Omega three is found in the food we eat. Actually, maybe I better say – in the food we should eat!
The sources of omega three fatty acids range across a wide variety of foods.
Those with more significant content include:
- Fish – specifically oily fish, wild salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, tuna
- Nuts – walnuts, butternuts (white walnuts)
- Dark leafy vegetables – fresh basil, spinach, chinese broccoli
- Seeds – flax seed / linseed, chia seeds
- Artificially boosted foods – e.g. omega three eggs
But There’s A Problem – Actually, Two!
The first problem is that some of these sources contain much less omega three than similar quantities of others.
A good quality fresh wild salmon fillet for example should meet your requirements, if following the general guidelines of eating it twice a week. But you might struggle to eat enough fresh spinach, as by weight it only has about a quarter of the omega three the salmon has.
And of course not all varieties of the same food type contain the same quantities.
So whilst walnuts are high in omega three, almonds are not.
And wild salmon is high in in omega three, but farmed salmon is not.
But there’s the second BIGGER problem too.
It’s not as simple as just ‘omega three’ anymore. Because researchers have learnt so much more about this substance.
It’s All About The Long Chain
Long chain fatty acids are now known to be highly important for healthy function of the bodily systems.
The best known and researched are EPA and DHA. And DHA is where most of the benefits of omega three come from – everything from healthy brain function to heart health.
And DHA only comes from oily fish. There is currently no known plant source that provides significant DHA quantities.
The Best Sources Of Omega Three Fatty Acids
So whilst some foods give very useful quantities of omega three, if you really want to get the full benefits – oily fish has to be the answer.
You just have to be careful of the latest health advisories. And make sure you avoid fish that contains high levels of pollution such as mercury and other heavy metals.
Or you could do like I do, and take the easy option, and get your omega three from top notch molecular filtered fish oil capsules instead. These give you all the omega three and DHA you need, but strip out virtually every possible trace of those toxic metals.
I know there are supposed to be ‘safe levels’ of these contaminants, but I’d just rather not take the risk any longer!
Watch out for low quality fish oil supplements too though. Fish oil capsules should never smell or taste fishy. The ones I use are the freshest you can get. The manufacturers are meticulous about freshness throughout the manufacturing process.