12 Foods That Are Very High in Omega-3
You can get high amounts of omega-3 fats from fatty fish, algae, and several high-fat plant foods.
Here is a list of 12 foods that are very high in omega-3.
1. Mackerel (4,107 mg per serving)
Mackerel are small, fatty fish.
In Western countries, they are commonly smoked and eaten as whole fillets.
What's more, these fish are delicious and require little preparation.
Omega-3 content: 4,107 mg in one piece of salted mackerel, or 5,134 mg per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) (4)
2. Salmon (4,123 mg per serving)
Salmon is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.
Studies show that people who regularly eat fatty fish, such as salmon, have a lower risk of diseases like heart disease, dementia, and depression (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).
Omega-3 content: 4,123 mg in half a fillet of cooked, farmed Atlantic salmon, or 2,260 mg in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) (5)
3. Cod Liver Oil (2,682 mg per serving)
Cod liver oil is more of a supplement than a food.
As the name implies, it is oil extracted from the livers of codfish.
Therefore, taking just one tablespoon of cod liver oil more than satisfies your need for three incredibly important nutrients.
However, don't take more than one tablespoon at a time, as too much vitamin A can be harmful.
Omega-3 content: 2,682 mg per tablespoon (11)
4. Herring (946 mg per serving)
Herring is a medium-sized, oily fish. It is often cold-smoked, pickled, or precooked, then sold as a canned snack.
Smoked herring is a popular breakfast food in countries like England, where it's served with eggs and called kippers.
Omega-3 content: 946 mg per medium fillet (40 grams) of kippered Atlantic herring, or 2,366 mg per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) (12)
5. Oysters (370 mg per serving)
Shellfish are among the most nutritious foods you can eat.
In fact, oysters contain more zinc than any other food on the planet. Just 6 raw eastern oysters (3 ounces or 85 grams) pack 293% of the RDI for zinc, 70% for copper, and 575% for vitamin B12 (13, 14).
Oysters can be eaten as an appetizer, snack, or whole meal. Raw oysters are a delicacy in many countries.
Omega-3 content: 370 mg in 6 raw, eastern oysters, or 435 mg per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) (13)
6. Sardines (2,205 mg per serving)
Sardines are very small, oily fish that are commonly eaten as a starter, snack, or delicacy.
They're highly nutritious, especially when eaten whole. They contain almost every nutrient your body needs.
Omega-3 content: 2,205 mg per cup (149 grams) of canned Atlantic sardines, or 1,480 mg per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) (15)
7. Anchovies (951 mg per serving)
Anchovies are tiny, oily fish often bought dried or canned.
Usually eaten in very small portions, anchovies can be rolled around capers, stuffed in olives, or used as pizza and salad toppings.
Because of their strong taste, they are also used to flavor many dishes and sauces, including Worcestershire sauce, remoulade, and Caesar dressing.
Omega-3 content: 951 mg per can (2 ounces, or 45 grams) of canned European anchovies, or 2,113 mg per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) (16)
8. Caviar (1,086 mg per serving)
Caviar consists of fish eggs, or roe.
Widely regarded as a luxurious food item, caviar is most often used in small quantities as a starter, taster, or garnish.
Omega-3 content: 1,086 mg per tablespoon (14.3 grams), or 6,786 mg per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) (17)
9. Flax Seeds (2,350 mg per serving)
Flax seeds are small brown or yellow seeds. They are often ground, milled, or used to make oil.
These seeds are by far the richest whole-food source of the omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Therefore, flaxseed oil is often used as an omega-3 supplement.
Flax seeds are also a good source of in fiber, magnesium, and other nutrients. They have a great omega-6 to omega-3 ratio compared with most oily plant seeds (18, 19, 20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source).
10. Chia Seeds (5,060 mg per serving)
A standard 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of chia seeds contains 5 grams of protein, including all eight essential amino acids.
Omega-3 content: 5,060 mg per ounce (28 grams) (22)
11. Walnuts (2,570 mg per serving)
Make sure not to remove the skin, as it packs most of walnuts' phenol antioxidants, which offer important health benefits.
Omega-3 content: 2,570 mg per ounce (28 grams), or about 14 walnut halves (23)
12. Soybeans (1,241 mg per serving)
Soybeans are a good source of fiber and vegetable protein.
They are also a good source of other nutrients, including riboflavin, folate, vitamin K, magnesium, and potassium (24).
