Omega-3 fatty acids are a trendy topic right now, especially with fish oil and omega-3 supplements being promoted on the market. But what about getting omega-3 from your diet? Is it possible?
Learn more about the top sources of omega-3s you should be including in your diet and how Pure Plates healthy meal delivery can play a role in upping your omega-3 intake.
What are omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, meaning, they can’t be created by the body and therefore need to be consumed by the diet. The two major forms of omega-3s are DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Plant sources contain another source of omega-3 called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). This source can be converted into EPA and DHA by the body. DHA and EPA are mainly found in animal foods. Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish, fish oils, flax seed, chia seed, and walnuts. For those that don’t consume a well varied and nourishing diet, you may need to take an omega-3 supplement. Those can be costly though, so we’re all about getting your omega-3s in through real food!
ALA (alpha-linolenic acid)
This is the most common type of omega-3 found in your diet. Your body mainly uses it for energy; however, it also can be converted into the other types of omega-3 as mentioned above. Overall, though, this process is quite inefficient and only a small amount can be converted to the active form. ALA is found in flax seed, chia seed, and soy beans.
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)
EPA is mainly found in animal products such as fish oils and fatty fish. EPA helps our circulatory system function properly, decreases fat in our blood, and can aid in swelling and pain. Part of EPA can also be converted into DHA.
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)
DHA is the most crucial omega-3 in the diet. DHA is the key structural component of many parts of our body including our eyes and brain. DHA is found in mostly animal products like fish, eggs, or meat.
Overall purpose of omega-3s
Now that we’ve talked about the different types of omega-3s, let’s dive into what omega-3’s truly does for our body. As we’ve mentioned, omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for our brain and eyes. While pregnant, it’s also important to focus on omega-3s as the overall health of the baby can be impacted. Research shows that adequate omega-3 intake can also play a role in our immunity. Those who consume enough omega-3s have a lower risk of breast cancer, depression, ADHD, and other illnesses. Have we mentioned that eating with Pure Plates also helps you to live a healthier, more nourishing life? Have prepared meals delivered straight to your door that are packed with omega-3s.
What sources should I be consuming?
Clearly omega-3s are crucial for our health, so what sources should you be consuming? Here are some of our top sources of omega-3s for optimal health.
1. Fatty fish (such as salmon, mackerel)
2. Chia seeds
3. Flax seed
Looking at this list, none of these are particularly hard to get into your diet, either! (Ok, unless you have a food allergy or intolerance). Salmon and other fatty fish can be incorporated into your routine 2-3x per week by roasting it on a baking sheet, sautéing it, or consuming as tinned fish. We love incorporating chia seeds and flax seeds in a smoothie, in a yogurt parfait, or baking up something fun with it. Walnuts are an easy topper to a salad or in trail mix as a snack. Lastly, soybeans are a great protein source in a stir fry or grain bowl.
Pure Plates can help you to incorporate more omega-3s in your routine so that you can optimize your health by using our meal prep services. Our meals are balanced, versatile, and nourishing, and can help you and your family to meet each of your individual goals and nutritional needs.
The bottom line
Omega-3 fatty acids are important to consume daily as high intake has been linked to better overall health, less inflammation, and reduced risk of disease. We recommend focusing on these top 5 omega-3 packed foods to up your omega-3 intake. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, focus on sources like chia seed, flax seeds, or walnuts. If you’re not sure if you’re consuming enough, contact your healthcare provider before starting a supplement. Pure Plates can have a place in your health by providing your prepared meals delivered straight to your door. No more second guessing what you’re eating – let us take care of your nourishment for you!