Nutrition

16 Foods High In Omega 3

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.

foods high in omega 3

16 Foods High in Omega 3

Black Walnuts

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.

Rapeseed Oil

A common oil for frying, rapeseed oil contains 1.3g of the omega-3 ALA per tablespoon.

Catfish

Catfish is a source of EPA & DHA, containing a total of 0.3g of omega-3 in a 5-ounce serving.

Chia seeds

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

Edamame, or soy beans, are a popular vegetarian source of protein and have 0.3g of omega-3 in a ½ cup serving.

Fish oil

One of the most well known sources of omega-3, fish oil contains 2.9g of ALA and DHA in just 1 tablespoon.

Ground Flaxseed

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

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

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

Herring is another great marine source of omega-3s, with one 5-ounce serving containing 3.1 grams of heart-healthy fats.

Mackerel

Mackerel is yet another fish with heart-healthy benefits, containing 2.6 grams of DHA and EPA in just a 4-ounce serving.

Navy beans

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.

Salmon

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.

Shrimp

½ cup of shrimp contains 0.4g of omega-3, which is more than other shellfish; it is also high in protein.

Soybean Oil

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.

Tuna (canned)

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.

 

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.


  1. Ruxton, C. H. S., Reed, S. C., Simpson, M. J. A., & Millington, K. J. (2004). The health benefits of omega‐3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: a review of the evidence. Journal of human nutrition and dietetics, 17(5), 449-459.
  2. Office of Dietary Supplements. (2001). Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Health Professional Fact Sheet. National Institutes of Health. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/


Claire Muszalski

Claire Muszalski

Writer and expert


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