Sources of Omega 3
The # 1 natural source of omega-3 is fish oil. Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3, but so are other cold water fish, such as; ancovy, mackerel and sardines. Unfortunately, most kids don’t like to eat these fish, and even if they did, you need to worry about mercury and other toxins. Be prudent in eating a lot of seafood because of our polluted lakes and rivers. Our bodies of water have high levels of mercury and toxins emitted by factories and industrial centers. You must use a fish oil supplement that is molecularly distilled to remove harmful mercury and other toxins.
Omega 3 Fatty Acid Sources
If you’ allergic to fish or turned off by the use of fisheries you may be conflicted on whether or not to use an omega 3 fatty acid supplement. Fortunately for you, fish is not the only way to get omega 3 fatty acids into your diet, and there are a number of dietary changes that you can make and natural supplements that you can take.
First of all, not all omega 3 fatty acid supplements use fish oil from fisheries. There are brands that use wild caught fish, and if this is your main hang up on omega 3 fatty acid supplements, you should try Fundamental Omega 3 by Fundamental Earth or the supplements that are made by Nordic Naturals. These fish oils are not only made using wild caught fish, but they are also molecularly distilled and closely inspected for purity. Taking a fish oil supplement from one of these trustworthy companies ensures that you aren’t getting any heavy metals or other pollutants that can be found in the oceans and seas.
If you’re trying to completely avoid the consumption of fish, you can try to add a few things to your diet. Cooking food with soybean or canola oil can add these beneficial fatty acids to your food, and you could also try using a salad dressing that is made with flax seed oil. There are also a number of other ingredients that can be added to salads to improve their levels of omega 3s. Everybody knows beans as a valuable source of protein, but they are also rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Beans that provide omega 3s include:
Nuts and seeds can also be useful. Walnuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds all provide a healthy boost of omega 3s and a crunchy texture to your salad. Even just swapping out regular lettuce for spinach can help. Spinach is also superior to lettuce, because it supplies important vitamins and minerals. If you’re looking to get away from salad, you could always just add winter squash, broccoli, or cauliflower to the side of your favorite meal.
Now if you aren’t looking to make changes to your diet or cooking habbits, but still want to avoid fish there are plant based supplements that provide omega 3 fatty acids.
Some of the more beneficial natural and vegetarian omega 3 supplements are:
If you’re weary about where your fish oil is sourced from or are just allergic to fish, adding any of the above supplements or foods can provide your body with the important omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are recommended by the American Heart Association and they are incredibly important to the nervous system, so make sure you are getting plenty!
Other natural sources of omega-3 are walnuts, flaxseed, olive oil, beans and winter squash. The National Institutes of Health advise a daily intake of at least 2% of omega-3 fats. So if you eat the equivalent of 2,000 calories a day your intake of omega-3 should be at least 2 grams. Some experts, however, believe that the 2% recommendation is not high enough and are in fact recommending 4%. But ultimately, you’ll understand that a fish oil supplement is more beneficial because of the EPA and DHA it contains.
If you aren’t sure that you’re taking enough of the daily requirements of omega-3 from natural foods, the next best thing is to take omega-3 supplements. As adults we can choose a fish oil supplement in a softgel. For children, there are great omega 3 chewable supplements that are available. If you want a liquid omega 3 supplement for your child, that would be much higher in DHA and EPA, then you can try Metagenics Omegagenics Liquid Omega 3 (formerly Balanced EPA-DHA) which contains 600 mg of both DHA and EPA.
Another great alternative for kids, or adults for that matter is SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins. They are a natural chewable multivitamin with omega 3 fatty acids, and they taste great.