2018 Best List of Omega 3 Rich Foods

I struggle daily to feed my kids Omega 3 rich foods.

My go-to Omega 3 Rich foods are:

Wild Salmon
Flax Seed
Chia Seeds
Brussel Sprouts
Collard Greens

Some herring, anchovies

This site so far it the best on showing you what are the best Omega 3 foods out there:


Top 10 Foods Rich In Omega 3 Fatty Acids


Omega 3 Fatty acids are essential fatty acids, also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Basically they are unsaturated fats which are beneficial for the cardiovascular system. They play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development. Besides, they also aid in reducing the risk of heart diseases. These fats are not produced in the body, so they have to be obtained from foods and supplements.
According to research, omega-3 fatty acids play an instrumental role in reducing inflammation. They lower the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Being concentrated in the brain, it is important for brain memory and performance and behavioural function. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk of developing vision and nerve problems. Deficiency symptoms of omega-3 fatty acids include poor memory, fatigue, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings, depression and poor circulation.

List of omega−3 fatty acids:

This table lists several different names for the most common omega−3 fatty acids found in nature.
Common name
Lipid name
Chemical name
Hexadecatrienoic acid (HTA)
16:3 (n−3)
allcis-7,10,13-hexadecatrienoic acid
18:3 (n−3)
allcis-9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid
18:4 (n−3)
allcis-6,9,12,15-octadecatetraenoic acid
20:3 (n−3)
allcis-11,14,17-eicosatrienoic acid
20:4 (n−3)
allcis-8,11,14,17-eicosatetraenoic acid
20:5 (n−3)
allcis-5,8,11,14,17-eicosapentaenoic acid
21:5 (n−3)
all-cis-6,9,12,15,18-heneicosapentaenoic acid
Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA),
Clupanodonic acid
22:5 (n−3)
allcis-7,10,13,16,19-docosapentaenoic acid
22:6 (n−3)
allcis-4,7,10,13,16,19-docosahexaenoic acid
24:5 (n−3)
allcis-9,12,15,18,21-tetracosapentaenoic acid
Tetracosahexaenoic acid (Nisinic acid)
24:6 (n−3)
allcis-6,9,12,15,18,21-tetracosahexaenoic acid

Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids:

  • Seafood is the largest source of omega-3 fatty acids which includes fish such as tuna, salmon and halibut, and other sea foods including algae and krill.
  • Walnuts, soy foods, pumpkin seeds and canola (rapeseed) oil are other sources of omega-3 fats.
  • Dark-green, leafy vegetables like spinach and romaine lettuce are high in omega-3s too.
  • Apart from these, fruits such as melons, black berries and pomegranates contain omega-3s in high concentrations.
World’s Healthiest Foods ranked as quality sources of omega-3 fats
Foods Rating
Flax Seeds, ground
2 tbs
0.25 cup
4 oz-wt
very good
3.20 oz-wt
very good
Beef, grass-fed
4 oz
very good
2 tsp
very good
1 cup cooked
4 oz-wt
4 oz-wt
4 oz-wt
4 oz-wt
4 oz-wt
4 oz-wt
Winter Squash
1 cup baked
Collard Greens
1 cup cooked
1 cup cooked
1 cup
1 cup cooked
Mustard Seeds
2 tsp
Romaine Lettuce
2 cups
Turnip Greens
1 cup cooked
1 cup
Brussels Sprouts
1 cup raw
1 tbs
Green Beans
1 cup raw
1 cup raw
World’s Healthiest Foods Rating Rule
DV>=75% OR
Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
very good
DV>=50% OR
Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
DV>=25% OR
Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%

Omega 3 Rich Foods:

The top ten sources of omega 3 fatty acids foods are as follows.

1. Fish Oil:

Fish oil is probably the most important source of omega-3 fatty acids. It is a well- known supplement of omega-3s and can be found in both liquid form and capsules.
  • There are two important types of omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Both these acids are found in fish.
  • Salmon is a rich source of healthy fats as well as omega 3s.
  • Farm raised salmon contains about 1.8 grams of omega-3s per 3 ounce serving and has a greater quantity of omega-3s than wild salmon.
  • However it provides less usable omega-3s and contains more of pesticides and antibiotics.
  • Therefore, it is preferable to have wild caught salmon without the chemicals.
[ Read: Vitamin B6 Foods ]
Other fish:
Besides salmon, there are plenty of other fish which are rich omega-3 sources. These include bluefish, tuna, herring, shrimps, mackerel, trout, anchovies, sardines etc. It is generally recommended to consume fish two to three times per week.
Given below are some popular fish and shellfish and their approximate total content of omega-3 fats per 4 ounce portion:
  • Salmon (Atlantic, Chinook, Coho):1,200-2,400 mg
  • Anchovies: 2,300-2,400 mg
  • Bluefin tuna: 1,700 mg
  • Yellowfin tuna: 150-350 mg
  • Canned tuna: 150-300 mg
  • Sardines: 1,100-1,600 mg.
  • Trout: 1,000-1,100 mg.
  • Crab: 200-550 mg.
  • Cod: 200 mg
  • Scallops: 200 mg.
  • Lobsters: 200 mg.
  • Tilapia: 150 mg.
  • Shrimp: 100 mg

