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List of Foods with High Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Happy Shopping of “Brain Food”+

The world is on the shopping spree for brain food. Imagine the Omega-3 fatty acid market is predicted to be 18.95 billion US dollar by 2020 (1).

Shopping for foods with high Omega-3 fatty acid content? So, you are not the only one shopping for this important diet. The good news is there are several varieties of them available (2). You can find them in many of the food aisles in the supermarket.

The role of diet beyond filling the stomach to satisfying hunger or basic nutrition to live has changed. People are more concerned and vigilant about obtaining essential nutrients, prevention and cure of diseases, reduction of health risks from the diet they eat. They are placing the daily diet on the center of their health.

Before you start shopping, does not it always helps to know why and what you are buying? The reason being, not everything is created equal. Having the right knowledge gives us a perspective of what and what may not you buy.

Another thing to consider, you may be vegetarian like I am and your family members may be vegan or in keto diet. Someone in your family may be pregnant. People have different tastes. They like and enjoy some food vs. others.

So having a broad list of quality omega-3 containing and fortified food will offer you choices to pick and choose.

Let’s compile the Table of Content to help organize ourselves for shopping. The blog will be about:

  • What is the Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acid in the Diet?
  • Types and Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acid
  • Fish as Primary Source of Omega-3- Food for Smart Brain and Heart
  • Eggs and Diary- Fortified with Omega-3 Fatty Acid
  • Seeds and Nuts with Omega-3
  • Vegetarian and Vegan’s- Reservoir of ALA Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Snacks-Omega-3 Fortified
  • Assorted Omega-3 Fortified Source
  • Oils Fortified with Omega-3 FOmega-3 Fortified Infants FoodTakeaway

A Sampling of Food Rich in Omega-3-Fatty Acid

A sampling of food rich in omega-3-fatty acids

 

What is the Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acid in the Diet?

  • Omega 3 fatty acids (3) are called smart foods important to the brain (4) and cognitive development including pregnant mother (5) and infants (6).
  • They may help reduce the risk of heart disease and lower bad blood fats.
  • They are called smart foods as they are vital to brain and cognitive development of the infants.
  • They have a celebrity status in the skin world maintaining skin health (7) by acting as anti-inflammatory agents preventing and helping cure acne.

Types and Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acid

Omega-3-fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats. There are three kinds of omega-3 fatty acids. They are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are critical fatty acids and are primarily found in fish.

The third one is ALA ((alpha-linolenic acid) found in nuts, seeds, and vegetables.

ALA is less effective than EPA and DHA in our body functions. ALA undergoes a slow conversion in the liver and can produce ~10% of EPA and DHA. Humans are poor DHA synthesizers.

There are many foods with omega-3 and fortified Omega-3 foods available

The RDI (Recommended daily intake) of omega-3 for different age groups by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) (8):

For adult men: 1.6 g and 1.1 g for women.

Fish as Primary Source of Omega-3-Food for Smart Brain and Heart

Fish is rich sources of Omega-3 (9), low in calorie and loaded with protein. If you are pescatarian fish is the go for you.

Check off this part of your shopping list with these kinds of seafood which have healthy content of EPA and DHA. Here is a directory of fish you can choose and pick.

Salmon

Herring

Fresh Tuna, Albacore

Branzino (European sea bass)

Cod

Trout

Sardines

Halibut

Mackerel

Caviar

Anchovies

Whitefish

Rockfish

Catfish

Oyster

Pollock

Shark

Shrimp

Eggs and Diary- Fortified with Omega-3 Fatty Acid

You are more likely to have omega-3 fortified eggs and dairy. They are:

Eggs

Yogurt

Milk

Margarine

Soymilk

Seeds and Nuts with Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The seeds and nuts are a natural fat source. Bread and cereal have added omega-3. Always look for omega-3 on the label when buying food.

Flax Seeds

Chia seeds (10)

Hemp seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

Sesame seeds

Almonds and almond butter

Walnuts

Peanut butter

Flour

Tortillas

Pasta

Bread

Oatmeal

For Vegetarian and Vegan- Reservoir of ALA Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fresh vegetables and leafy greens are excellent sources of ALA omega-3 fatty acids. They are rich in fibers, other vitamins, and nutrients as well. Dietitians recommend these as sources of omega-3. For vegetarians and vegans, seaweed and algae are good sources of omega-3 food. The fresh produce and kidney bean are respectable sources of ALA. Besides ALA can convert to a small amount of DHA and EPA inside the liver. Foods containing these varieties are:

Seaweed

Algae

Spinach

Kale

Cauliflower

Broccoli

Brussels sprouts

Kidney beans

Snacks-Omega-3 Fortified

There are multitudes of snacks doped with omega-3 fatty acids available. Have a look at the label when you spot them before buying.

