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Foods rich in omega 3: essential list

“Omega 3 is good for us, especially because it is beneficial for our heart.” This is what we can hear without really knowing why or how to benefit from omega 3.

Our main source of fuel is food, and this is where we can get our daily essential omega 3s.

So where exactly can you find them? What foods rich in omega 3 should you put in your basket during your next shopping trip? We tell you everything.

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I. What is omega 3?

Many people think they know what omega 3 really is and yet when it comes to defining them... That's the problem! Don't panic, we're here to explain everything to you as clearly as possible.

“Definition” of omega 3

Let's start at the beginning: omega 3 is part of the family of so-called essential fatty acids, which means that they must be supplied through food because the body cannot produce them.

Quick minute… Can we define the term fatty acid? 🤔

Fatty acids are part of the lipid family and are divided into three groups:
1/ unsaturated = omega 3 and 6 (called “poly-unsaturated” and essential) and 9 (called “mono-unsaturated”),
2/ saturated = meats, coconut oil, butter
3/ trans = pastries, biscuits, fried foods…

They play an essential role in the systems: nervous, cardiovascular, hormonal and immune. They store energy and play a role in the structure of cell membranes.

Coming back to our omega 3, they are part of the group of unsaturated fatty acids and are undeniably the stars of this category, given their proven benefits for our body.

Pssst: The number 3 means that the first double bond of the fatty acid molecule is located 3 carbon atoms further than the “omega” end. (oops we lost you there, right?)

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The different types of omega 3

Just as there are different types of fatty acids, there are also different types of omega 3: ALA, EPA and DHA. The latter two are considered the most beneficial forms of omega 3 for our body. Let's take a closer look:

  1. Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA): ALA is a precursor of other omega 3s.
    It is converted to EPA and DHA in the body, although this conversion is not very efficient. ALA is the only omega 3 classified as “essential”, because the others can be synthesized from it by the body.

  2. Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA): EPA is particularly good for our heart. Indeed, it helps maintain normal blood triglyceride concentrations, and also promotes healthy blood pressure.

  3. Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA): DHA is essential for our brains, especially during early development. It is also important for vision, skin and immune function.

Psst: If you want to know even more, we have prepared a comprehensive article that will allow you to become a true expert in omega 3.

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Omega 3

Ultra pure fish oil concentrated in essential omega 3 fatty acids (90% triglycerides).

  • ✅ Ultra pure EPAX® fish oil
  • ✅ 800 mg EPA & 600 mg DHA
  • ✅ Friend of the Sea®
  • ✅ Minimal oxidation (Totox < 3)
See the product sheet

What are omega 3 used for?

Okay, now that the little chemistry lesson is over, let's move on to the practical part: what do omega 3s do to our body ? Why is it so important to eat foods rich in omega 3 ?

Support for the cardiovascular system

Foods rich in omega 3 , particularly EPA and DHA, are important for heart function. They help lower triglyceride levels, regulate blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of heart and brain problems. This is THE best-known function of omega 3.

Support for the brain and nervous system

DHA is essential for the brain, supporting its growth and development, making it a vital nutrient during pregnancy and childhood. Omega 3s have also been shown to benefit brain and mental function by improving focus and cognition.

Reduction of inflammation

Omega 3 will reduce the production of inflammatory chemicals by our immune system, thus contributing to our overall balance.

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Omega 3

Ultra pure fish oil concentrated in essential omega 3 fatty acids (90% triglycerides).

  • ✅ Ultra pure EPAX® fish oil
  • ✅ 800 mg EPA & 600 mg DHA
  • ✅ Friend of the Sea®
  • ✅ Minimal oxidation (Totox < 3)
See the product sheet

Immune system support

By regulating inflammation in the body, they benefit the immune response.
Result ? Better resistance to infections and a more effective immune response.

💡Good to know: A recent clinical study has shown the benefits of omega 3 on the immune system in the context of covid-19.

Skin health

Foods rich in omega 3 help maintain skin beauty by improving the skin barrier and helping prevent dryness and sensitivity of the skin.

What are our omega 3 needs?

Omega 3 requirements are still poorly defined, but on average, nutritional recommendations suggest :

  1. approx. 2 g of omega 3 ALA per day;

  2. approx. 250 mg of DHA per day;

  3. approx. 250 mg of EPA per day.

However, these needs may vary. For example, pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as growing children, may need higher amounts of omega 3, particularly DHA, to support healthy brain and nervous system development.

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Foods rich in omega 3 of plant origin

Plant foods contain only alpha-linolenic acid (you know, the precursor to EPA and DHA). Here is a non-exhaustive list of plant foods rich in omega 3, accompanied by the dosages necessary to achieve the sufficient quantity of ALA.

  1. Flax and chia seeds = About 1 to 2 tablespoons.

  2. Linseed, walnut and rapeseed oil = 1 tablespoon.

  3. Nuts and especially walnuts = About 1 to 2 handfuls. Also think about pistachios and hazelnuts!

The health benefits of plant omega 3?

ALA, as a precursor to other omega 3s, provides an option for vegetarians and vegans, as it can be converted to EPA and DHA to some extent (although this conversion is not very efficient).

But the great advantage of plant products rich in ALA is the fact that they will provide vitamins, antioxidants and minerals to those who consume them.

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Foods rich in omega 3 of animal origin

Stars of omega 3, concentrates of EPA and DHA, foods of animal origin and more particularly fatty fish constitute a complete source of these essential fatty acids to meet your needs. Here are the winners:

  1. Wild salmon;

  2. Trout;

  3. Mackerel;

  4. Herring;

  5. Sardines;

  6. Cod;

  7. Anchovies;

  8. Cod liver oil (yum 😅).

Seafood, a good source of omega 3, also deserves a place on your shopping list.

The benefits of omega 3 of animal origin

Omega 3 of animal origin, in particular EPA and DHA, have better bioavailability and are directly usable by the human body. They also have more marked beneficial effects on the cardiovascular sphere compared to their counterparts of plant origin, such as ALA.

We recommend you

best omega 3

Omega 3

Ultra pure fish oil concentrated in essential omega 3 fatty acids (90% triglycerides).

  • ✅ Ultra pure EPAX® fish oil
  • ✅ 800 mg EPA & 600 mg DHA
  • ✅ Friend of the Sea®
  • ✅ Minimal oxidation (Totox < 3)
See the product sheet

Top 5 foods rich in omega 3 to favor

Okay so concretely, what do we eat to boost omega 3 reserves?
If you want the best of the best foods rich in omega 3 , this is where it happens.

Ranking of foods richest in omega 3

To maximize your omega 3 intake (and make your life easier) we have brought together the five foods that stand out for their exceptional content of these essential fatty acids:

  1. 1/ Nuts: Nuts provide a good amount of omega 3 (ALA),

  2. 2/ Linseed seeds and oil: The best of the best from ALA

  3. 3/ Wild salmon: This fatty fish is a rich source of EPA and DHA. The term “wild” is important because wild fish contain fewer heavy metals and are therefore better for your body!

  4. 4/ Sardines: cooked or canned.

  5. 5/ Mackerel: This fatty fish that we don't always think about is a good source of omega 3.

It's time to stock up on foods rich in omega 3 !

Tips/recipes for incorporating these foods into your diet

Does the idea of ​​eating salmon or mackerel every week bore you? 😅
We understand you! Here are some practical tips for incorporating foods rich in omega 3 into your daily diet:

  1. Add grilled salmon to your salads for a touch of freshness and flavor.

  2. Sprinkle ground flax seeds on your yogurt or smoothie bowls.

  3. Try sardines as an appetizer or starter.

  4. Snack on walnuts (and other tree nuts) as a snack or incorporate them into your cooking recipes.

  5. Whatever happens, always use flaxseed oil, canola oil or even soybean oil to season your salads. Vary the oils!

Omega 3 supplementation

Modern food is not always enough to meet our needs, especially in times of stress or those prone to fatigue such as fall and winter.

In addition to a balanced diet, we recommend that you follow omega 3 cures, with the possibility of renewing them.

But be careful not to choose just any omega 3 food supplement . It is essential to choose it carefully.

Our Omega 3 supplement contains EPAX® fish oil, renowned for its exceptional purity and high concentration of EPA and DHA, providing optimal bioavailability.

And let’s face it… Our supplements are still more convenient to consume and less odorous than grilled sardines!

at table

At table !

In summary, opt for a balanced diet by diversifying foods rich in omega 3 . Make sure to consume omega 3-rich oils daily for ALA intake, and don't forget to include fish in your diet once or twice a week to get the benefits of EPA and DHA.

Finally, if you feel like it, our omega 3 capsules, ready to support you in this process, are waiting for you!

Eloise Dubois-Gaché - Naturopath

Naturopath and FENA certified

Thanks to her solid experience in different herbalists, Eloïse includes, if necessary, complete and precise advice in phytotherapy, aromatherapy, gemmotherapy and micro-nutrition when setting up a personalized and adapted lifestyle program to everyone.

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