Omega-3 fatty acids are a healthy type of fat that is found in a variety of foods. Some people choose to supplement omega-3 fatty acids by taking fish oils as well. The reason that omega-3 fatty acids have become so popular in recent years is that they provide a plethora of nutritional benefits. The Mayo Clinic explains that omega-3 fatty acids, which contain the compounds DHA and EPA, can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. They can also reduce high blood pressure and lower triglyceride levels in the body. Taking a fish oil supplement is not necessary to get omega-3 fatty acids, since it is found in foods that you can eat every day.
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Eat walnuts for an afternoon snack every day. The World's Healthiest Foods website states that walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, with about 2.3 grams or 50 percent of an adult's daily recommended intake of omega-3 fatty acids per quarter cup. It is important not to over-eat nuts, since they are high in calories. Yet, eating a handful or a quarter of a cup of walnuts a day is a good way to boost your omega-3 fatty acid intake. Try measuring walnuts ahead of time and putting them into individual baggies so you have them with you in the car or at work.
Another good source of omega-3 fatty acids is olive oil, states the Mayo Clinic. Use olive oil when using cooking methods like stir-frying and sautéing foods. Just like nuts, it is important not to over-use olive oil, since it is dense in calories. Yet, if you already use butter or a different type of oil in cooking, replacing it with olive oil will add minimal calories while increasing your omega-3 fatty acid intake.
Stir in crushed flax seeds into your yogurt or oatmeal a few times a week. Flax seeds are small, crunchy seeds that are full of omega-3 fatty acids. They can be purchased in almost any health food store. When eaten alone, they taste nutty, but when used in other foods like yogurt or oatmeal, they are practically tasteless. If you prefer, you can also blend the seeds into smoothies a few mornings each week.
Replace a dinner containing meat once a week with a meal that has fish or shellfish. The World's Healthiest Foods website states that there are about 2.1 g of omega-3 fatty acids in 4 ounces of salmon and 1.1 g in 4 ounces of scallops. Meats like beef and chicken do not contain omega-3 fatty acids. Make a habit of trying "Meatless Mondays" using seafood to replace land meats.