2. Other Oils:

Apart from fish oil, there are other oils which are great sources of ALA omega-3 fatty acids. These are olive oil, canola oil, flax seed oil, and soybean oil.
Olive and canola oils can easily form part of our diet by adding them to vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, carrots, onions or potatoes or roasting them, thus leading to a healthy diet.

3. Flaxseed:

Both flax seeds and flax seed oil are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These seeds are reddish brown or golden yellow in colour.
  • They should be grounded to get the most nutrients as the outer hull of the seed is very difficult to digest.
  • Flaxseeds can easily be found in the health section of any local grocery store.
  • As far as flaxseed oil is concerned, it is better to grind your own flax seeds rather than buying flaxseed oil from the store as store bought oil turns rancid even if kept in a refrigerator.
  • The greatest advantage of flaxseed is that it can easily be added to a smoothie or oatmeal.
You can try two tablespoons of flaxseed with oatmeal or frozen berries in your protein shake. Some plant sources and their quantities of omega-3s are as follows:
  • Flaxseed oil, 1 tablespoon . . . . . 8.5 grams of ALA
  • English walnuts, 1 ounce. . . . . . 2.6 grams of ALA
  • Flaxseeds, 1 tablespoon. . . . . . . 2.2 grams of ALA
  • Canola oil, 1 tablespoon. . . . . . . 1.2 grams of ALA

4. Eggs:

Those who are not fond of fish can switch to eggs as eggs are also among the foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids.
  • In order to consume complete fatty acids, grass fed beef or poultry is most suitable.
  • However it is difficult and expensive to find grass fed beef or poultry.
  • These can be substituted with a variety of free range eggs which contain 7 times more omega-3s than regular eggs.
  • They are easily available at most grocery chains.

5. Chia Seeds:

Being another source of ALA, this unprocessed, nutty-tasting seeds were used by the Aztecs as their main energy source for hundreds of years.
  • These tiny seeds are rich in fibre, protein, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
  • These can also be used as a substitute for whole grains.
  • Unlike other seeds, it is not required to grind them for your body to absorb nutrients.
  • Chia seeds can be sprinkled on yogurt, cereals and salads.
  • They can also be added to shakes, smoothies and quick bread batter to get the nutrition.
  • One to two tablespoons of chia seeds each day is considered a very healthy amount.

6. Hemp Seeds:

Hemp seeds contain the most essential fatty acids of any nuts or seeds. They are high in proteins, minerals and polyunsaturated fatty ascids like gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and stearidonic acid (SDA).
Hemp seeds can also be sprinkled on foods and should be stored in the freezer to prevent them from going bad.

7. Cauliflower:

Cauliflower also contains a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids which makes this leafy vegetable suitable for maintaining a healthy condition of the heart. Apart from omega-3, it is rich in nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and niacin.
In order to retain its nutrients, cauliflower should be steamed for not more than five to six minutes and lemon juice or cold pressed virgin olive oil should be added to it.

8. Brussels Sprouts:

These little green vegetables are a storehouse of nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids and are considered perfect food for promoting healthy and beautiful skin. They should be steamed for about five minutes before consuming.
Each serving of Brussels sprouts contains about 430 milligrams of alpha-linolenic acid.
[ Read: Benefits Of Copper  ]

9. Purslane:

This salad with a slightly peppery taste contains about 400 milligrams of omega-3s per serving. It is also high in calcium, potassium, iron and vitamin A. This places it high on the list of omega 3 foods.

10. Perilla Oil:

This particular oil is extracted from the seeds of the herb perilla and is an excellent omega 3 food.
Over 50 percent of perilla oil has ALA, with around 8960 milligrams omega-3 fatty acids per tablespoon.


Here are my favorite go to foods and recipes rich in Omega 3.
Also below is the most delicious, highest Omega 3 rich foods at Trader Joe’s.

