Eat Empowered, Healthy Eating Tips, Inflammation

How to Incorporate Omega-3s into Every Meal

Oh, omega-3s. You’ve heard the magic word many times and are already a believer, right?

While they don’t have the sexiest scientific name, the fatty acids are often referred to as “good fats” or “healthy fats.” They should be.

In the body, omega-3s are involved in the formation of cell membranes, the production of important hormones, and regulating genetic function. Because of these many roles, they’ve been linked to reducing inflammation, boosting heart health, and numerous brain benefits like decreased risk of depression and sharper cognition and memory.

FYI, they’re grouped into two categories: the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) variety, found in plants, and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) varieties, found in fatty fish.

This means there are options for all eaters, with an important caveat: The body needs to convert ALA to EPA and DHA to use it, and that process is incredibly inefficient. How much gets converted is affected by many factors and estimates vary (from 0 to about 20 percent). So you’ll need to incorporate many more omega-3-rich foods into your diet if you’re sticking to plant-based sources.

We recommend getting in at least two omega-3-rich foods per day, but if you can work ‘em into every meal, why not? Give it a shot by starting with these seven foods, all of which are excellent sources. We’re sharing each with an easy (and delicious!) way to eat it.

Foods High in Omega-3s

Chia Seeds

Sprinkle them on oatmeal or yogurt in the morning, add them to a dessert like Dark Chocolate Superfood Bark, or bake them into healthy Morning Glory Muffins.

Salmon

Eat it smoked on a tartine for lunch or simply broiled for dinner.

Walnuts

Walnuts are great on a salad, over chicken for dinner, or spiced up as a simple snack.

Flaxseed

These Pumpkin Flaxseed Pancakes are kind of to die for. You can also use flaxseed oil in salad dressings.

Canned Tuna

What’s easier than a yummy Tuna and Chickpea Salad for a fast lunch?

Olive oil

EVOO is a staple you likely already use in nearly everything—salad dressing, sautes, etc. How about a Broccoli Rabe Pesto Hummus?

Avocado

Another versatile food. Throw it in a post-workout smoothie, turn it into a dip for snacking. Better yet, eat it over fish, for an omega double-hitter.