Trek mix

Trail mix

Cranberries

Bar-Almond, cashew with flax

Organic multigrain bread

Penne pasta

Kellogg raisin bran cereal

Juices

Planters

Kids 7G Protein & Omega-3 Bar

Oils Fortified with and without Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The following oil you can find some of the omega-3 fortified and others as such. Perilla seed oil (4) is a Korean oil good for salad dressing and flavor enhancer but not recommended for cooking. So read the labels carefully before you buy any oil.

Perilla seed oil

Canola Oil

Sunflower oil

Walnut oil

Soybean oil

Corn oil

Mustard oil

Flaxseed oil

Extra virgin oil with Algal oil

Assorted Omega-3 Fortified Sources

Here are other sources of this important diet.

Multivitamins

Omega-3 supplements

Weight loss shake

Protein Powders

Meal replacement bars

Omega-3 Fortified Infant Food

Omega-3s play vital roles in brain health and development in early life and pregnancy. They lead to higher cognition and intelligence in babies. It is viewed as a smart supplement for kids. They are available in:

Baby cereal

Jars of baby foods

Infant formula

Takeaway

Omega-3 fatty acid rich diet deserves its place as a nutrient-filled diet in addressing vital brain health of humanity throughout its growth cycle, cardiovascular health, skin health to speak of some. Choose and pick your food with adequate diligence.

Buy organic, grass-fed, wild product when applicable and available. Choice of whole and wholesome, organically grown foods is better than supplements. Eat omega-3s as fresh as possible wherever applicable. They can be prone to oxidation. There are supplements if you have a problem finding omega-3 comprising food.

Too much of omega-3 fatty acid in your diet can adversely impact your health.

Talk to your doctor before you consume a large excess of supplements.

Anusuya Choudhury

18 Comments

  1. First off! What an extensive list of foods you have for gaining Omega-3. I used to take the capsule, but burping was not much fun. 

    I  like that you have described each omega-3 sections, I have never seen so many ways to absorb this nutrient. The only one I knew about was fish and flaxseed oil. But I now more choices where to obtain this valuable oil. Thank you. 

    • Hi Jagi,

      For burping- I would recommend you to check the oil for rancidity. Fish oil is perishable.

      Thank you.

  2. Thank you for writing about foods with omega-3 fatty acids. It is an important subject as you can see by how big the market for these Foods has grown. I take fish oil everyday but maybe it would be good if I ate some more fish. I definitely have omega-3 fortified eggs though. That is good. Thanks to your article I am more aware of what foods are giving me omega-3 and what are not. Very well written and I think it’s your article will help a lot of people.

    • Hi there,

      Thank you for your time reading the article about the list of Omega-3 foods. I am happy you enhanced your awareness. 

      It seems to a vital nutrient and should be in our diet.

  3. List of food with high Omega -3 Fatty Acids – Happy shopping of brain food – this article gave me a pause for a second, I thought it’s about the brain as food!. Then, of course, this is about all food that gives good nutrition for the brain, our brain. It said here that this brainfood would be almost a $19 billion industry by 2020. Nowadays, the new generation of young adults, in particular, are all becoming well informed and smarter. They wanted food that comes with all nutrition including brainpower. There are basic types of an Omega-3 fatty acid source: they are   EPA., DHA, and ALA. People like me are conscious of eating a diet that is good for lowering blood pressure and bad blood and food to prevent or cure diseases. Some food is seaweeds salmon, chia seeds, olive oil. DHA food could be found in fish such as mackerel, tuna, salmon Bass and halibut. others are egg and dairy-based. its a smart food it helps in cognitive development give good skin and prevent inflammation helps cure acne among others.  Why is that it’s almost all that I eat on a daily basis including broccoli and cauliflower? Great Review. I learned a lot.

    • Hi there,

      Thank you for pointing your confusion about brain food and clarifying it after visiting the site.

      It is better to be aware of smart nutrition and practice it for improved health. But several parts of the world are ignorant even of basic nutrition and suffering from more or less preventable chronic illnesses.

      The beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids you have mentioned is my following post on the website- “Omega-3 Fatty acids-Facts about healthy facts” has covered them in detail.

      As you have pointed out these foods help in cognition, giving you healthy skin which is the ambassador of your internal and external health. Anti-inflammatory foods as part of the diet benefit your health.

      5 servings of fruits and vegetables are essential for your health. They keep up your vitamins, minerals, serve as anti-oxidants. 