1. Wild Salmon: Mackerel has more Omega 3 but I love wild salmon more!
Salmon (4023 mg per serving)
Salmon contains high-quality proteins and large amounts of magnesium, potassium, selenium and B-vitamins. (Ref 1, 2)
Studies show that people who regularly eat Omega 3 rich fish, like salmon, have a lower risk of diseases like heart disease, dementia and depression (Ref 3-7).
Omega-3 content: 4023 mg in half a fillet, or 2260 mg in 100 grams (3.5 oz).
This is so easy to not mess up. Just don’t over cook it.
I love this NYT article. I add on top or under the fish, cleaned, cut leeks, or kale or even collard greens. 


  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 4 tablespoons minced chervil, parsley or dill
  • 1 salmon fillet, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
  •  Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  •  Lemon wedges


  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Place the butter and half the herb in a roasting pan just large enough to fit the salmon and place it in the oven. Heat about 5 minutes, until the butter melts and the herb begins to sizzle.
  2. Add the salmon to the pan, skin side up. Roast 4 minutes. Remove from the oven, then peel the skin off. (If the skin does not lift right off, cook 2 minutes longer.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper and turn the fillet over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper again.
  3. Roast 3 to 5 minutes more, depending on the thickness of the fillet and the degree of doneness you prefer. Cut into serving portions, spoon a little of the butter over each and garnish with the remaining herb. Serve with lemon wedges.
  4. Approximate:
  5. 3.5-ounce serving of salmon contains about 1gram, or 1,000 milligrams, of omega3 fatty acid-rich fish oil
  6. Calories (kcal) 480 Fat (g) 38 Saturated Fat (g) 5 Cholesterol (mg) 85 Carbohydrates (g) 6 Dietary Fiber (g) 2 Total Sugars (g) 3 Protein (g) 31 Sodium (mg) 330

2.  Here is a list of 12 foods that are very high in omega-3.

Mackerel are small, fatty fish.
In Western countries, they are commonly smoked and eaten as whole fillets at breakfast. They are incredibly rich in nutrients, and a 3.5 oz (100 g) piece of mackerel provides 200% of the RDI for vitamin B12 and 100% for selenium (4).
On top of that, these fish are quite tasty yet require almost no preparation.
Omega-3 content: 4107 mg in one piece, or 5134 mg per 100 grams (3.5 oz).

Cod liver oil is more of a supplement than a food.
As the name implies, it is oil that is extracted from the livers of cod fish.
Not only is this oil high in omega-3 fatty acids, it is also loaded with vitamin D (338% of the RDI) and vitamin A (270% of the RDI).
Taking just a single tablespoon of cod liver oil therefore more than satisfies your need for three incredibly important nutrients.
However, definitely don’t take more than a tablespoon, because too much vitamin A can be harmful.
Omega-3 content: 2664 mg in a single tablespoon.

Herring is a medium-sized oily fish. It is often cold-smoked or precooked, and then sold as a canned snack.
Smoked herring is a popular breakfast food in countries like England, where it is served with eggs and called kippers.
A standard smoked fillet contains almost 100% of the RDI for vitamin D and selenium, and 50% of the RDI for B12.
Omega-3 content: 3181 mg per fillet, or 1729 mg per 100 grams (3.5 oz).

Shellfish are among the most nutritious foods you can eat.
In fact, oysters contain more zinc than any other food on the planet. A 100-gram portion of raw oysters (6–7 oysters) contains 600% of the RDI for zinc, 200% for copper and 300% for vitamin B12.
Oysters are usually eaten as an appetizer, snack or whole meal. Raw oysters are a delicacy in many countries.
Omega-3 content: 565 mg in 6 oysters, or 672 mg per 100 grams (3.5 oz).

Sardines are very small, oily fish. They are commonly eaten out of a tin or jar as a starter, snack or delicacy.
Sardines are highly nutritious, especially when eaten whole. They contain almost every single nutrient that the human body needs.
One cup of drained sardines provides over 200% of the RDI for vitamin B12, and over 100% for vitamin D and selenium.
Omega-3 content: 2205 mg per cup, or 1480 mg per 100 grams (3.5 oz).

Anchovies are tiny, oily fish that are often found dried or in a jar with oil.
They are usually eaten in very small portions, such as rolled around capers, stuffed in olives or as pizza and salad toppings.
Because of their strong flavor, they are also used to add flavor to many dishes and sauces, including Worcestershire sauce, remoulade and Caesar dressing.
Anchovies are a great source of niacin and selenium, and boned anchovies are also rich in calcium.
Omega-3 content: 951 mg per one can (2 oz), or 2113 mg per 100 grams (3.5 oz).

Caviar consists of fish eggs, or roe. It is widely regarded as a highly luxurious food item, and is most often used in small quantities as a starter, taster or garnish.
Caviar is high in choline and exceptionally low in omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega-3 content: 1086 mg per tablespoon, or 6789 mg per 100 grams (3.5 oz).

