Omega-3 fatty acids have many health benefits, such as lowering the risk of coronary heart disease, maintaining healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, as well as helping out with joint health. There are also claims that the omega-3s are beneficial for helping with depression, and might even be helpful with new moms suffering from postpartum depression. Incorporating this essential fatty acid into your daily diet is easy, especially when you know which foods contain the most omega 3s.
Fatty fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. The fish highest in this key acid are the fatty ones that mostly swim in cold water: salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines or lake trout. Opt for these first.
- When ordering at a restaurant: Choose raw (i.e. sushi or sashimi), grilled, baked or poached.
- When cooking: Flavor with lemon or herbs.
- Steer clear of the fried. When fish is fried, it sits in oil and its breading sucks up that oil like the sponge. That not only adds hundreds of extra calories, but the high heat used in frying may alter some of those healthy polyunsaturated fats and turn them into unhealthy trans fats.
Fish oil supplements are another healthy alternative to getting your omega-3s if you are not a fan of aquatic life.
- When choosing a fish oil supplement, capsules are your best bet and they should be refrigerated for freshness.
- Be sure to choose a supplement made by a reputable company who guarantees that their product is free of heavy metals, like mercury.
- Finally, look for a product that contains ecosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA), and follow the instructions on the package for dosing.
If you’re a vegetarian, you can get omega-3s from plant-based alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which your body can use just as easily. Some excellent source of omega 3 found in plants are flaxseed, avocados, olive oil, canola oil, almonds and sunflower seeds.
For more information check out this article on how omega-3s may help fight depression.