How to Get Omega-3s Without Eating Fish Oil

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Flax seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Flax seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. (Image: flax seeds close-up image by Konstantin Sutyagin from Fotolia.com)

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for human health, but because people are unable to produce them, they must eat foods that contain them. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the three most nutritionally important omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Your body coverts ALA into DHA and EPA for use. DHA and EPA can be consumed directly from eating fish, but there are non-fish sources of ALA omega-3 fatty acids. Among many functions, omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to support heart health, lower cholesterol, manage blood pressure and promote healthy brain functioning.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 tbsp. flax seeds
  • 1 oz. walnuts
  • 1 tbsp. rapeseed oil
  • 2 oz. tofu
  • 1 vegetarian omega-3 supplement
  • Coffee grinder

Measure and pour the flax seeds into the coffee grinder. Grind to a smooth powder.

Sprinkle the ground flax seeds over your favorite cereal, yogurt, smoothie or muffin mix. Flax seeds are extremely hard and, even with careful chewing, you will not be able to get the same amount of nutrition from whole seeds as you will from ground seeds.

Snack on a handful of whole walnuts each day. Try eating a few on the side of breakfast, between meals or sprinkled into a stir fry. Don't eat too many walnuts, however, as they are very high in fat.

Measure and pour the rapeseed oil over your salad. Do not cook with or heat rapeseed oil. Instead, eat the cold-pressed oil in place of your usual dressing.

Bake, fry or steam your tofu. Tofu is very high in omega-3 fatty acids as well as protein.

Visit your local health food store and ask about vegetarian, non-fish supplement options. Take one vegetarian omega-3 fatty acid supplement each day.

Tips & Warnings

  • Individuals who have disorders involving bleeding, who bruise easily or who are taking blood thinners should consult with a medical practitioner before taking supplemental omega-3 fatty acids.

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