No doubt you’ve all heard at least once that omega 3 fats are excellent for your health, particularly where heart health is concerned as it can help lower triglycerides (a fat that goes into our blood after we eat), as well as improving circulation, preventing blood clots and lowering your blood pressure.
If you’re not sure you’re getting sufficient nutrition from your diet you can always take omega 3 supplements as well, just so you know that you’re getting the nutrients you need to live a long, happy, healthy life.
As Heart UK The Cholesterol Charity explains, there are different types of omega 3s that can give us a health boost but they come from different sources, which is worth bearing in mind if you’re looking to make a few dietary changes in order to get more of these fats.
Alpha linolenic acid (ALA), for example, is essential for our health but we can’t produce it naturally, so we need to get it from our diet, typically from the likes of nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.
We need both eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid omega 3 fats to maintain a healthy heart and blood circulation. We can make some of these fats from the fats in the food we eat, but not very much - so it’s recommended that you try and eat produce that already has them in it.
But what are the best sources of omega 3 fats and will it be difficult to incorporate them into your diet? You may well have already heard that oily fish is one of the best sources of omega 3, whether it’s fresh, frozen or canned. From salmon, pilchards, herring and carp to sprats, sardines, anchovies and trout, you could certainly have a very varied weekly menu indeed!
You do need to take care that you don’t overeat on the fish, however, since some will contain small amounts of metals and chemicals, which could be harmful if you eat a lot of it. Aim to have no more than four portions of oily fish a week.
The vegans out there needn’t worry that they’re not covered when it comes to omega 3 fats, however. There are plenty of other plant-based sources out there that can help you meet your daily allowance.
Flax seeds, for example, are a really rich source of ALA omega 3 fats - simply sprinkle them on food or put them in smoothies to get an omega 3 hit as and when required.
Chia seeds are also not just a great source of protein but of omega 3s, as well. They’re seriously nutritious even though they’re so tiny, rich in nutrients like magnesium, selenium and manganese. They’re also quite fun to eat and soak up liquids easily, expanding in size as they do!