10 Best Sources for Omega-3 Fatty Acids

10 Best Sources for Omega-3 Fatty Acids
10 Best Sources for Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that are not made in our bodies, so we must get them from our diet. There are three forms: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). There is evidence from studies, according to the Mayo Clinic, that suggests consuming the recommended amounts of DHA and EPA through either fish or fish oil supplements lowers triglycerides, slows hardening of the arteries, and lowers blood pressure. In addition, they also may reduce the risk of heart attack, abnormal heart rhythms and strokes in people with cardiovascular disease.

How much of omega-3 fats are enough? The World's Healthiest Foods cites the guidelines issued by the Workshop on the Essentiality of and Recommended Dietary Intakes for Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids in 1999, which recommend that omega-3 fats should be at least two percent of the total daily calories. Someone consuming 2,000 calories a day would need to eat at least four grams of omega-3 fats. Two tablespoons of flaxseeds have 3.5 grams of omega-3 fats, and a four ounce serving of salmon has 1.5 grams of omega-3 fats.

Fish oils contain both DHA and EPA, while flaxseeds, certain oils, vegetables, and spices contain ALA. Where does that leave vegetarians and vegans who rely on ALA as their source of omega-3 fats? The World's Healthiest Foods recommends they increase the amount of ALA-rich foods they consume to "ensure sufficient production of its important derivatives, EPA and DHA." Our partners, Barlean's, have high quality fish oil that has been third party tested for purity.

Here is Naturally Savvy's top ten list of omega-3 rich foods:

1. Seafood: Seafood high in omega-3s include salmon, sardines, halibut, herring, mackerel, oysters, trout, tuna, shrimp, or scallops. There are a lot of great fish oil supplements, but if you prefer to eat the real thing, eat fish a few times a week to get sufficient EPA and DHA.

The rest of the list contains omega-3s with alpha-linolenic acid (ALA):

2. Flaxseed (meal and oil)

3. Walnuts

4. Broccoli, cauliflower, winter and summer squash

5. Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and collard greens

6. Olive oil, walnut oil, mustard oil

7. Chia seeds

8. Hemp seeds

9. Basil or parsley (fresh)

10. Dried herbs such as cloves or oregano 

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Lisa Roth Collins is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) and is the Marketing Manager at NaturallySavvy.com. She is passionate about health and wellness and tries her best to make healthier choices every day for herself and her family. Her journey to natural health was driven by her own struggles with digestive discomfort, depression, and anxiety. Lisa returned to school in 2014 to study nutrition at the Canadian School for Natural Nutrition. She threw herself into her studies so she could learn as much as she could to help herself feel better and thrive. Upon completing the program and being certified as an RHN, Lisa began her work at Naturally Savvy where she has been able to help so many people learn to make healthier choices for themselves. Through her work, she has connected with so many incredible people in the industry whether other authors, influencers, or brands. Plus, she is affectionately known as "Techie Spice" because of her ability to wrap her head around technology. Every day she gets up with a renewed sense of energy and ready to make a difference. You can read all of Lisa's content here. In her spare time, Lisa loves to try new recipes, make delicious and nourishing meals, and she is an avid reader. For more information about Lisa, check out her profile on here.