- Functional Food for your Genes
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Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients found in algae, fish oil, olive oil, walnuts, soybeans, and other plant foods. They’re important because they play an active role in inflammation, brain development, immune system function, and cardiovascular health. The 3 principal omega-3 fatty acids are:
- Alpha Linolenic Acids (ALAs) – found in plant foods
- Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) – found in algae and seafood
- Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) – found in algae and seafood
Many health organizations in the United States and Europe recommend that healthy persons ingest at least 250–500 mg of EPA and DHA each day. You can get there by consuming 10ml of our unique High Phenolic Olive + Algae Vegan Omega 3 Oil (EPA DHA ALA), which has an ideal omega 6 to omega 3 ratio (1.5:1). But there are so many healthy food combinations out there that are worthy of your attention when it comes to a rich diet in omega-3 fatty acids, e.g. fatty fish, algae, several high-fat plant food, and many more.
At MILESTONE®, we strictly select the best natural formulations and avoid synthetic ingredients. For this reason, we have created a list of the top 5 natural foods containing the most omega-3 fatty acids 1 2. The good news is that you don’t have to buy supplements to get your fill; instead, add the omega-3 functional foods listed below into your diet. You may also check out our cornerstone article on the amazing omega-3 health benefits.
5 Foods Full with Omega-3 Fatty Acids
According to the National Institutes of Health 3, we’ve discovered some of the most functional and tasty food sources of omega-3 fatty acids. We used the USDA’s food database 4 to calculate the omega-3 content of the foods mentioned below, totaling the ALA, DHA, EPA, and DPA for each one. Consume as much as you can while waiting for the benefits to start!
1. High Phenolic Olive + Algae Omega 3 Oil
Omega-3 content: 250 mg per 10ml (raw)
Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio: 1.5:1
It is the most natural and highly concentrated omega-3 functional food that we are aware of. And yes, it tops our list because it has unparalleled qualities. It originates from the combination of the powerful properties of the olive tree and algae. Our formula supplies you with 250mg of the best vegan omega 3s (10ml / day), together with a set of bioactive compounds with pharmacological properties, e.g. oleacin, oleocanthal, oleuropein, elenolide, tyrosol, hydroxytyrosol. The concentration of olive oil polyphenols is among the highest in the world and always exceeds 500mg/kg. Olive oil polyphenols will certainly contribute to the reduction of your oxidative stress markers.
Omega-3 content: 1500 mg per serving
Salmon is one of the world’s most nutrient-dense foods but it is also among the most controversial ones. Salmon farms have been chastised for their environmental impacts, but the possible human health concerns of eating farmed salmon have not been thoroughly investigated. Researchers from the University of Indiana Bloomington found that concentrations of organochlorine pollutants are much greater in farmed salmon than in wild salmon after analyzing approximately 2 metric tons of farmed and wild salmon from throughout the world. 5. We would always advise you to eat wild food, and avoid food that is produced under intensified farming methods, which goes much beyond just salmon. It is true however that salmon is packed with high-quality protein and a wide range of minerals, including plenty of vitamin D, selenium, and B vitamins 6 and it is definitely a great food to eat. Just make sure that you eat the right food from the best origin.
Omega-3 content: 1500mg per 100 gr
Sardines are small oily fish typically served as an appetizer, snack, or delicacy. They’re packed with nutrients, especially if eaten whole. They have nearly every nutrient your body needs. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of drained sardines contains about 370 percent of the daily value (DV) for vitamin B12, 24 percent for vitamin D, and 96 percent for selenium. Tip to remember: the sardine lipid content changes in accordance with the fishing season. Choose to eat sardines in spring or idealy summer when the lipid content is at the highest levels 7.
4. Seaweed & Algae
Omega-3 content: depends on the type of algae
Many individuals consume algae such as seaweed, nori, spirulina, and chlorella for their health advantages 8 9. Because they are one of the few plant categories that contain DHA and EPA, seaweed and algae are essential sources of omega-3 for vegetarians and vegans. The amount of DHA and EPA in a product varies based on the type of algae and the product.
5. Hemp seeds
Omega-3 content: 156 mg per 1 cup (cooked)
Every 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds has 868 g of ALA (tbsp). They also include a variety of nutrients, including: magnesium, iron, and zinc are all found in protein. Hemp seeds have been shown to be beneficial to the heart, digestion, and skin in studies 10. There are many other great foods for omega-3 plant-based sources that you can reach out: Beans, Soybeans, Hemp Seeds, Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds and Walnuts among others.
Supplements vs Real Food
As the health benefits of omega-3 have been more well known, people have begun storing omega-3 capsules to supplement their regular consumption; however, researchers have shown that this may not be the most effective approach to gain their health benefits.
“The greatest method to obtain more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is through food,” Elizabeth Johnson, a Tufts University researcher who studies the function of antioxidants in eye and brain health, told NPR. So, if you’ve been paying for fish-oil tablets, consider this excellent news: You can stop taking those horse-pill-sized gel caps and start eating actual food again, with functional properties and real health benefits.
Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary nutrients that can be obtained from foods or supplements. DHA, EPA, and ALA are the three kinds of omega-3s. It has been shown through research that you better choose to receive them via foods since the absorption and overall health effects are much higher as opposed to supplements. Functional foods for omega 3 fatty acids may safeguard heart health, boost cognitive performance, and reduce the risk of developing various chronic diseases.
A Word From MILESTONE®
MILESTONE® Food for your Genes uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
- Vannice G, Rasmussen H. Position of the academy of nutrition and dietetics: dietary fatty acids for healthy adults. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014 Jan;114(1):136-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2013.11.001. Erratum in: J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014 Apr;114(4):644. PMID: 24342605.
- European Food Safety Authority
- National Institute of Health
- USDA Food Database
- Hites RA, Foran JA, Carpenter DO, Hamilton MC, Knuth BA, Schwager SJ. Global assessment of organic contaminants in farmed salmon. Science. 2004 Jan 9;303(5655):226-9. doi: 10.1126/science.1091447. PMID: 14716013.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- De Leonardis A, Macciola V. A study on the lipid fraction of Adriatic sardine filets (Sardina pilchardus). Nahrung. 2004 Jun;48(3):209-12. doi: 10.1002/food.200300408. PMID: 15285113.
- Admassu H, Gasmalla MAA, Yang R, Zhao W. Bioactive Peptides Derived from Seaweed Protein and Their Health Benefits: Antihypertensive, Antioxidant, and Antidiabetic Properties. J Food Sci. 2018 Jan;83(1):6-16. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.14011. Epub 2017 Dec 11. PMID: 29227526.
- Doughman SD, Krupanidhi S, Sanjeevi CB. Omega-3 fatty acids for nutrition and medicine: considering microalgae oil as a vegetarian source of EPA and DHA. Curr Diabetes Rev. 2007 Aug;3(3):198-203. doi: 10.2174/157339907781368968. PMID: 18220672.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture