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Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are known for their significance to human nutrition and health. In this article find the sources of omega 3 fatty acids, making it easier for you to include them in your diet for good results.
Divya Bichu
To begin with, omega 3 fatty acids constitute a series of polyunsaturated fatty acids, of which, ALA (alpha linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are important from the nutrition point of view. These are essential fatty acids that cannot be synthesized by our body, but our body has the ability to form chains of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) from ALA (alpha linolenic acid). Now, DHA and EPA are complex types of fatty acids that are vital for the human body, whereas ALA is a simpler type of omega 3 fatty acids which is normally got from plant and seed sources. Omega 3 fatty acids contribute to various health and nutritional aspects along with enhancing immunity. In fact, there are people who swear by the intake to omega 3 supplements for good health. Now, the recommend dosage for omega 3 fatty acids for a normal person without any heart or other disorders is 1.6 grams for a man and 1.1 grams for a woman, on daily basis.

Best Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Fish and Fish Oil
The most popular and widely available source of omega 3 fatty acids is cold water fish. It is important to know that fishes do not synthesis these fatty acids themselves, but get them from the plankton or algae they feed on. Fishes like salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines have high content of omega 3 fatty acids whereas tuna, king mackerel, snapper have relatively low content of fatty acids in them. Fish oil is another important source of omega 3 fatty acids and comparatively cheaper as well.

Eggs & Meat
Corn, soybeans, canola seeds, flax, etc., make the major diet of hens. These dietary sources of hens are supposed to be rich in ALA. Eggs are produced by hens, hence eggs and meat both have high content of omega 3 fatty acids. It not just chicken meat that makes a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, but beef, lamb and kangaroo meat too serves a good amount of fatty acids.

Krill & Seal Oil
Krill is a water animal that feeds on plankton for its food, hence derives fatty acids from them. According to a new research and study Krill are said to have the maximum content of fatty acids in them. Seals too feed on plankton and other algae which ultimately makes them rich sources of omega 3 as well.

Sources of Omega 3 for Vegetarians

For those who are vegetarians or simply avoid eating fish, can resort to simpler sources of getting omega 3 fatty acids. These popular vegetarian sources are highly fortified with omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Seeds: Flaxseed or linseed is perhaps the most popular and widely used source of omega 3. Although it contains hardly any amount of DHA and EPA, but it is fortified with a very good amount of ALA which makes it the richest source of omega 3 even before fishes. Hemp seeds, sesame seeds and purslane (leafy vegetable) are other sources of omega 3.
  • Nuts: Nuts like butternuts, walnuts, pecan-nuts and hazelnuts are fantastic sources of omega 3 acids and taste delicious at the same time.
There are a few other micro algae like crypthecodinium cohnii and schizochytrium that are considered absolutely rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids. They are basically produced on a commercial basis in bioreactors. They are the only source vegans accept of and do not mind their intake. Since our body cannot make these omega 3 fatty acids, you have to include them through your diet. Include the above mentioned sources of omega 3 in your diet to boost your immune system and reduce the risk of heart diseases and other disorders.