Food Sources of omega-3

Food Sources of omega-3

Omega-3 rich foods

We all know the many benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. However, we are going to talk about the sources and needed amounts of this essential fatty acid  for a healthy body. A healthy adult needs 250-500 mg of omega-3 per day. People with known heart disease and heart failure should aim for twice that amount reaching 800-1,000 mg per day. Here are some foods that can give you good amounts of omega 3 fatty acids:

Animal sources:

1.Mackerel are small fatty fish that can give you around 5000 mg omega-3 per 100 g. It is also very rich in vitamin B 12 and Selenium

2.Salmon are small fatty fish that provides over 2000 mg omega-3 per 100 g. It also contains large amounts of magnesium, potassium, selenium and B-vitamins

3. Cod liver oil is more of a supplement than a food. It is oil extracted from the livers of cod fish. It is high in omega 3 providing more than 2500 mg per tablespoon. It also has very high levels of vitamin D and vitamin A. (you have to make sure you don’t take more than 1 tbsp because too much vitamin A can be harmful)

5.Oysters are and shellfish are among the most nutritious foods. They contain more Zinc than any other food, and it is very rich in copper and vitamin B 12. 6 oysters can provide more than 500 mg of omega-3.

6. Sardines are very small fatty fish contain approximately 2000 mg per 200 g. They also contain a good amount of vitamin D, vitamin B 12 and Selenium.

7. Caviar is a highly luxurious food item often used as a starter or garnish. It is high in Choline and very low in omega-6 fatty acids. One tablespoon of caviar provides around 1000 mg omega-3 fatty acids.

Plant sources: 

1.Flax seeds, the small brown or yellow seeds are the richest whole food source of the omega-3 alpha linolenic acid (ALA) . They are also very high in fiber, vitamin E, magnesium and other nutrients. They have a great omega-6:omega-3 ratio compared to other oily plant seeds. Each table spoon of flax seed contains more than 2000 mg of omega-3. Flax seed oil however provides more than 7000 mg omega-3 per tablespoon.

2. Chia seeds are also incredibly nutritious. They are rich in manganese, calcium, phosphorus and various other nutrients. Two tablespoons of chia seeds provide 4g of protein including all essential amino acids and almost 5000 mg omega-3.

3. Walnuts are very nutritious and loaded with fiber. They contain high amounts of cupper, manganese, vitamin E. Most of the phenol antioxidants are found in the skin of the walnut. 7 walnuts can provide you with more than 2500 mg of omega-3.

4. Soybeans are good sources of fiber and protein. However they are also high in omega-6 fatty acids, so they should not be relied on as a sole omega-3 source. We need to get omega-3s and omega-6s in a certain balance. Half a cup of soybeans provide around 1200 mg of omega-3.


There is something worth noting. Animal sources provide the EPA and DHA form of omega-3 while the plant sources contain the ALA form which is inferior to the other two forms.There are also other foods that contain a decent amount of omega-3 fatty acids; they include eggs, meats and dairy products from grass-fed animals, hemp seed as well as some vegetables like spinach, Brussel’s sprouts.
Therefore, you should consume omega-3 food sources in moderation,making sure not to exceed the recommendations since there are new studies that state that excessive consumption of omega-3 fatty acids can affect the body’s ability to fight microbial agents.

Overall, we support the dietary recommendations from the American Heart Association to eat fish, particularly fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, lake trout or sardines, at least two times a week, and for those at risk of coronary artery disease to talk to their doctor about supplements.