Omega-3 content: 670 mg in a 1/2 cup (47 grams) of dry roasted soybeans, or 1,443 mg per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) (24)
13. Other Foods?
Keep in mind that sections 1–8 discuss foods that contain the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA, which are found in some animal foods, seafood, and algae.
Conversely, sections 9–12 handle foods that provide the omega-3 fat ALA, which is inferior to the other two.
Although not as high in omega-3 as the foods above, many other foods contain decent amounts.
These include pastured eggs, omega-3-enriched eggs, meats and dairy products from grass-fed animals, hemp seeds, and vegetables like spinach, Brussels sprouts, and purslane.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, it's relatively easy to obtain plenty of omega-3s from whole foods.
Omega-3s provide numerous health benefits, such as fighting inflammation and heart disease.
However, if you don't eat many of these foods and think you may be lacking in omega-3s, consider taking omega-3 supplements.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
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By Ana Maldonado-Contreras
- Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria that are vital for keeping you healthy.
- Some of these microbes help to regulate the immune system.
- New research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, shows the presence of certain bacteria in the gut may reveal which people are more vulnerable to a more severe case of COVID-19.
You may not know it, but you have an army of microbes living inside of you that are essential for fighting off threats, including the virus that causes COVID-19.
How Do Resident Bacteria Keep You Healthy?<p>Our immune defense is part of a complex biological response against harmful pathogens, such as viruses or bacteria. However, because our bodies are inhabited by trillions of mostly beneficial bacteria, virus and fungi, activation of our immune response is tightly regulated to distinguish between harmful and helpful microbes.</p><p>Our bacteria are spectacular companions diligently helping prime our immune system defenses to combat infections. A seminal study found that mice treated with antibiotics that eliminate bacteria in the gut exhibited an impaired immune response. These animals had low counts of virus-fighting white blood cells, weak antibody responses and poor production of a protein that is vital for <a href="https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1019378108" target="_blank">combating viral infection and modulating the immune response</a>.</p><p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0184976" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">In another study</a>, mice were fed <em>Lactobacillus</em> bacteria, commonly used as probiotic in fermented food. These microbes reduced the severity of influenza infection. The <em>Lactobacillus</em>-treated mice did not lose weight and had only mild lung damage compared with untreated mice. Similarly, others have found that treatment of mice with <em>Lactobacillus</em> protects against different <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/srep04638" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">subtypes of</a> <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-17487-8" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">influenza</a> <a href="https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1008072" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">virus</a> and human respiratory syncytial virus – the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-39602-7" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">major cause of viral bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children</a>.</p>
Chronic Disease and Microbes<p>Patients with chronic illnesses including Type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease exhibit a hyperactive immune system that fails to recognize a harmless stimulus and is linked to an altered gut microbiome.</p><p>In these chronic diseases, the gut microbiome lacks bacteria that activate <a href="https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1198469" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">immune cells</a> that block the response against harmless bacteria in our guts. Such alteration of the gut microbiome is also observed in <a href="https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1002601107" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">babies delivered by cesarean section</a>, individuals consuming a poor <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/nature12820" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">diet</a> and the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11053" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">elderly</a>.</p><p>In the U.S., 117 million individuals – about half the adult population – <a href="https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">suffer from Type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease or a combination of them</a>. That suggests that half of American adults carry a faulty microbiome army.</p><p>Research in my laboratory focuses on identifying gut bacteria that are critical for creating a balanced immune system, which fights life-threatening bacterial and viral infections, while tolerating the beneficial bacteria in and on us.</p><p>Given that diet affects the diversity of bacteria in the gut, <a href="https://www.umassmed.edu/nutrition/melody-trial-info/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">my lab studies show how diet can be used</a> as a therapy for chronic diseases. Using different foods, people can shift their gut microbiome to one that boosts a healthy immune response.</p><p>A fraction of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease, develop severe complications that require hospitalization in intensive care units. What do many of those patients have in common? <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6912e2.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Old age</a> and chronic diet-related diseases like obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.</p><p><a href="http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jada.2008.12.019" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Black and Latinx people are disproportionately affected by obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease</a>, all of which are linked to poor nutrition. Thus, it is not a coincidence that <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6933e1.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these groups have suffered more deaths from COVID-19</a> compared with whites. This is the case not only in the U.S. but also <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/blacks-in-britain-are-four-times-as-likely-to-die-of-coronavirus-as-whites-data-show/2020/05/07/2dc76710-9067-11ea-9322-a29e75effc93_story.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">in Britain</a>.</p>
