a little bit of difference structurally between these two fatty acid molecules, but the location of the unsaturation (the double bond) makes a considerable difference electrically. We live in an electric universe, and all bodily functions are fundamentally electrical in nature. Chemistry is the progression of deep-down electrical interactions between atoms and molecules (between positive and negative charges). The location of unsaturation along the hydrocarbon chain interacts differently with other biochemical molecules, such as proteins and enzymes. It's like the different components on an electronics circuit board and how they interact with one another. But biological components are every so complicated compared to their inorganic analogs.

Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Linoleic acid comes from vegetable oils such as sunflower and corn oils, which are typically present in processed foods.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Alpha-linolenic acid comes from nuts (the best ones are walnuts), flaxseed, and oily fish. The fish get their omega-3 from the plankton on which they feed ... maybe we should eat plankton! But humans are omnivores, not herbivores. We see here the vitality of stable food chains.

Conversion into longer-chain fatty acids

EFAs can be converted to form longer-chain fatty acids in the body. Omega-6 fatty acids, such as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and arachidonic acid (AA) … nothing to do with spiders, BTW … while omega-3 can be converted to other omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA.

Bad lifestyles and ill-health

The conversion reactions just mentioned could be more efficient, and bad diets and pollution block the enzymes involved. These include:

  • Eating trans-fatty acids like those in hydrogenated margarine
  • Consuming too much sugar (sucrose)
  • Drinking too much ethanol
  • Lacking hydrophilic minerals and essential vitamins
  • Crash dieting
  • Exposure to harmful environmental man-made chemicals
  • Excessive nicotine intake

As a result, only five percent of omega-3 linolenic acid is believed to be converted to EPA, and half of one percent is further converted to DHA. Because of their scarcity, the EPA and DHA longer-chain fatty acids are also classed as essential fatty acids. It seems that 80 percent of people don’t get enough EFAs from the food they eat. Therefore, everyone should eat much more omega 3-rich foods.

How The Body Handles EFAs

EFAs build cell membranes, sex hormones, and hormone-like prostaglandins. However, owing to the position of the double bonds, the body handles omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids differently. Most omega-6 fatty acids are turned into inflammation-causing series 2 prostaglandins and series 5 leukotrienes. However, the omega-6 fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA) is a rare one that actually reduces inflammation.

EFA Balance

As there’s no way the body can convert excess omega-6s to omega-3s, we must consume more omega 3-rich foods to slash the production of inflammatory chemicals in our bodies. Consuming fewer omega-6 and more omega 3-rich foods has been shown to discourage the formation of the substances that cause pain in arthritic joints and which increase the breaking down of cartilage and bone. [1] Eating more omega 3-rich foods, as from from oily fish, has been shown to reduce the presence of these inflammatory chemicals within arthritic joints. [2]

UK Omega-6 Madness

In Britain, consumption of omega-6 fatty acids has skyrocketed as vegetable oil and spreads have replaced traditional butter. As a result, the British now eat 15 g of linoleic acid each day compared to 10 g forty years ago. Yet, alarmingly, 7 out of 10 people in the UK don’t eat oily fish, and a third only consume a third of a portion per week! If they eat more omega 3-rich foods that boost EPA and DHA production, they will suffer fewer joint pains as they grow older. As the saying goes, “We are what we eat.”

Pregnancy and Omega 3-Rich Foods

During pregnancy, women lay down over 5 kg of fat, and the composition of those fats depends entirely on the food the expectant mother eats. So by consuming adequate amounts of omega 3-rich foods, EFA reserves will be stored to help top up the levels in breast milk. Sufficient omega-3 fatty acids in pregnant women’s diets were no problem until the baby boomers arrived after WW2, but since then, EFA levels have nosedived.

The Result

Without enough EFAs, the body scrapes sources of saturated fats that are less flexible and have less optimum effects on hormone and cell membrane function. Clinical features associated with EFA deficiency include:

  • Frequent toilet visits
  • Dry skin
  • Keratosis Polaris – goosebumps skin on the upper arms and legs
  • Straw-like hair
  • Dandruff
  • Brittle nails
  • Lowered immunity
  • Allergic reactions
  • Poor night vision
  • Sensitivity to bright light
  • Attention deficit
  • Emotional sensitivity

Unfortunately, research in many countries shows that most mothers’ EFA levels are compromised. And as pregnancy needs high EFA levels, maternal EFA status declines throughout successive pregnancies.

