Fats have gotten a real hype over the last few years. And rightly so, because the healthy unsaturated fatty acids, which include omega-3, have numerous positive effects on your body. In order for your body to function optimally, you should include some of the 10 foods listed below in your diet more often. We will explain why exactly, in brief.
What are omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids belong to the polyunsaturated fatty acids, also called essential fatty acids. As the name suggests, they are essential and irreplaceable – your body cannot produce them itself, so you need to take them in with your daily diet.
But omega-3 fatty acids can also be further differentiated. While animal foods contain particularly high amounts of docosapentaenoic acid (DHA ) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA ), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA ) are included. While the body DHA and EPA directly, the ‘prepress’ stage must ALA are first transformed before they can be absorbed by the body.
In other words: Animal omega-3 fatty acids can be used more efficiently by the body. Sounds dramatic at first, but even vegans can easily cover their omega-3 needs with plant-based foods.
Omega-3 fatty acids from fish can be better utilized by the body than vegetable omega-3. © Alexander Prokopenko / Shutterstock.com The difference between good and bad fats
By the way: The guide value for an optimal supply is 0.3 to 0.5 grams EPA / DHA per day. To cover that, just 100 to 200 grams of fish are enough. Vegans can almost reach this amount with a handful of walnuts or a teaspoon of linseed or rapeseed oil per day. For top athletes, the requirement is a little higher: they should consume about 1 to 2 grams EPA / DHA daily.
Why are omega-3 fatty acids so important?
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are involved in many processes in the body, but they are primarily known for their positive effects on the cardiovascular system. They protect the heart by lowering blood fat levels and blood pressure. They also strengthen the immune system, have an anti-inflammatory effect and are important for brain performance.
Sufficient intake is particularly important for athletes, because fatty acids play a major role in the conversion of protein from food into the body’s own protein – also known as protein biosynthesis. With sufficient fat, the protein can be better converted, allowing the body to build more muscle. This also shortens the regeneration time after a strenuous workout.
Which foods contain many omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 is mainly found in fish. In varieties such as herring, salmon, mackerel or redfish, there is a particularly high EPA available. Tuna, sprat and halibut, on the other hand, abound in DHA .
There’s a lot to be said for fish EPA and DHA . © Victoria 43 / Shutterstock.com
If you’re not a fan of fish, you have nothing to worry about. The fatty acid ALA occurs in large quantities in linseed oil, linseed, walnut oil, soybean oil, wheat germ oil or chia seeds. Delicious salad dressings can also be refined with these healthy oils. Here are our top 10 of the best omega-3 suppliers:
1. linseed oil and linseed (53 and 16.7 grams of omega-3 fatty acids)
Linseed oil is the top omega-3 source par excellence, it contains the highest content of omega-3 fatty acids of all vegetable oils! It is best to eat one or two teaspoons of linseed oil a day, for example in combination with quark. It is best to buy linseed oil in small bottles, because it quickly becomes rancid. Opened bottle should be stored in the refrigerator and used up within one month.
This makes quark with linseed oil the perfect combination for a slim waist
But not only the oil itself, but also the flax seeds themselves contain many omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, linseeds ensure healthy digestion due to their high swelling capacity. You can mix them into your muesli, preferably freshly ground. You can grind the flax seeds quickly and easily with a coffee grinder, for example this one.
2. walnut oil and walnuts (12 and 7.83 grams of omega-3 fatty acids)
Due to its low smoke point, walnut oil should not be used for cooking or frying. It is therefore particularly suitable for salads or as a healthy addition to smoothies. Walnuts also have a lot to offer. In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, they contain plenty of zinc, potassium and iron, as well as vegetable protein and many B vitamins.
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3. tuna (4.21 grams of omega-3 fatty acids)
Tuna is not only versatile, it also contains 4.21 grams of Omega 3 per 100 grams. © Ivanna Pavliuk / Shutterstock.com
Hardly any fish is as diverse as tuna. It is available in tins, fresh or frozen and can be prepared in a variety of ways. As sashimi, in a salad or fried as a steak with a delicious salad, the fish tastes fantastic.
However, since tuna is already one of the overfished fish species, you should treat yourself to this delicious fish once in a while instead of eating it every day.
4. herring (4.03 grams of omega-3 fatty acids)
Herrings taste classic as rollmops as an anti-hangover food, simple and uncomplicated with potatoes, fried, grilled or as a matie salad.
By the way: The Matjes is a herring before sexual maturity, so to speak a “virgin herring”. It is caught from the end of May to the beginning of June, before the reproductive season begins.
5. salmon (3.57 grams of omega-3 fatty acids)
How about an Asian marinated salmon out of the oven, a crispy fried filet with avocado dip or a few slices of smoked salmon for scrambled eggs? Salmon is incredibly versatile and yet so tasty, which is probably partly due to its high fat content. At the same time, the fish scores points for its high protein content and low cholesterol.
20 delicious salmon recipes for every day
6. soybeans (0.93 grams of omega-3 fatty acids)
In addition to the good omega-3 fatty acids, soybeans contain lots of valuable vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, vitamins A and E. The dietary fibres are also real fillers and support a healthy digestion. The amino acids they contain also provide a lot of vegetable protein.
How healthy are green soybeans?
7. olive oil and olives (0.71 and 0.13 grams of omega-3 fatty acids)
Olives and olive oil not only taste wonderfully Mediterranean, they also contain a lot of omega-3 © Sebastiana / Shutterstock.com
Even though linseed oil and co. contain far more omega-3 fatty acids, you should not completely eliminate olive oil from your diet. It contains a lot of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that protects your heart, prevents inflammation and aids digestion. And what could be better than enjoying high-quality extra virgin olive oil with fresh bread?
8. wakame (0.47 grams of omega-3 fatty acids)
Wakame are brown algae, which you probably know as the typical Asian algae salad. In Japan they are considered a staple food that is on the daily menu. In Germany the salad is still comparatively rare – unfortunately, because the algae are really something special. They are rich in all essential minerals and trace elements. Calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium and iron are just a few of the good nutrients here.
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9. Kale (0.35 grams of omega-3 fatty acids)
Kale is a green leafy vegetable that contains very few calories, but is particularly rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, polyphenols, beta-carotene and flavonoids. The little fat contained in kale is the healthy alpha-linoleic acid, which has anti-inflammatory effects and improves the fluidity of the blood.
10. avocado (0.17 grams of omega-3 fatty acids)
At first glance, the fatty avocado appears to contain relatively few omega-3 fatty acids, but like olive oil, it contains a lot of monounsaturated fatty acids, especially the rather rare oleic acid. This has a positive effect on your cholesterol level.
But avocado can do even more: it is rich in vitamin E and iron, which among other things strengthen the immune system. The B vitamins it contains also lower stress levels and potassium improves regeneration after a strenuous workout.
This is what’s behind the avocado trend
Unsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 fatty acids are used for many processes in the body is needed, among other things for the utilization of proteins. Fish and high quality vegetable oils are a super source with which you can easily cover your daily omega-3 requirements.