Discovering Microbes That Predict COVID-19 Severity<p>The COVID-19 pandemic has inspired me to shift my research and explore the role of the gut microbiome in the overly aggressive immune response against SARS-CoV-2 infection.</p><p>My colleagues and I have hypothesized that critically ill SARS-CoV-2 patients with conditions like obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease exhibit an altered gut microbiome that aggravates <a href="https://theconversation.com/exercise-may-help-reduce-risk-of-deadly-covid-19-complication-ards-136922" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">acute respiratory distress syndrome</a>.</p><p>Acute respiratory distress syndrome, a life-threatening lung injury, in SARS-CoV-2 patients is thought to develop from a <a href="http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cytogfr.2020.05.003" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">fatal overreaction of the immune response</a> called a <a href="https://theconversation.com/blocking-the-deadly-cytokine-storm-is-a-vital-weapon-for-treating-covid-19-137690" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cytokine storm</a> <a href="http://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30216-2" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">that causes an uncontrolled flood</a> <a href="http://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30216-2" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">of immune cells into the lungs</a>. In these patients, their own uncontrolled inflammatory immune response, rather than the virus itself, causes the <a href="http://doi.org/10.1007/s00134-020-05991-x" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">severe lung injury and multiorgan failures</a> that lead to death.</p><p>Several studies <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trsl.2020.08.004" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">described in one recent review</a> have identified an altered gut microbiome in patients with COVID-19. However, identification of specific bacteria within the microbiome that could predict COVID-19 severity is lacking.</p><p>To address this question, my colleagues and I recruited COVID-19 hospitalized patients with severe and moderate symptoms. We collected stool and saliva samples to determine whether bacteria within the gut and oral microbiome could predict COVID-19 severity. The identification of microbiome markers that can predict the clinical outcomes of COVID-19 disease is key to help prioritize patients needing urgent treatment.</p><p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.01.05.20249061" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">We demonstrated</a>, in a paper which has not yet been peer reviewed, that the composition of the gut microbiome is the strongest predictor of COVID-19 severity compared to patient's clinical characteristics commonly used to do so. Specifically, we identified that the presence of a bacterium in the stool – called <em>Enterococcus faecalis</em>– was a robust predictor of COVID-19 severity. Not surprisingly, <em>Enterococcus faecalis</em> has been associated with <a href="https://doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2011.05.035" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">chronic</a> <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/S0002-9440(10)61172-8" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">inflammation</a>.</p><p><em>Enterococcus faecalis</em> collected from feces can be grown outside of the body in clinical laboratories. Thus, an <em>E. faecalis</em> test might be a cost-effective, rapid and relatively easy way to identify patients who are likely to require more supportive care and therapeutic interventions to improve their chances of survival.</p><p>But it is not yet clear from our research what is the contribution of the altered microbiome in the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. A recent study has shown that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.12.11.416180" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">SARS-CoV-2 infection triggers an imbalance in immune cells</a> called <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/imr.12170" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">T regulatory cells that are critical to immune balance</a>.</p><p>Bacteria from the gut microbiome are responsible for the <a href="https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.30916.001" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">proper activation</a> <a href="https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1198469" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">of those T-regulatory</a> <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/nri.2016.36" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cells</a>. Thus, researchers like me need to take repeated patient stool, saliva and blood samples over a longer time frame to learn how the altered microbiome observed in COVID-19 patients can modulate COVID-19 disease severity, perhaps by altering the development of the T-regulatory cells.</p><p>As a Latina scientist investigating interactions between diet, microbiome and immunity, I must stress the importance of better policies to improve access to healthy foods, which lead to a healthier microbiome. It is also important to design culturally sensitive dietary interventions for Black and Latinx communities. While a good-quality diet might not prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection, it can treat the underlying conditions related to its severity.</p><p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ana-maldonado-contreras-1152969" target="_blank">Ana Maldonado-Contreras</a> is an assistant professor of Microbiology and Physiological Systems at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.</em></p><p><em>Disclosure statement: Ana Maldonado-Contreras receives funding from The Helmsley Charitable Trust and her work has been supported by the American Gastroenterological Association. She received The Charles A. King Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. She is also member of the Diversity Committee of the American Gastroenterological Association.</em></p><p><em style="">Reposted with permission from <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-healthy-microbiome-builds-a-strong-immune-system-that-could-help-defeat-covid-19-145668" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" style="">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>
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