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Omega-3 Power – Heart Loving Superfoods

When you think about eating a balanced diet, vitamins and minerals quickly come to mind as the nutrients that your body needs to function at its best, but there is another type of nutrient that your body requires--omega fatty acids. Many Americans don't get enough of one of these essential nutrients, omega-3. In the body, omega-3 fatty acid plays a number of important roles and is shown to promote heart health. Some studies even indicate that getting enough omega-3 fatty acid in your diet can lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels and greatly reduce your risk of heart disease.
While not found in many foods, there are some delicious sources of omega-3 fatty acids out there that you can incorporate into your diet, including:
- Flax seed oil - Flax seeds are very high in omega-3 fatty acid, and their oil provides roughly 12059 milligrams per serving. Flax seed oil has a nutty flavor that makes it a wonderful addition to salad dressings. Do not cook with flax seed oil, as it cannot stand up to high heat.
- Salmon - A serving of wild-caught Atlantic salmon contains around 2841 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids when broiled, roasted or grilled. You can enjoy salmon atop a salad, eat it in a sandwich or prepare it on skewers with fresh fruits and vegetables. Smoked salmon also contains high doses of omega 3, but it is much higher in sodium, which can contribute to hypertension, so it's best to enjoy smoked salmon on an occasional basis only.
- Walnuts - One serving of walnuts contains 2776 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acid, and these delicious nuts are so easy to eat. You can enjoy them on their own as a snack or use them in many ways in recipes. Mix them with fat-free Greek yogurt or grind them for use as a breading for chicken breast. You can add raw walnuts on top of a salad or chop them finely to add to tuna salad made with light mayo or mustard.
- Brussels Sprouts - Very high in omega-3 fatty acids, Brussels sprouts can be delicious when broiled with a light drizzle of olive oil. When boiled, Brussels sprouts provide 961 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per serving. Try chopping them finely and mixing them with scallions, carrots and other veggies. Toss them with a light dressing to make a unique salad.
These are just four heart-healthy foods that are high in omega-3. You'll also find the healthy fat in soybeans, sardines, chia seeds, cauliflower, tuna, shrimp and many types of leafy greens. While there is no daily recommended allowance of omega-3 fatty acids, most health experts recommend that people get at least 500 milligrams of the healthy fat per day. Talk to your doctor to find out how much omega-3 you need to help take care of your heart and the rest of your body.

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