However, fats can also be healthy if you know the right food types to eat.
In this article, we will be discussing Omega 3 fatty acids and the health benefits it has.
What Is Omega-3?
Omega 3 is a nutrient that we need to get from food as the body is not able to synthesize it. Therefore it is considered an essential fatty acid.
This fatty acid is important for our body cells, blood pressure, heart, lungs and immune system. As you can see, this is one nutrient that you don’t want to be lacking.
There are three different types of omega 3 fatty acids that you need. They are DHA, EPA and ALA. DHA and EPA mainly come from fish while ALA is derived from plants sources.
Food Sources That Are High In Omega 3
Since Omega 3 fatty acids are an essential nutrient, it is necessary for us to get it via our food or through supplementation.
Do note that these recommendations are meant for human consumption. If you plan to give your cat omega 3 as a remedy for hairballs, please check with your vet on the dos and dont’s.
Since natural food source is always better than man-made supplementation, here are the different food that you can choose from.
1. Grass-Fed Beef
Beef is one meat type that is high in omega 3. However, not all beef is made equal. It has been shown that grass-fed beef has four times more omega 3 fatty acids compared to grain-fed. This is because grass-fed cows graze on vegetation that is high in omega 3.
A great tasting vegetable that is low in calories is a good source of omega 3. It can be eaten raw or blanched. Spinach contains thylakoids which help to suppress your appetite.
3. Mustard Seed
If you are someone that likes some heat in your food, mustard seeds are a good choice. Not only are mustard seeds dense in omega 3 fatty acids but it is also good for weight loss. Just ground up mustard seeds like black pepper and sprinkle them over your food.
Fish is an awesome source of DHA and EPA. This is one protein source that we should be having more of instead of just beef, chicken and pork. Not all types of fish are high in omega 3 fatty acids. Choose fishes that are higher in this nutrient.
Fish oil is another good option if you require a higher dosage of omega 3 fatty acid.
5. Cod Liver Oil
I know the very mention of this can strike fear into the hearts of have taken or smelt this before. Got to admit, I hated taking eating this as a kid as the texture, smell and taste had me gagging each time. But Cod liver oil is actually a very good source of omega 3s.
One thing to note is that cod liver oil isn’t a food source but is sold as a supplement. Your priority is to get your omega 3s from a natural food source but if eating fish regularly is difficult then this supplement can be a good alternative.
One dosage of cod liver oil is as good as eating fish a few times a week.
6. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have been growing in popularity over the years due to their nutritional content and benefits. Not only are chia seeds high in omega 3 fatty acids, but it is also high in protein and fiber.
Not only can you add chia seeds to your food or salad, but it also tastes good in yogurt, ice cream and baked goods.
Like chia seeds, flaxseeds are also very high in omega 3. It is also very dense in the following nutrients:
It is one of the healthiest types of seeds that you can eat and it is also very easy to incorporate into your diet.
8. Flaxseed oil
If you prefer to have your flaxseed as a dressing for your salad, flaxseed oil will be a better choice for you than the seed. Just drizzle a tablespoon of flaxseed oil over your greens and you are good to go.
Walnuts are also very high in Omega 3 as compared to other types of nuts. It can be eaten raw or lightly roasted in the oven. Walnuts are also very high in antioxidants.
Remember to add some to your diet.
Not only are oysters known as an aphrodisiac but it is only high in all three types of omega 3s. The only thing about oysters is that they can be expensive so eating them on a daily basis isn’t very practical.
11. Fermented Soybeans
Fermented soybean might not be everyone’s cup of tea due to its taste, texture and smell. But if you can overcome it, fermented soybeans make a great snack for omega 3.
If fermented soybeans make you puke, normal soybeans can also be a good source of ALA. The best way to cook soybeans is to boil them till soft and use the liquid as a stock for cooking. The beans can also be eaten, adding a nice crunch to your meals.
If you have an expensive taste and palate, then caviar can be a good food source of healthy fatty acids for you. 1 tablespoon of caviar has close to 1000mg of omega 3 fatty acids.
Health Benefits Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 has many great benefits for both humans and pets that we should be aware of. However, for every study that claims omega 3 health benefits, there is another that claims it doesn’t do much. For cases like this, it would be best to read it with an open mind and come to your own personal conclusion.
Studies have shown that people who consume more omega 3 fatty acids are at a lower risk of getting heart disease or fewer heart disease death amongst survivors.
The American Heart Association recommends 1g of EPA and DHA for people with a history of heart disease.
Lower High Blood Pressure
Omega 3 can also lower high blood pressure but not in a drastic way. If you are prone to this, it would be better to substitute meat with more fish.
Lower Bad Cholesterol
Our body consists of both bad and good cholesterol. A higher level of omega 3 in your diet can lower your body’s bad cholesterol or triglycerides.
Omega 3 can help to lessen the pain and improve joint mobility for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Omega 3 is good when it comes to reducing the internal inflammatory responses in our bodies.
Development In Children
The early development years are very important for children. Omega 3 can help with better brain and physical development. It is good for kids to eat more fish but keep away from fishes that contain higher levels of mercury.
Dosage Of Omega 3
To date, there is no hard and fast rule on the required daily dosage of omega 3 for adults. A good guideline will be 250mg of DHA and EPA a day and 1.6g of ALA of males and 1.1g for females.
If you are not able to consume enough omega 3 fatty acid from food, taking a supplement will be the next best alternative.
Do be mindful when using supplementation. You will need to know the dosage per capsule and how does the company manufacture the supplement. For example, the ingredients they use and the processes.
There are some fish oil supplements that can give a bad aftertaste in your mouth, so make sure to read the review before making a purchase.
You may not thoroughly believe or be convinced of the health benefits of omega 3 due to some conflicting medical reports out there. However, many of the types of foods that are high in omega 3 fatty acids are also very dense in many other important vitamins and minerals for us.
Make it a point to consume appropriate amounts of these foods in your diet to reap the health and nutritional benefits that they are known to have.