How to get your Omega 3's
We all need essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 fatty acids, for optimum health. As part of a healthy anti-inflammatory diet, I recommend eating several servings of oily fish, such as wild Alaskan salmon, per week as a dietary strategy to help decrease the risk of heart disease, inflammatory conditions, cancer and other health concerns. However, fresh or frozen wild Alaskan salmon is not always available and may be too expensive. So in this article we share some of the alternatives to try.
Canned salmon. Sockeye salmon that is canned is always wild-caught, costs less than fresh or frozen salmon, and has the added benefit of the canning process, which softens the bones, making them an edible source of calcium.
Canned sardines. Another fish-based source of omega-3s, choose sardines packed in water or olive oil.
Walnuts. A good vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids that promotes cardiovascular health and tones down inflammation. Walnuts contains ellagic acid, an antioxidant compound that helps support a healthy immune system and that may help protect against cancer.
Ground flaxseed contains both omega-3s and soluble fiber. Some people advocate grinding flaxseed daily in a coffee grinder at home (buy one specifically for this purpose) to avoid it from becoming rancid. But I find that keeping flaxseed in an airtight container in the pantry or refrigerator does the job so buying this already ground works fine. Sprinkle one to two tablespoons a day on salads or cereals, or add to your favorite smoothie. Flax oil presents some possible health issues, so this should be avoided.
Chia seeds. An important part of the diet of ancient Aztecs and Mayans, chia seed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. A tablespoon of chia contains 3 grams of protein and it's a complete protein. These tiny black and white seeds are also chock full of other healthy nutrients, including carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. It has as thickening quality that makes it a great add-in or replacement in certain recipes, increasing their health value to you. Great to add to smoothies.
Other Good Omega-3 Foods: Mackerel, Herring, White Fish, Halibut, Scallops, Shrimp, Anchovies, Cod, Oysters, meats from grass-fed animals, grass-fed dairy products, Hemp Seeds, Spinach, Brussel sprouts, Seaweed, Leafy Greens, Winter squash, and Legumes.
You can also consider a high quality omega-3 supplement. Available in liquid or capsule forms, fish oil helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure, nourish the nervous system and promote optimal mood and outlook. Look for products that are certified free of contaminants, and begin with small daily doses, building up to the recommended amount. Read more about Omega-3 supplements.
Read more about Omega-3 and Omega-6.