Omega-3 is the name for a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids and considered one of the “heart healthy” types of fats. They’re named after their chemical structure, and are different to Omega-6 fatty acids. The heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help reduce inflammation, and may support healthy ageing.1
Three primary Omega-3 fatty acids are common in foods – eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA — commonly found in fish and shellfish)=, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is typically found in plants.1 This article presents the some of the best food sources of omega-3 fatty acids to help you increase your consumption.
16 Foods High in Omega 3
Black walnuts are one plant-based source of omega-3, containing 1.7g of ALA in ½ cup serving. Nuts are also high in fibre and fat-soluble vitamins.
A common oil for frying, rapeseed oil contains 1.3g of the omega-3 ALA per tablespoon.
Catfish is a source of EPA & DHA, containing a total of 0.3g of omega-3 in a 5-ounce serving.
Just one tablespoon of chia seeds contains 7g of omega-3, making this plant-based source a super food that’s also high in protein and fibre.
Edamame, or soy beans, are a popular vegetarian source of protein and have 0.3g of omega-3 in a ½ cup serving.
One of the most well known sources of omega-3, fish oil contains 2.9g of ALA and DHA in just 1 tablespoon.
Flaxseed is a very nutritious seed, but needs to be ground to help our bodies digest and absorb the nutrients. 1 tablespoon has 1.6g of omega-3.
Halibut is a popular fish that contains 1g of omega-3 fatty acids in a 3-ounce serving, and is also high in protein.
Hemp seeds are great to add some crunch to smoothies, oatmeal, or a salad, and contain 0.9g of omega-3s in a 1 tablespoon serving.
Herring is another great marine source of omega-3s, with one 5-ounce serving containing 3.1 grams of heart-healthy fats.
Mackerel is yet another fish with heart-healthy benefits, containing 2.6 grams of DHA and EPA in just a 4-ounce serving.
Higher in Omega-3 than kidney beans, navy beans are another good vegan source of heart healthy fatty acids with 0.6g per ½ cup serving.
One of the most well known sources of heart-healthy fats, salmon contains 1.5g in a 3-ounce serving and is packed with protein.
½ cup of shrimp contains 0.4g of omega-3, which is more than other shellfish; it is also high in protein.
Soybean oil is another good vegan source of omega-3 and alternative for frying, containing 0.9g of omega-3 fatty acids in 1 tablespoon.
Also popular for its long shelf life and high-protein content, 3 ounces of canned tuna contains 0.7g of heart healthy omega-3s.
Take home message
While we know there are many health benefits to omega-3 fatty acids, it can be challenging to remember which foods contain the most of these heart-healthy fats. Focusing on fish and some plant-based foods like soybeans and kidney beans can help contribute to a heart-healthy diet. In addition to a healthy diet, some people may choose to take an Omega-3 supplement to ensure their intake is sufficient.