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
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.
Fresh Tuna, Albacore
Branzino (European sea bass)
Eggs and Diary- Fortified with Omega-3 Fatty Acid
You are more likely to have omega-3 fortified eggs and dairy. They are:
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.
Chia seeds (10)
Almonds and almond butter
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:
There are multitudes of snacks doped with omega-3 fatty acids available. Have a look at the label when you spot them before buying.
Bar-Almond, cashew with flax
Organic multigrain bread
Kellogg raisin bran cereal
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
Extra virgin oil with Algal oil
Assorted Omega-3 Fortified Sources
Here are other sources of this important diet.
Weight loss shake
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:
Jars of baby foods
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.