When talking about diet and nutrition, there have been a number of controversies over the years surrounding various foods and drinks, which the general public’s opinion of these ingredients changing pretty much every single year. For years we were led to believe that carbohydrates were the key to weight loss, then along came Dr Atkins and all of a sudden carbohydrates were your worst nightmare when trying to lose weight. For years eggs were considered unhealthy due to their high cholesterol content but it was only when more research was conducted, and it was deemed that the cholesterol contained within eggs was a combination of good and bad cholesterol, did people begin accepting eggs as a healthy option. Sugar, sweetener, protein, fish, even vitamins and minerals have all been considered good for us one minute, then bad for us the next, at some point in time. In fact, it would appear as if the only nutrient that has not yet been deemed unhealthy for us, ever, is omega 3 as experts have been raving about the many health benefits associated with Omega 3 for many years now. Omega 3 is incredibly healthy and beneficial for us in so many ways, yet many of us simply don’t consume enough on a regular basis. If you feel as if you’re not getting enough omega 3 in your diet, take a look at these simple ways of increasing your omega 3 consumption.
When people think of omega 3, they generally tend to think of oily fish such as salmon, and whilst oily fish is indeed essential, and don’t worry, we’ll be covering that shortly, there are also numerous other sources of omega 3 available to us that we ordinarily would never have possibly considered. Flaxseeds are a perfect example. Flaxseeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and also taste pretty delicious as well. You can snack on them, you can eat them with yoghurt, or you can even sprinkle them over salads, curries, and stir fries. If the seeds aren’t to your liking, you can even purchase flax seed oil and drizzle that over various foods, or even add a tablespoon to smoothies and protein shakes.
Although many meat sources don’t contain as much omega 3 as marine sources do, there is still a substantial amount of omega 3 found in most red meats, particularly grass-fed meats or exotic game meats. If possible, opt for organic meat as although a little expensive, the omega 3 content is going to be much, much higher, and not only that, but it also tastes great as well. Grass-fed meat and/or organic meat is far superior to commercial meat as it is free from hormones and artificial ingredients, and it also happens to be free from harmful toxins which are commonly found in grain-fed meats, as chemicals are used on the grains, which are then fed to the animals themselves.
Snack on walnuts
Walnuts are considered one of the healthiest sources of nut as not only are they a great source of protein, minerals, and antioxidants, they’re also a great source of omega 3 and other healthy fats and contain substantially more of these healthy fats than various other form of nut. Again, always opt for natural, preferably organic walnuts and avoid the ones coated in salt, seasonings, and artificial flavourings. You can even add walnuts to your meals, such as on salads perhaps.
Fish oil supplements
Fish oil supplements such as cod liver oil are considered some of the healthiest, most beneficial, and most popular supplements in the world, and it’s easy to understand why. These supplements are enriched with omega 3 fatty acids, as well as omega 6 and 9 in some cases as well. They can be purchased in gel capsule form, or alternatively you can purchase the oil in liquid form in which you can drink it neat, or again, add it to salads, shakes, and smoothies. Fish oil supplements are ideal because they allow you to conveniently consume your recommended daily intake of omega 3, without having to spend time prepping and cooking various foods.
Keep an eye out for omega 3 fortified foods
As omega 3 is considered so incredibly healthy and beneficial, more and more foods and products are being fortified with additional omega 3, which in turn means that these foods themselves become a great source of omega 3 in the process. There are more and more omega 3 fortified foods appearing on store shelves every single week, but currently some of the most popular examples include eggs, pasta, breads, and cereals. Organic omega 3 fortified eggs in particular are considered a great choice because you also benefit from the protein, amino acids, B vitamins, and minerals found within the eggs as well. For the ultimate healthy fat breakfast, try some wild smoked salmon served with omega 3 fortified eggs and a side of wilted spinach to flood your body full of nutrients and provide enough energy to keep you going for hours.
Eat more leafy greens
You may not realise it, but many green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach, actually naturally contain higher than average amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. Obviously they don’t contain as much as salmon or mackerel, but they do contain more than average, and when you consider the vast amounts of other vitamins and minerals found in these vegetables as well, it’s easy to understand why they’re considered superfoods.
Consume more oily fish
Saving the best, and most obvious, example to last we have oily fish. Common examples of oily fish include: mackerel, salmon, herrings, and sardines. If possible, opt for wild salmon as opposed to farmed as wild salmon will contain more natural omega 3 than farmed salmon. Oily fish is packed full of omega 3’s as well as 6 and 9 as well and is considered some of the healthiest produce on the face of the earth. Experts recommend eating oily fish at least twice per week, but if possible try to increase that even more. Simply put, the more you eat, the healthier you will be, within reason of course.