Everything you wanted to know about Omega-3 – including benefits, the recommended daily amount, and the best Omega-3 fish to incorporate into your meals – is right here.
What is Omega-3
Let’s start with a simple question…What is Omega-3?
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid. The term “essential” simply means your body can’t make Omega-3. The only way for your body to get it is by consuming food containing Omega-3.
Omega-3 fatty acids can come in different forms; here are the most common:
- Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA): Present in fish.
- Docosahexaenoic Acis (DHA) Present in fish.
- Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA): Present in plant-based foods like flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
DHA and EPA are the types of Omega-3 your body needs. Since ALA has a different chemical structure, your body converts ALA to DHA and EPA as needed; however, not very efficiently.
Overall, fish is the best source of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Benefits of Omega-3
Essential Omega-3 fatty acids have numerous nutritional benefits for your body, your waistline, and your overall health.
- Lower triglyceride levels and blood pressure
- Reduce the formation of arterial plaque
- Reduce symptoms of depression
- Improve weight management
- Reduce inflammation throughout your body
- Beneficial for child development
- Improve memory
- Improve bone density
How Much Omega-3?
Most people consume way too little Omega-3.
In fact, over the past 150 years, the consumption of Omega-3 has dropped significantly.
Most health organizations recommend 250-500 mg of EPA and DHA combined each day.
However, studies have documented benefits of ingesting up to 4,000 mg of Omega-3 per day, especially in people who are pregnant, struggle with depression, or have anxiety.
Best Omega-3 Fish
Even though the World Health Organization recommends eating two servings of fish every week, it doesn’t mean any type of fish will provide the Omega-3 your body needs.
The best Omega-3 fish are shown below, and therefore, may be best to choose from as you incorporate more fish into your lifestyle.
Mackerel or Herring
Pan-seared Mackerel or Herring with Soy-Free Soy Sauce (Certified Paleo) topped with sesame seeds and green onions.
You can find Soy-Free Soy Sauce here.
Enjoy Sashimi-Grade Salmon on a bed of fresh field-greens.
Grilled Tuna served with Basil Pesto and Turmeric Cauliflower Rice.
Simply add turmeric to the Cauliflower Rice Recipe here.
Serve White Fish with Roasted Potatoes and a fresh, lemon sauce.
You can find the recipe for Roasted Potatoes here.
Serve Roe, or fish eggs, as an appetizer with Paleo Bread.
You can find the Paleo Bread here.
Serve fresh, steamed Mollusks with a Ghee-Butter Sauce and a side of fresh Roasted Vegetables.
You can find Ghee, as well as many other Paleo Replacements here.
Wild-Caught vs. Farm-Raised
I’m sure you’ve heard that wild-caught fish is “good” and farm-raised fish is “bad”.
This has been the consensus for a while until Aquaponics gained popularity within the last few years.
- Wild-Caught: Fish caught from a natural habitat, like lakes, oceans, or rivers
- Farm-Raised: Fish raised in large tanks that are either submerged in ponds or lakes
- Aquaponics: Fish raised in tanks situated below plants where the soil purifies the water and the water feeds the plants
The nutritional quality of the fish largely depends on what the fish eats. With this in mind, wild-caught fish eat a natural diet and tend to be slightly lower in saturated fat than farm-raised varieties.
However, with aquaponics, the fish eat mostly nutritious foods purified by the soils of the plants growing above them.
Wild-caught fish and Aquaponically grown fish are typically higher in price, but frozen or canned wild-caught fish can be more budget-friendly than fresh varieties.
Whatever you choose…providing your body with fish at least once or twice a week is better than nothing – regardless of the source.
Which Fish are you Trying?
Which fish are you going to try out this week?
Do you already eat fish and want to share a great recipe?
Comment below and join the conversation.