Add omega-3-rich foods to the list of superfoods. What’s the big deal about them anyway? Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients for building new tissue and are vital to healthy heart function. Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fats that are in the class of good cholesterol and help to combat the effects of bad cholesterol on the body’s circulatory system. Omega-3s can be found in three forms. Two of them, DHA and EPA, are commonly found in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. The third form, ALA, can be found in seeds, nuts and pasture-fed animals like cattle. These 10 foods provide the essential omega-3s your body needs to function properly.
These green legumes of the soy bean family are quite often mistaken for the mature soy bean seeds. Instead of snacking on high sodium crackers or flour-based processed snacks, edamame beans are an excellent alternative. You can buy them already roasted and ready for snacking, or slightly cooked for eating in a salad or any other recipes you might prefer.
2. Wild Rice
Another rich source of omega 3s is wild rice. The name can be quite deceptive, even though it is called wild “rice”, it is not rice but a grass. Besides being a grass, most of it is grown on farms, so it’s not wild at all! Despite all its naming inconsistencies, wild rice is a great go-to for your essential omega-3s and can easily replace white and brown rice in your diet.
Walnuts are rich with polyunsaturated fats and stand out from other popular nuts because of their high levels of omega-3s. Walnuts can be snacked on by themselves or processed into walnut oil for preparing stir-fry vegetable recipes.
4. Canola Oil
Canola plants, a modified form of the grapeseed plant, was first grown as a biodiesel fuel and it generated lots of interest because of its exemplary flow properties in cold weather. Canola has the highest omega-3 content of all common cooking oils.
5. Winter Squash
Winter squash, which includes varieties like acorn squash, turban squash, pumpkins and butternut squash, are particularly known for having much higher concentrations of omega-3 than their summertime relatives making them excellent additions to any meals or recipes.
Better known as one of the common ingredients of some breakfast cereals, flax can be purchased as oil or as seeds, which ban be eaten on their own as a healthy snack. 60% of their fat is omega-3.
7. Chia Seeds
These little seeds have been used for centuries by ancient cultures like the Aztecs and Mayans as a source of energy on long journeys. They’re rich in proteins—twice as much as in most common grains—and are excellent sources of calcium, soluble fiber and antioxidants. They’re also rich in omega-3s and can be bought from health food stores.
8. Kidney Beans
Besides being low in fat and a relatively high in protein, beans are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Beans are quite the super food aren’t they? They can be cooked by themselves and also added to several recipes.
9. Cold Water Fish
Anchovies, bluefin tuna, mackerel and salmon, being cold water fish, are particularly rich in omega-3 acids. Do your research on fish though, there are questions about the sustainability of the wild salmon and mackerel populations, as well as the marine life that depend on them.
Cauliflower is rich in omega-3s and are considered excellent reservoirs of mineral nutrients like potassium, magnesium and niacin.