While I personally am a huge advocate for supplementing with a high quality fish oil others may not be. What then? What foods can you eat in order to make sure that you are getting adequate omega 3's into your diet?
Your body can convert some of it's ALA to DHA and EPA but we are not very efficient at doing so. It is therefore important to try and balance your sources of omega 3's in order to consume adequate amounts of all three fatty acids.
1. Pasture Raised Eggs
Now pasture raised eggs are available at many farmers markets and health food stores but for some they may be difficult to come by.
Ever seen eggs that say enriched with omega 3's? Farmers can control this enriching process by feeding their hens grub that is rich in ALA, DHA, and EPA. Foods such as flax seed, fish oil, and algae.
While this is an improvement my recommendation is to seek out those delicious deep yellow yolks that come from truly pasture raised hens.
2. Fatty Fish
Now if you are anything like me you look at this list and with the exception of wild salmon it isn't too appetizing. Not only that but unless you live by the ocean wild caught salmon can be difficult to come by year round. Hence why I like to supplement with fish oil.
That being said if you love all these fish and have adequate access to them they are excellent sources of omega 3's. They not only provide ALA, but also consist of high levels of DHA and EPA.
Flaxseed is different. It contains about 3 times as many omega 3's compared to omega 6's. These omega 3's are in the oil of the seed. Your body best metabolizes flax when either ground or you consume the oil strictly by itself (Note: flaxseed oil has a low smoke point so it is best used on salads, vegetables, etc. rather than as a cooking oil).
5. Chia Seeds
Therefore you will get the most health benefits if you combine chia seeds with a good source of DHA and EPA.
Not only is it important to eat foods rich in omega 3's, like these 5 foods listed above, but it is equally important to reduce foods rich on omega 6's as we tend to consume a lot of the latter.
Therefore reduce your consumption of industrial seed oils such as...
- Soybean Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Vegetable Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Corn Oil
- Cottonseed Oil
Eat more omega 3's, less omega 6's, re-balance your omega 3:6 ratio, and start to wreak the health benefits.
Live Your Best Life!