Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for human health. Essential omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that play a major role in the functioning of all cells in your body. They can be made by your body or taken in through food sources. They’re called “essential” because you need to get them from outside sources — your body can’t make them on its own.
More and more research is finding that these nutrition powerhouses can improve heart health, brain function and many other aspects of your health and wellness.
How to get more omega-3
If you haven’t been getting enough omega-3s in your diet, here are a few foods that’ll help boost your intake.
You’ve probably heard that salmon is a healthy food, but did you know it’s loaded with omega-3 fatty acids? Salmon gets its distinctive pink color from the presence of astaxanthin, a carotenoid antioxidant that might reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fish per week — especially oily fish like salmon — to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Another source of omega-3s is tuna. Canned tuna is a convenient way to get these fatty acids into your diet, plus it’s a good source of protein and low in saturated fat. Try eating tuna as a sandwich or mixing it into pasta to add protein to your meal without overloading on calories or carbs.
- Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are also important sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts contain more than twice as much omega-3 as other tree nuts like almonds or pecans. Flaxseed contains ten times more omega-3 than most other seeds. If you don’t have time to eat nuts and seeds each day, try sprinkling ground flaxseed on your cereal or yogurt.