15 Foods High in Omega-3
Omega-3 fatty acids are important in all stages of life. Here are 15 foods high in omega-3 to add to your shopping list.
This pungent, salty little fish—and pizza parlor favorite—contains a hefty 400 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per five-fillet serving. Sound good? You might like what anchovies don’t contain, too. Anchovies are considered a
low-mercury fish, meaning that it is one of the fish you can safely eat up to 12 ounces (about two servings) per week when you’re a pregnant or nursing mom. That’s a lot of pizza!
For a different twist of anchovies, try this recipe for super tasty Green Goddess Dressing.
Time for a picnic! Cabbage, cole slaw’s main ingredient, offers a crisp 170 mg of OFAs in every 1-cup serving. Why else to make room in your prenatal or new-mom diet for cabbage? The cruciferous veggie is filled with fiber and also a rich source for
vitamins C, E, and several Bs.
So slice up some slaw! We like this super-healthy Gingery Napa Slaw made with Napa cabbage, sesame oil, and spicy chopped ginger. And here’s a tip: for mayonnaise-based cole slaws, use mayonnaise made with flaxseed oil for an even bigger boost of OFAs.
Steamed, lightly roasted, or eaten raw, cauliflower provides 210 mg of OFAs in every 1-cup serving, or about 10 percent of the daily value for omega-3s (in the form of alpha-linolenic acid). Cauliflower is also rich in vitamin C, fiber,
folate, and vitamin B6—all good for you, whether you are
pregnant or a
Are you a fan of pumpkin pie—even when
Thanksgiving is nowhere in sight? Then you’re going to love the fact that clove, one of the main spices in traditional pumpkin pie, contains 100 mg of OFAs in every 1-teaspoon serving. Stir some cloves into a cup of
coffee for instant flavor or add to meat dishes when you want a deep note of spice.
And speaking of spice, want to spice up your next pumpkin pie? Try this Pumpkin Coconut Tart made with real rum (or rum extract, if you choose).
Ahoy, matey! With 320 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per 4-ounce serving, cod is a can-do choice for adding more OFAs in your diet. Like anchovies, cod ranks as a lower mercury fish, meaning go ahead and eat it in moderation. According to the FDA’s fish advisory, pregnant and nursing women can safely eat up to 12 ounces of lower-mercury fish per week (so add up all those ounces of anchovy, cod, and other safe fish).
Just not a fish fan? Try a cod liver oil supplement. Every tablespoon offers a whopping 2800 mg of omega-3s.
Sprinkle a tablespoon of flaxseeds over your next salad and then give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve just added 1750 mg of omega-3s to your plate! The fiber-rich seeds can also be stirred in muffin or pancake batter—or use ground flaxseed as a partial flour substitute in recipes.
We like these yummy (and healthy) Buttermilk Biscuits. For a more concentrated source of omega-3s, flaxseed oil contains 6900 mg in every tablespoon serving.
7. Mustard Seeds
With 100 mg of omega-3s in every tiny teaspoon, use mustard seeds in chicken, fish, and meat dishes for a dash of zesty flavor. We like this mustard seed-loaded recipe for
Curried Chicken with Fresh & Dried Cranberries. Prepared mustard will also work, but stick to less-processed stone ground mustards.
A versatile herb and natural flavor enhancer, oregano provides 120 mg of OFAs in every 2-teaspoon serving. It is an integral part of spaghetti and pizza sauces, of course. But the herb also works well in recipes like
Lemon-Garlic Roast Turkey & White Wine Gravy, adding deeper flavor to this already tasty dish. A pinch of oregano will perk up even the most basic of meals! Try sprinkling fresh, chopped oregano over a salad for zesty, Italian flare.
When it comes to getting more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, go nuts! Pecans contain 300 mg of OFAs in every 1-ounce serving. Pop some pecans during your next snack break and you will also get more than 19 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin E,
calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, several B vitamins, and zinc. Just ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the recommended daily value for fiber. Plus, pecans are a good source of
With approximately 400 grams of omega-3s in every 4-ounce serving, tofu provides 14.4 percent of the daily value for these especially fats. For your prenatal or new mom diet, tofu is also a good source of protein and calcium. Even if you’re not a vegetarian, give tofu a try in dishes ranging from Soy-Glazed Tofu (easy!) to this super-tasty Sweet Potato Curry with Tofu.
11. Pumpkin Seeds
Snack your way to more OFAs! Pumpkin seeds provide approximately 100 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per 1-ounce serving, plus offer other important nutrients like zinc and iron. Roast pumpkin seeds for yourself (try
Chile-Lime Pumpkin Seeds) and store for future snacking. Or take a shortcut and buy seeds at the grocery store year round. Pepitas, pumpkin seeds with their hulls removed for easier digestion, work well sprinkled in salads or soups for added texture and a nutty taste.
12. Romaine Lettuce
Adding flax or pumpkin seeds to your salad can boost omega-3s in your diet. But so can the type of lettuce you use. At 40 mg per 1-cup serving, romaine lettuce is a not too shabby source of vegetarian essential fatty acids. Romaine lettuce, unlike iceberg varieties, provides lots of other beneficial nutrients, including vitamins K, A, C, and folate.
Need some salad inspiration? Try this Romaine Salad with Chicken, Apricots, and Mint.
It’s the go-to food whenever the topic of omega-3s comes up. And sure enough, salmon packs in a powerful 1700 mg of OFAs per 4 ounce-serving. (Salmon is a lower-mercury fish and can be enjoyed throughout pregnancy as part of the 12 ounces of lower-mercury fish recommended per week.) For an easy, family-friendly dinner, try Simply Super Salmon Teriyaki tonight. Or for more gourmet gusto, we love the incredible flavor of this Roasted Salmon with Ginger-Cilantro Vinaigrette.
Zucchini and other varieties of summer squash provide 150 mg of OFAs in every 1-cup serving, making it an easy way to sneak some OFAs into your next stir fry. Zucchini can be added to spaghetti sauces and quiche and casserole dishes. Or how about getting the day off to a sophisticated start with
Summer Squash Frittata with Basil? In addition to OFAs, zucchini contains beneficial amounts of potassium and folate.
Walnuts are a wonderful source of omega-3s in your diet, providing 2300 mg of OFAs in every 1-ounce serving. Sprinkle walnuts on salads, eat by the handful, or try out in new recipes, like this odd-sounding, but surprisingly tasty
Beet Walnut Dip.
Just not nutty about nuts in your food? You can still get the omega-3s—without the crunch—by using walnut oil (1400 mg of OFAs per tablespoon). For a tasty alternative, substitute walnut oil for olive oil in salad dressing recipes.
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