More Intelligent Babies

Researchers have observed that, on average, the firstborn are more intelligent than their younger siblings. So it’s speculated that a deficiency of DHA may be involved.

Omega 3-rich Foods and Dosages

Adults should consume enough omega 3-rich foods that give 6 to 10 g of EFAs each day. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consume 14 g each day. To improve your EFA balance, eat more of the following omega 3-rich foods:

  • Oily fish: 2 to 4 portions per week of mackerel, herring, pilchards, sardines, salmon, trout, fresh tuna (NOT canned!), and skippers. BTW, skippers, sardines, and pilchards are the same fish but of different ages, which is why pilchards have the most linolenic acid.
  • Wild game meat: venison and buffalo meat. Buffalo is a very healthy meat that’s: lower in cholesterol, has more minerals, and contains less than half the fat content of lean beef.
  • Grass-fed beef: packed with B vitamins, grass fed beef is higher in vitamins A, E, and other antioxidants compared to grain fed beef.
  • Omega-3 enriched eggs: hens fed with flaxseed lay eggs with MORE omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Omega-3 fish oil supplements: see here.

Cut Down On Omega 6-Rich Foods

While boosting your intake of omega 3-rich foods, cut down on the following omega-6 rich foods:

  • Omega-6 vegetable oils: sunflower oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil. These are the bad guys. Replace them with healthier oils such as rapeseed oil, olive oil (never allow olive oil to 'smoke' as overheating it creates toxic compounds), walnut oil, coconut oil, or macadamia oil.
  • Margarine: these are based on sunflower or safflower oils.
  • Fast Food And Junk Food: fast food is food that can be quickly conveniently cooked & ready to eat. Junk food is food that has relatively little nutritional value.
  • Too many cakes, sweets, and pastries.

Benefits of Essential Fatty Acids

The body converts omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA into substances that reduce inflammation (series 3 prostaglandins and series 5 leukotrienes to be accurate). This helps to balance the action of omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils that promote inflammation! So, nutritionists think omega-3 fatty acids offer some benefits against inflammatory diseases such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and psoriasis. In addition, the oils help to reduce blood pressure and blood stickiness.

5 Amazing Omega 3-Rich Foods

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for maintaining good health, but many people don't get enough of them in their diet. Luckily, there are plenty of delicious omega 3-rich foods. Here are five of the best options to help you boost your intake:

Omega 3-Rich Foods 👉 Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and pilchards are some of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These fish are not only delicious but also packed with nutrients that are essential for good health. In fact, just one serving of salmon can provide you with more than 100% of your daily recommended intake of omega-3s. So, if you're looking to boost your omega-3 intake, try adding more fatty fish to your diet today.

A Great Source of Protein and Vitamins

In addition to being rich in omega-3s, fatty fish are also a great source of protein, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients. Salmon, in particular, is an excellent choice because it’s also high in vitamin B12 and selenium, which are crucial for brain function and thyroid health. Tuna and mackerel are also good choices and can be enjoyed in various ways, from grilled or baked to canned and added to salads or sandwiches. Just be sure to choose wild-caught fish whenever possible, as farmed fish may contain higher levels of toxins and pollutants.

Omega 3-Rich Foods 👉 Flaxseeds and Chia Seeds

Flaxseeds and chia seeds are two plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids that are easy to incorporate into your diet. Just one tablespoon of ground flaxseeds contains about 1.6 g of omega-3s, while one tablespoon of chia seeds contains about 2.5 g. These seeds can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, or even used as an egg substitute in baking recipes. Plus, they also provide fiber and other essential nutrients for overall health.

Rich in Linolenic acid

Flaxseeds and chia seeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid linked to numerous health benefits, including reduced inflammation and improved heart health. In fact, studies have shown that regular consumption of flaxseeds can help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and even improve brain function. Chickens fed with flaxseed lay omega 3-rich eggs.

