If you’ve seen omega fatty acids listed on the nutritional label of your multivitamins but are still confused as to what they actually do for your body, you’re not alone.
“Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are the two types of omega fatty acids that are beneficial to human health,” says nutritionist and health coach Deidre Bloomquist. “Omega-6 fatty acids play an important role in the inflammatory process in the body and are typically pro-inflammatory. Omega-3 fatty acids are much less common and are also anti-inflammatory,” Bloomquist says.
So how can you add more of this nutrient into your diet? Keep reading below to find out.
Invest in flaxseed and chia seeds
“Sprinkle flaxseed or chia seed into foods you already eat,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Samantha Harmon. You can sprinkle them into foods such as cereal, granola, oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies, and salads, she suggests. They can also be baked into cookies, muffins, and bread.
“Common fish and shellfish in sushi like salmon, tuna, shrimp, and lobster are high in omega-3 fatty acids,” Harmon says. And since you should try to have fatty fish at least twice a week, she suggests that ordering sushi gets you halfway there without even having to cook.
Snack on edamame
“Edamame beans are rich in omega-3 fatty acids,” Harmon explains. To make an easy and guiltless snack, she recommends purchasing frozen edamame that you can microwave or boil. Once your edamame beans are completely cooked, lightly season them with salt, garlic, or chili sauce.
Grab some canned salmon
“Canned salmon is one easy way to add more omega-3s to your diet,” says registered dietitian Patricia Bannan. Cans also offer a long shelf life, she adds, which makes them easy to stock away in your cabinets and use at your convenience. To make a truly nourishing snack, feel free to mix your canned salmon with avocado, chopped veggies, and olive oil.
Eat certain plant-based foods
“While fish and fish oils are among the most popular forms of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, some plant-based foods also contain omega-3s,” Bannan says. These foods usually include flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, kidney beans, and Brussel sprouts. However, she explains that it’s important to keep in mind that while plant-based foods with ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) provide essential nutrients for the body, only a small amount can be converted into EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). That means you will need to eat foods or take supplements with those nutrients.
Consider taking supplements
“If you still don’t consume enough EPA and DHA in your diet (and unfortunately most Americans do not), an omega-3 supplement can help you achieve optimal levels,” Bannan advises.
xx, The FabFitFun Team