Skip to main content

Eat These 12 Foods High in Omega-3 Fats for a Healthy Body

Omega-3 fatty acids often called omega-3 fats, or simply “omega-3’s,” are a type of polyunsaturated fats demonstrated to have numerous health benefits such as reducing inflammation, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, supporting the beneficial bacteria residing in your gut microbiome, and improving brain function and preventing mental decline. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats, which means they must be consumed through the diet since the body cannot manufacture them internally.

Three different fatty acids are grouped together to form the triad of omega-3 fatty acids. Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA). In general, ALA can be found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds, while DHA and EPA are abundant in fish and seaweed. It’s ideal to get a mix of all three omega-3 fatty acids for optimal health. The adequate intake (AI), which is a measure of the recommended daily intake, is 1,600 mg per day. Lastly, while the foods below are among the best dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil supplements and cod liver oil are alternative ways to ensure adequate intake of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.



Mackerel is a small fatty fish that is often enjoyed smoked and served as whole fillets. Though small in size, the nutrient content is impressive. Along with roughly 4,100 mg of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids in a single piece of salted mackerel (or 5,130 mg in a 3.5-ounce serving), mackerel packs an impressive 200% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B12, an essential nutrient important for energy generation and nerve conductivity. Mackerel is also rich in selenium.



Herring isn’t particularly popular in the United States, but in England, it’s common to see herring (referred to as “kippers”) on breakfast menus alongside eggs. Herring is a medium-sized oily fish and often sold canned after being cold-smoked, pickled, or precooked. It is rich in vitamin B12 and selenium, and also contains nearly 100% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin vital for bone health and hormone production. Each medium fillet of herring contains about 950 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, while a full 3.5-ounce serving provides over 2,300 mg.


alexdante / Pixabay

Flaxseeds are often the go-to source of omega-3 fats for vegans. These small seeds are often ground or milled to extract the oils. Flaxseeds are an especially potent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) omega-3 supplements. One tablespoon of raw seeds has about 2,350 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, while the oil provides a whopping 7,260 mg per tablespoon. Flaxseeds also provide prebiotic fiber, which feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Try adding them to homemade protein balls, salads, or oatmeal.


Salmon fresh in a bowl.

Salmon is arguably the poster child or the most notorious food high in omega-3 fatty acids, and it’s certainly up there in terms of providing the highest amounts of these healthy fatty acids. A 3.5-ounce serving of salmon provides about 2,250 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, and a six-ounce fillet offers 4,250 mg or about 266% of the AI.


Anchovies on flatbread.

Anchovies are tiny, oily fish often used to flavor sauces or salad dressings, or enjoyed as toppings on anything from pasta to pizza or appetizers. A 3.5-ounce serving of canned anchovies has about 2,110 mg of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. If you’d prefer an alternative small fish, sardines are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, with nearly 1,500 mg in 3.5 ounces.


Fresh caviar.

When you’re in the mood to dine lavishly, you can get your omega-3 fats from caviar, which consists of fish eggs (roe). These beautiful pearls often are used in Japanese cuisine along with other fine dining applications and impart a briny flavor. Caviar is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, providing over 1,000 mg of these healthy fats in a mere tablespoon. Not that it’s common to eat a full 3.5 ounces of this delicacy, but simply for comparison purposes, 3.5 ounces of caviar contains roughly 6,800 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.


Cooked oysters.

Not every oyster contains a pearl, but when it comes to nutrition content, oysters can certainly be seen as the ocean’s pearls. Oysters are the best dietary sources of zinc, containing an impressive 52 mg or 472% of the DV of this immune-supporting mineral in just six oysters. This same serving size also provides 370 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.

Chia Seeds

Chia seed pudding.

Chia seeds contain protein, fiber, and minerals like selenium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. There are also over 5,000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per ounce of chia seeds. They can be soaked into a chewy pudding, sprinkled on salads, added to granola or atop yogurt, and blended into smoothies.


Seaweed salad

Seaweed and algae are often sourced for vegan omega-3 supplements because of their high content of these essential fats, and the fact that they are one of the few plant groups that contain both DHA and EPA. Most plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids only contain ALA.


Sea bass.

