Omega 3- How to add more to your diet

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, meaning they are essential for life and they must be obtained through diet because the body is unable to produce them.

Omega-3s are nutrients you get from food (or supplements) that help build and maintain a healthy body. They’re key to the structure of every cell wall you have. They’re also an energy source and help keep your heart, lungs, blood vessels, and immune system working the way they should.

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids found in oil, oily fish and vegetable sources which may result in health benefits such as decreased inflammation and brain health.

Its ability to relieve inflammation is perhaps the most well-studied benefit. “According to one large review of 68 trials, supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids can help significantly decrease levels of C-reactive protein, interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor α, all of which are markers of inflammation in the body.”

Several studies show that consuming foods high in omega 3 fatty acids may benefit when it comes to your mood, emotional health and decrease symptoms of anxiety. Throughout those critical years of brain development, omega-3 fatty acids are vital to feed brain function; improve learning, memory, focus, and concentration. This is important for children.

As we age, issues like arthritis may increase and cause joint pain. Studies show that supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids may help with inflammation and pain.

Start by including more sources of omega-3 fatty acids and eating fatty fish, including salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and tuna.

For those of you who dislike fish there are plant-based options such as chia and flax seeds and avocado.

Here is a list of foods that contain omega-3 and other nutrients.

Salmon is a nutrient-dense food. It contains protein and a variety of nutrients, including large amounts of vitamin D, selenium, and B vitamins.

Herring rich in vitamin D & selenium is a medium-sized oily fish. It is sold whole, cold-smoked, pickled, or available in oil.

Oysters, a shellfish are a nutritious food. They are rich in zinc, copper & B12.

Sardines are a very small, oily fish which are commonly sold in cans. They are rich in vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Anchovies are tiny oily fish mostly bought canned. They are a source of niacin and selenium.

Caviar consists of fish eggs, or salt cured roe. It is a good source of choline and is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Regarded as a luxurious food item, caviar is most often used in small quantities as a starter, taster, or garnish.

When it comes to seeds, Flax seeds and chia seeds are whole food rich in omega- 3 fatty acids. Flax seeds can be ground, milled, or used to make oil. They are rich in fiber, magnesium. Chia seeds are incredibly nutritious — they’re rich in manganese, selenium, magnesium, protein, fiber and omega 3 fatty acids.

Let’s not forget about avocados. They are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, are satiating and are rich in potassium and fiber.

For those who don’t regularly consume fish or plant food, supplementation is an option. This includes fish oil, cod liver oil and krill oil. For vegans and vegetarians, algal oil is derived from algae and is completely plant-based. Keep in mind that some side effects may occur such as abdominal discomfort, fishy breath, acid reflux and diarrhea. It is important to contact your doctor when taking supplements to determine any potential interference with medication.

Like always be mindful of the food you eat. Take note of how you feel. Do you feel energetic, satiated, tired, bloated, or have a tummy ache? Make an effort to slowly integrate some of these foods into your meals.