7 Super Sources of Omega 3s

Pause                 1 of 8

7 Super Sources of Omega 3's

Written by Nicole Nichols, Health Educator

Omega-3 fatty acids are all the rage these days. Why? Because extensive research indicates that these heart-healthy fats may play a key role in keeping our brains and bodies healthy. A nutritious diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce inflammation, prevent heart disease and arthritis, positively impact behavior and cognitive function, and even help you look better (thanks to its skin enhancing properties).

There are actually three types of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are collectively referred to as omega 3s. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is found in plant sources, while DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) are found in fish and shellfish. Include the following foods in your diet to benefit from the amazing health-enhancing properties of all types of omega 3s.


Flaxseed is the richest source of ALA. Meet your omega 3 needs with 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed (3,800 mg of omega 3s). Learn more about storing and using flaxseed. Don't stop with this seed! Pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds also contain ALA.


This coldwater fish contains between 900 and 1,800 mg of DHA and EPA per 3-oz serving. While salmon is the most talked about source of omega 3s, the same size serving of lake trout can contain more (1,700 mg), while herring, halibut and flounder are also good sources of omega 3s. Aim for 2 servings (3-4 ounces cooked portion) of fish weekly. Learn more about fish selection and safety.

Enriched Eggs

Omega 3-enriched eggs contain all three types of omega-3 fatty acids, thanks to adding flaxseed or algae to the diets of egg-producing hens. These specialty eggs contain about 60-150 milligrams of omega 3s per egg. That may seem like a small amount compared to these other sources, but it's still three times the omega 3s you'd find in ordinary eggs, making enriched eggs another convenient way to get your omega 3s if you're not a fish eater. Up to 4 of these eggs weekly can easily fit into your heart-healthy lifestyle, according to the American Heart Association. Learn more about the nutrition profile of eggs.


Another excellent source of ALA (2,600 mg in 1 oz), walnuts can be sprinkled on salads, cereal, oatmeal and added to your favorite baked goods. Other nuts that contain omega 3s include pecans and butternuts (also called white walnuts).


You don't often hear about this plant source of omega 3s, but one serving of cooked soybeans contains more omega 3s (in the form of ALA) than some coldwater fish! Tofu, which is made from soybeans, contains omega 3s, too, but only about one-third as much as the whole cooked beans do. Add them to casseroles, soups, burritos or any other recipe that normally calls for beans.


This tiny fish are rich in DHA and EPA, and less expensive than other types of fish. Add them to sandwiches, pizzas, salads or as a topping for snack crackers or bread. Since canned sardines are higher in sodium, balance out your meal with low sodium fruits and veggies.

Canola Oil

Less expensive than olive oil, canola oil can also withstand higher cooker temperatures. This heart-healthy oil contains 1,300 mg of omega 3s per tablespoon (more than olive oil), but both make excellent choices for increasing your consumption of the omega 3 ALA.

How can I get more omega 3 fatty acids in my daily meals? from World's Healthiest Foods.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids, from World's Healthiest Foods.

This content has been reviewed and approved by Becky Hand, MS, licensed and registered dietitian.

See more nutrition slideshows Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints

Member Comments on this Slideshow

(scroll to end to leave a comment)


10/22/2010 6:33:05 PM

Great infortions.Thanks!!


10/18/2010 5:09:09 PM

MARGIE100%PURE's SparkPage
Meadow graised bison has more omega fatty acids than cafo raised beef.


10/15/2010 4:45:59 PM

i eat fish every once in while not every week but when i can i do eat alot of tuna and red snapper and some salmon so i do get my Omega'-3 since i can't have eggs anymore.because their dairy product.


10/15/2010 3:47:49 PM

I eat a half ounce of walnuts every day. I buy the"jumbo" bag of shelled walnuts at Costco and keep them in the fridge to keep them fresh. I even keep a bag of back-ups in the freezer. They freeze for up to a year.


10/14/2010 1:41:56 PM

Mmm Sardines...


10/14/2010 12:39:55 PM

I love flax seed and so does my 13 year old son! I was shocked that he likes it. We keep it near the salt and shake it on lots of food. It also helps as a reminder to stay away from that salt!


10/14/2010 12:07:30 AM

As a vegetarian, I struggle with this. Flaxseed Oil and supplements and canola oil are great, but I don't know how to get DHA for heart health.


10/13/2010 11:16:45 PM

I love sardines! Not too keen on flaxseed ! Have tried it different ways, but no go!


10/13/2010 8:01:14 PM

So by adding soymilk and flax seed to my morning serving of Cream of Rice, eating Edamame in my salads or just as a meal vegetable, walnuts in my homemade trail mix, and using canola oil for sauteeing my onions & garlic must put me in the top of the Omega 3 charts! YeeHaw! *S*


10/13/2010 5:31:04 PM

My body LOVES the O~3s! Thanks for sharing. ;)


10/13/2010 1:08:13 PM

GIVEUP30's SparkPage
great info


10/13/2010 12:12:44 PM

Thanks for the information!


10/13/2010 12:10:19 PM

SMILLER52's SparkPage
Nice to see most are plant origin, as I am vegetarian!


10/13/2010 10:48:34 AM

RDAKZOOM's SparkPage
I am sooooo SORRY!!! MY BAD!! I didn't see the arrows for the next page of the "slide show".
Forgive me????



10/13/2010 10:47:17 AM

RDAKZOOM's SparkPage
I am missing something here.

It says, "Include the following foods in your diet to benefit from the amazing health-enhancing properties of all types of Omega-3s. "

WELL!?! What ARE the "following foods"??? There's no foods following the article.

What's up with that?!?

Comment Pages (25 total)

x Lose 10 Pounds by June 7! Sign up with Email Sign up with Facebook
By clicking one of the above buttons, you're indicating that you have read and agree to SparkPeople's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and that you're at least 18 years of age.