Seabass is a fatty fish common to Japanese and South American cuisine. In addition to selenium and protein, seabass also contains 470 mg of DHA and 180 mg of EPA omega-3 fatty acids per serving. Another fatty fish option more common in the United States is trout. Trout has 440 mg of DHA and 400 mg of EPA per serving, along with vitamin D and potassium, which may help lower your blood pressure.



Walnuts are excellent for your skin and hair because they contain nourishing vitamin E along with healthy fats, including over 2,500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per ounce or seven walnuts. Consider adding them to yogurt, nutritious cereals, salads, or enjoying them as a pre-workout snack.



Soybeans are a type of legume, along with beans, lentils, and peas. They are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients, which have been shown to improve prostate health and reduce the risk of certain cancers. Whether you enjoy edamame, tofu, tempeh, or roasted soybeans, you’ll also get a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids. One cup of tofu provides 1,467 mg (92% AI) of omega-3 fats. If you prefer other legumes, you can get about 20% of the AI in a serving of navy beans or pinto beans.

Editors' Recommendations

Amber Sayer
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Amber Sayer is a fitness, nutrition, and wellness writer and editor, and was previously a Fitness Editor at Byrdie. She…
Collagen supplements: Should you take them?
The collagen benefits you need to know when deciding on collagen supplements
Collagen supp[lement.

With each passing year, there seems to be a newly discovered or formulated supplement that is "deemed necessary" to add to your personal repertoire to provide vital health benefits. From vitamin D to probiotics, it can feel like you need a small pharmacy inside your home just to keep up with your daily supplement needs. Next thing you know, you're popping fifty pills per day just to have your health potential maximized.
Collagen supplements are one of those said health supplements gaining traction in recent years, with purported benefits extending to everything from anti-aging skincare support to muscle building. But, do collagen supplements live up to the hype? What are the benefits of collagen supplements? Should you take one? We looked at all the research so we could answer these questions to help you make an informed decision about whether collagen supplements may improve your health. Keep reading to find out more if you should buy or sell on collagen supplements.

What is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, comprising about one-third of the body’s total protein composition. This versatile substance forms components of bones, teeth, skin, ligaments, tendons, muscles, blood vessels, and corneas, and plays an instrumental role in holding cells and tissues together.
Although there are over a dozen distinct types of collagen in the body, there are four abundant types. Over 90% of the collagen in the body is Type I. It is made of densely packed fibers and is present in harder structures like bones, teeth, tendons, and fibrous connective tissue. Type II collagen consists of loosely packed fibers and forms the elastic cartilage that cushions joints. Type III collagen primarily supports muscles, organs, and blood vessels, while Type IV collagen is involved in filtration in the skin.

Read more
These Are the Top 5 Foods High in Niacin You Should Be Eating
Steak, chicken and pork.

Consuming a well-rounded diet is a great way to ensure you make the most out of your nutrition. This helps you cover all of your macros as well as your micros. Still, even with a balanced meal plan, there are times when you could be missing out on certain nutrients. One of those key nutrients that you want to make sure you are making the most of is niacin, by consuming foods high in niacin.

Niacin, or vitamin B3, is a crucial vitamin that plays a number of roles in our overall health. For starters, niacin can help us maintain healthy levels of cholesterol. Cholesterol plays a vital role in heart health and making sure you consume niacin in your diet can help regulate those numbers.

Read more
A Guide to Vitamin B: Benefits and What Foods to Eat
Seafood that is high in vitamin B12.

Although vitamins B6 and B12 act as the more popular members of the vitamin B family, eight altogether play an essential part in your overall health. Specifically, these vitamins include: 

Vitamin B1, or thiamin: Grows healthy, functioning cells.
Vitamin B2, or riboflavin: A key component in energy production. 
Vitamin B3, or niacin: Assists in converting nutrients into energy. 
Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid: Assists enzymes while they build and break down fatty acids.
Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine: A coenzyme that supports immunity and maintains healthy brain function. 
Vitamin B7, or biotin: Helps with hair growth and healthy eyes, skin, and nails. 
Vitamin B9, or folate: Generates healthy red blood cells.
Vitamin B12, or cobalamin: Assists in forming red blood cells and DNA and healthy brain and nerve cells. 

Read more