Food plays a crucial role in delivering key nutrients to our bodies in order to keep our bodies running in tip top shape. Dietary fat, specifically omega 3 fatty acids, are often lacking in Western diet culture (like the United States, for example). By making a more conscious effort to include these 10 high omega 3 foods in your daily diet, you can be well on your way to improving your overall health, focus, and biological function to not only perform better each day, but to live longer and disease free.
What Is Omega 3 Fatty Acid?
Omega 3 fatty acid is a type of dietary fat that we eat in our food. There are three main types of omega 3 fatty acids, such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). [R] These essential fatty acids means that our bodies do not make them on their own and that we have to get them from food.
ALA acts as the ‘parent’ of omega 3 fatty acids and there must be an enzymatic and metabolic conversion that happens to transform ALA into its derivative forms: EPA and DHA. [R] While herbivores, for example, make these conversions quite easily, they’re only able to make limited amounts of DHA. Humans on the other hand convert ALA into EPA and DHA extremely inefficiently, which is why we need to get them from food sources in our daily diets.
When you consume EPA or the body converts ALA into EPA, it can make a variety of eicosanoids, or signaling molecules, that are essential to the body’s natural functioning and production of things like series-3 prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and thromboxjnes. [R] These are complex hormones that are present in both tissue and in the process of healthy hormone functioning.
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What Are Omega 3 Good For
ALA acts as the ‘parent’ of omega 3 fatty acids and there must be an enzymatic and metabolic conversion that happens to transform ALA into its derivative forms: EPA and DHA. While herbivores, for example, make these conversions quite easily, they’re only able to make limited amounts of DHA. Humans on the other hand convert ALA into EPA and DHA extremely inefficiently, which is why we need to get them from food sources in our daily diets. Ideally, you want to incorporate high omega 3 foods regularly in your diet to receive all three types of omega 3 fatty acids.
DHA, which is the third component of omega 3 fatty acids, is the highest percentage type of fat in the human brain. This type of fat is crucial for proper brain functioning, including both visual and cognitive function. DHA is used in the brain to form things like neuroreceptors for neurotransmitters that serotonin and dopamine, your happy hormones, depend on to signal correctly.
Why Are Omega 3s Important
No human body can function, or function well, without dietary fat and specifically omega 3 fatty acids. They give our cells fluidity as well as the ability to facilitate all metabolic and bioelectrical processes. When we don’t get enough omega-3s in our diet our bodies and their metabolic, cognitive, and hormone functions suffer greatly. [R] While the effects might not be seen right away, over time with changes in hormones, coronary heart disease, and other degenerative brain diseases will make themselves apparent, sometimes when its too late to recover from them (like a heart attack or stroke for example). This is why eating high omega 3 foods on a regular basis is so important.
Cause Of Omega 3 Deficiency
As time has gone on, and food has become more convenient, omega 3 deficiency has become more prevalent. When options were limited and there weren’t so many processed options, human ate more basic foods, including animals and plants, as well as the organs of wild game and wild caught seafood. High omega 3 foods used to be so prevalent that it was hypothesized that omega 3 fatty acids alone were responsible for the 3x increase in the size of the human brain over time. [R] That being said, it’s also been hypothesized that the human brain has actually come down, losing about 10% of mass due to metabolic consequences in the decreasing consumption of high omega 3 foods on a regular basis. [R]
As we’ve advanced as a society, we turn to more grains, legumes, processed breads and flours, cheap sugars and cheap fats, like hydrogenated oil, to take place of ingredients like omega 3 fatty acids. By increasing the delivery of omega 6 fatty acids alongside trans fats and hydrogenated oils, we’ve replaced the brain and nervous system composition with these instead of omega 3s, resulting in excess production of series-2-prostaglandins that contribute to systemic inflammation, disease, and excess stored body fat.
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How To Avoid Omega 3 Deficiency
By incorporating high omega 3 foods, learning how to read nutrition labels, and staying away from trans fats (100% of the time), as well as staying away from or minimizing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated substances, you can work on your overall health and reduce inflammation. Not to mention you can give your body naturally healthy fatty acids from food so that you can improve biological markers like brain function, nervous system function, hormone health (especially for women), and cardiovascular health just to name a few.
By reducing the amount of pre packaged and boxed goods that we buy from the store or get at a fast food joint, we can begin to increase the amount of nutrients we get from whole food sources, altogether avoiding deficiencies in other commonly deficient vitamins, like b vitamins, vitamin E, zinc, and zinc, which all have an effect on how our body processes healthy prostaglandin production. Prostaglandins are a type of fat that have hormone like function and help to repair things like injury and illness. They are dependent on the consumption of foods with high omega 3 fatty acids.
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10 High Omega 3 Foods To Include In Your Diet
- Mackerel and Salmon
- Flax and Chia Seeds
- Kidney Beans
- Firm Tofu
- Brussels Sprouts
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Omega 3 Supplementation - Antarctic Krill Oil
Unlike fish oil, Krill oil is bound in phospholipids as opposed to triglycerides. The simple addition of the phosphate group permits more efficient digestion and absorption. Krill oil is absorbed in 2-3 hours as compared to fish oil, which can take anywhere from 48-72 hours, therefore prolonging the benefits associated with inflammation and workout recovery
RECOMMENDED PRODUCT: Krill Oil (60 soft gels)
High Omega 3 Foods: Takeaway
Since most foods in Western diets are void of important omega 3 fatty acids it is important to make consuming them a conscious, regular effort. We highly recommend including these 10 high omega 3 foods in your diet on a regular basis so that you can reap the health benefits for your body, age gracefully, and do your best to avoid disease long term. Also, check out these high potassium foods you can incorporate into your diet to improve muscle aches or weakness.
Krill Oil provides the highest quality Omega 3 EPA and DHA supplementation with the added benefit of the world's most powerful antioxidant. Bridge the gaps in your nutrition with Swolverine's 60 serving Krill Oil soft gels.
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