      We all should have optimal Vitamin-D nutrient as well.

  4. I agree with you that feeding is no longer done to fill the stomach. We are now keen with what we eat, and are always looking for what is beneficial to the entire body.

    I am learning a lot about Omega-3 Fatty Acid. it is impressive that it aids in brain development and cognitive development. The ability to also cure acne is just welcomed. I am glad that Omega-3 Fatty Acid can be found in simple and available product like fish, eggs and nuts. And they are tasty foods too so no hustle in feeding on them.

    Thank you for such an informative article.

    • Hi Carol,

      I am glad that you found the article informative.

      I also believe in the fact that anything that touches my mouth should be beneficial to my overall health. Omega-3 diet is the jewel of the crown in today’s life. 

      The great thing about is we have plenty of omega-3 food available to nourish with.

      Thank you for time and comment.

  5. Interesting that most Omega 3 rich foods seem to come from the sea. I know that I don’t eat enough different types of fish,   and wondered if a good Omega 3 supplement will have the same benefits? 

    At least I do include some of the other foods in my diet like kale, cauliflower, and oatmeal. I had no idea that flour was also rich in Omega 3 either.

    Thank you for a most informative post. I have certainly learned something new today.

    • Hi Michel,

      I am glad that you found this post informative. 

      The cold-water fish like salmon live on seaweeds and are rich with omega-3 containing EPA and DHA. But not everyone eats them or have access to them.

      We are lucky that nature provides many alternates resources. Plant sources of omega 3 are good but it is hard to get the required EPA and DHA from them.

      Omega-3 supplements are a good alternative. Ask your doctor for a recommendation.

      Thank you for your time reading the post.

  6. Wow! This is a really long list of of food with high omega 3 fatty acids…I have always depended on tonics for omega benefits and this is a really great effort in view that was carried out to put this together. I didn’t like fish at all and this is why i prefer tonics and with this review I think I have a lot of choices to make to grow my brain qualities. Thanks for this really helpful and value adding review.

    • Hi Willy,

      I was a vegetarian and had to shift to eat fish because of its multitude of benefits. I still don’t like the smell but I experience the benefits definitely.

      I prefer food than supplements but that is only me. The fact is as long as one is nourishing the body well either by food or supplements ot both we are all good.

      Thank you for sharing your experience.

  7. Anusuya, what a great article full of facts that I have only now been made aware. I’ve long known that Omega-3 is a must have when it comes to body specific foods, I was not familiar with all the differnt sources. It has given me some much needed insight as we’re a family of six. Two standard eaters (everything) Two full on vegetarians and two vegans, who do eat fish but not dairy, so you can see, having all the various foods laid out for me is a huge benefit.

    We do know from history that some countries that have a high ‘fish’ based diet do have longer living residents, no coincidence I’m sure. That’s another factor worth considering. 

    Looking through your extensive list, I was pleased to see plenty of items that were also on our dietary shopping selections. We have a high soya intake as well as most of the vegetables you list. Good to know that we’re not straying to far from the desired path

    • Hi Twack,

      I am glad that the article expanded your awareness. 

      It is great that there is a wide selection of these foods which can provide amazing health benefits.

      I like you mentioning about Soy protein. Soy was in a medical controversy for a while. Now scientists have shown that the phytoestrogens (flavonoids) are not responsible for increasing the estrogen levels.

      It is our advantage there are so many selections of this important healthy food to enjoy good health.

      Thank you for time reading the article and sharing your own experiences.

  8. As someone who follows a low carbohydrate, high fat lifestyle I eat many of these omega 3 fatty acid rich foods. Fish being my favorite. I love all kinds of fish. But I have also been taking an Omega 3 capsule daily for years. I noticed it really seems to help my joints. Recently I discovered Krill oil. Do you know if Krill is just as effective as Fish oil?

    • Krill oil can be as effective or maybe better than fish oil as per my read. But some people are found allergic to seafood and maybe so to krill oil. So take your doctor’s advice.

  9. I was not aware that so many foods have Omega in and I had no idea that flour was also rich in Omega 3 either. I also try to take omega caps as well as giving them to my kids. Omega is also helpful for kids with ADHD. I will also try to find krill oil I have not heard of it before. Thank you for such an informative article. 

    • Hi there,

      I am glad that you found this article informative. Omega-3 has been a must-add to diet for everyone. Fatty fish from cold water like wild-caught salmon is one of the best ones.

      Omega 3 is good for brain’s cognitive action and a whole lot of other things. Nature has gifted us with varieties of them to benefit our health from.

      Thank you for your time reading the article and providing your experience.

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