Seeds as Omega 3-Rich Foods in Your Diet

To incorporate these seeds into your diet, try adding them to your morning smoothie or sprinkling them on top of your yogurt or oatmeal. You can also use them as a vegan egg substitute in baking recipes by mixing one tablespoon of ground seeds with three tablespoons of water. With their nutty flavor and impressive nutritional profile, flaxseeds and chia seeds are a delicious and easy way to boost your omega-3 intake.

Omega 3-Rich Foods 👉 Walnuts and Almonds

Walnuts and almonds are two types of nuts high in omega-3 fatty acids. Just one ounce of walnuts contains about 2.5 grams of omega-3s, while one ounce of almonds contains about 0.6 g. These nuts can be eaten as a snack, added to salads, or used as a topping for oatmeal or yogurt. They also provide protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients for overall health.

Other Health Benefits

In addition to being a great source of omega-3s, walnuts, and almonds have been linked to numerous health benefits. Studies have shown that consuming these nuts may help lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and improve brain function. They are also a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect against cell damage and disease. So next time you’re looking for a healthy snack, reach for a handful of walnuts or almonds to get your daily dose of omega-3s.

Omega 3-Rich Foods 👉 Soybeans and Tofu

Soybeans and tofu are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet. One cup of cooked soybeans contains about 1 gram of omega-3s, while a half-cup of tofu contains about 0.3 grams. Soybeans can be added to soups, stews, and salads, while tofu can be used in stir-fries, sandwiches, and even desserts. Incorporating these foods into your diet can help boost your omega-3 intake and improve overall health.

A Great Source of Minerals

Soybeans and tofu are not only rich in omega-3 fatty acids, but they also provide a host of other health benefits. Soybeans are a great source of protein, fiber, and minerals like iron and calcium. Tofu, made from soybeans, is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. It’s a great meat substitute in stir-fries and sandwiches and can even be used in desserts like chocolate mousse. Adding soybeans and tofu to your diet is an easy way to increase your omega-3 intake and improve your overall health.

Omega 3-Rich Foods 👉 Leafy Greens

Leafy greens like spinach and kale are not only packed with vitamins and minerals, but they are also excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. One cup of cooked spinach contains about 0.4 g of omega-3s, while one cup of raw kale contains about 0.1 g. These greens can be added to salads, smoothies, and even cooked dishes like omelets and pasta. Incorporating these leafy greens into your diet can help boost your omega-3 intake and improve overall health.

Antioxidant and Fiber-Rich

In addition to their omega-3 content, spinach, and kale are also rich in antioxidants and fiber. These nutrients help to reduce inflammation in the body and support healthy digestion. Plus, they are low in calories and carbohydrates, making them an excellent choice for those watching their weight or managing diabetes. Try adding a handful of spinach or kale to your morning smoothie or sautéing them with garlic and olive oil for a tasty side dish. Your body will thank you for the omega-3 boost!

Omega 3-Rich Foods 👉 Supplements

If you don’t like eating oily fish or the foods described in this article, don’t worry because all the omega-3 you can be taken through supplementation without needing to eat omega 3-rich foods. Usually, the fatty acid comes in gelatin capsules like many other liquid-based supplements. But don’t rush and get any old omega-3 supplement without looking at our two offerings:

Omega-3 Supplements – Omega 3 6 9 and Pure Krill Oil

Omega 3-Rich Foods 👉 Omega 3 6 9

Ours is a blend of omega-3 fish oil, flaxseed oil, sunflower seed oil (for that good omega-6 fatty acid), vitamin E, EPA, DHA, LA (linoleic acid), and OA (oleic acid). Oleic acid is the main component of olive oil. [3]

Omega 3-Rich Foods 👉 Pure Krill Oil

Pure Krill Oil is from the pure waters of the Antarctic Ocean and is clean and free from contaminants such as glyphosate. Pure Krill Oil has 47 times the power of omega-3 fish oil and 34 times the power of Coenzyme Q10.

Our Pure Krill Oil includes:

  • All the Essential Fatty Acids
  • Incredible Anti-Oxidant Power
  • Increased Joint Comfort
  • Anti-Inflammatory Protection
  • Immune System Support

Get your Omega 3 6 9 👉

Get your Pure Krill Oil 👉


See also

Synonymous terms: omega 3 rich foods; omega-3 foods vegetarian; omega-3 supplements; omega-3 fruits; foods high in omega-3 not fish; how much omega-3 per day