Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Foods Sources And Incredible Health Benefits
From fish, shrimp, and soybeans to walnuts, Omega 3 fatty acids are found in abundance in nature. Including these incredible foods with Omega 3 fatty acids can help you live a healthier life regardless of your age.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of essential fat that cannot be produced by our body and must be consumed through the diet. They are divided into three main types:
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
The first form, ALA, can be found in plants, while the other two types of omega-3 fatty acids can be found in abundance in marine life. Evidence proposes that omega-3s have an important role to play in cell functioning and the development of the brain and eyes. Making foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids an integral part of everyday diet may also help against the risk of heart disease and positively reduce the likelihood of behavioural problems and depression. In this article, you will learn the health benefits of Omega 3 rich foods.
Importance of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acid foods are crucial to a balanced diet. Consumption of omega 3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation and may help lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. They also regulate blood pressure, glucose tolerance, nervous system development and its functions, and more.
Omega 3 fatty acid foods are filled with health benefits. Here are some of the advantages of foods with omega-3 fatty acids:
- Foetal development: During pregnancy, adequate intake of omega-3 helps in the development of the brain and retina of the foetus.
- Vision: Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in the regeneration of the pigment rhodopsin in the retina of the eye, which plays a critical role in converting light hitting the eye into visual images in the brain.
- Anti-inflammatory: Inflammation is a natural response to infections and damage in our body. Notably, omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the production of molecules and substances linked to inflammation.
Foods with Omega 3 Fatty Acids
1. Fish like mackerel, tuna, and salmon: It is reported from studies that a long-term intake of fish or fish oil can aid in reducing repetitive episodes of a heart attack after the first incident. One serving of mackerel (50 g) consists of 36.4 mg EPA and 130 mg DHA. Try this mackerel curry recipe for a delicious boost of omega-3!
2. Shrimp: A delicious food that has a decent fan following, shrimp is a wise choice to mention when speaking of omega 3 nutrition. A study found that people who consumed shrimp had fewer episodes of heart failure and stroke than those who did not. This easy-to-make shrimp avocado salad or shrimp paste chilli dip can be fruitful recipes to help you include shrimp in your meals.
3. Cod Liver Oil: A list of foods that contain omega 3 fatty acids is incomplete without Cod Liver Oil. One of the most common supplements used, cod liver oil is a go-to option for many to ensure a sufficient intake of omega-3 fatty acids. It has the ability to reduce inflammation, and its use in the first year of life was associated with a significantly lower risk of type 1 diabetes.
4. Eggs: Eggs are also rich in saturated fat and cholesterol—the types of fat that must be limited. It is essential to note that egg yolks should be consumed in moderation. For healthy adults, an egg a day should be fine, and you could prepare it in the form of this appetising egg kheema to accompany it with chapati at lunch!
Vegetarian Foods High in Omega 3:
5. Kidney Beans: Famous throughout the country, rajma is loved for its high nutritional value and taste. Its complex carbohydrate profile can help manage weight and blood sugar, while omega 3 can be a wonderful source of good fat. Each serving (30 g) contains 165.6 mg of these healthy fats. A classic Punjabi dish, rajma chawal will provide you with a great balance of nutrients!
6. Soybeans: A convenient plant-based alternative for omega 3, each serving can provide 395.4 mg of ALA, which can further be converted in the body. They are also high protein and fibre options, contributing to the "good fat" in the body. If you’re in the mood to cook, whip up this soya matar pulao for lunch, for not only is it satiating, but also deliciously healthy.
7. Walnuts: Walnuts contain 671 kcal of energy, 15 g of protein, and 64.27 g of healthy fats. For people who are not used to the Mediterranean diet, which includes the increased consumption of fish or for those who are vegetarians, walnuts are one of the excellent omega 3 foods.
8. Flaxseed: Known for its several health benefits, flaxseed is considered an alternative to marine products to obtain omega 3 in the diet. You can try this Oats Porridge with Flaxseed to begin your dose of this superfood!
Foods with omega 3 fatty acids have many benefits for your overall health. An important nutrient for good health, foods that contain omega 3 must be paid special attention to and included in the diet. Since marine food, beans, nuts and seeds are generally high in omega 3, one must take the extra step to make these vital ingredients a part of regular meals. After all, it is worth investing time and effort in omega 3, as it has several benefits and impacts the functioning of vital organs like the brain, eyes, and heart.