Flaxseeds are small brown or yellow seeds. They are often ground, milled or used to make oil.
These seeds are by far the richest whole food source of the omega-3 fat called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and flaxseed oil is often used as an omega-3 supplement.
Flaxseeds are also very high in fiber, vitamin E, magnesium and other nutrients. They have a great omega-6:omega-3 ratio compared to most oily plant seeds.
Omega-3 content: 2338 mg per tablespoon of seeds, 7196 mg per tablespoon of oil.

Chia seeds are incredibly nutritious.
They are rich in manganese, calcium, phosphorus and various other nutrients.
A standard 1-oz (28 gram) 2-tbsp. serving (24 g) of chia seeds contains 4 grams of protein, including all eight essential amino acids.
Omega-3 content: 4915 mg per ounce (28 grams).

Walnuts are very nutritious and loaded with fiber. They also contain high amounts of copper, manganese, vitamin E and important plant compounds.
However, do not remove the skin, as it contains most of the phenol antioxidants found in walnuts.
Omega-3 content: 2542 mg per ounce, which amounts to 7 about walnuts.

Soybeans are a good source of fiber and vegetable protein.
They also contain high amounts of other nutrients, including riboflavin, folate, vitamin K, magnesium and potassium.
However, soybeans are also very high in omega-6 fatty acids, so they should not be relied on as a sole omega-3 source. We need to get omega-3s and omega-6s in a certain balance.
Omega-3 content: 1241 mg in half a cup, or 1443 mg per 100 grams (3.5 oz).

Keep in mind that foods 1-8 contain the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA, which are found in some animal foods, seafood and algae.
Conversely, foods 9-12 contain the omega-3 fat ALA, which is inferior to the other two. 
Although not as high in omega-3 as the foods listed above, there are many other foods that contain decent amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
These include pastured eggs, omega-3 enriched eggs, meats from grass-fed animals, grass-fed dairy products, hemp seeds, as well as some vegetables like spinach, Brussel’s sprouts and purslane.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids at Trader Joes

You’ve heard about Omega 3 in the news, seen the bottles of supplements at grocery stores and generally accepted that it’s good for you. But what makes it so great, and where is the best place to get it? Omega 3 fatty acids are a family of unsaturated fatty acids that can provide dramatic health and healing effects to the body.
Omega 3 fatty acid became famous several years ago when studies tied it to affording possible protection against coronary heart disease. In 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) gave “qualified health claim” status to a category of fatty acids, including Omega 3.

Why Omega 3?

Omega 3 fatty acids have nearly unparalleled benefits for circulation. Fish oil especially stimulates blood circulation, reduces blood pressure and increases the breakdown of fibrin, a chemical compound that contributes to clot and scar formation in the body. In addition, Omega 3 fatty acids rapidly reduce blood triglyceride levels. Regular use also significantly reduces the chances of secondary and primary heart attacks. While there are no conclusive reports as of yet, some benefits of improvement of rheumatoid arthritis and cardiac arrhythmias have been reported. Scientists are also closely looking at the possible effects that Omega 3 fatty acids have on patients that suffer from depression and anxiety. Preliminary studies have shown “highly significant improvement from Omega-3 fatty acids supplementation.”

How do I get it?

Currently, the largest available source of Omega-3 is cold water oily fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovies. Richer than fish oils are flax (aka linseed) and flax oil—probably the largest available source of botanical Omega-3. Other sources of Omega-3 include eggs, milk and cheese that is produced by grass and insect fed animals. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating a variety of fatty fish twice a week or more, and to include other oils and foods that are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (which can be converted to omega-3 by the body). Walnuts, flax seed and tofu are foods that carry significant amounts of alpha-linolenic acid and are recommended by the AHA.
While obtaining Omega-3 fatty acid from food sources is preferable, and strongly recommended by the AHA, some people—especially coronary artery disease patients—may not be able to get enough from food sources alone. Supplements of Omega-3 fatty acids are also available, ranging from fish oil to flax oil pills.
Trader Joe’s carries several types of Omega-3 rich foods and supplements, including eggs, fresh seafood and oily fish products, flax seed and walnuts and their oils, and more. If you are at high risk for heart disease or stroke, consult your doctor to determine the amount of Omega-3 fatty acid that is right for you.
How best to fry fish?
This is controversial as purists would say frying in Corn or Canola or Peanut Oil or Sunflower Oil is a bad idea. 
Not sure what to believe. I fry usually in olive oil or coconut oil. My surgical colleague never eats any oil anymore as he is on the Dr. Fuhrman diet to lower his cholesterol. My surgeon dad also uses minimal olive oil to cook. 


 2017 Aug 19;5(6):1195-1204. doi: 10.1002/fsn3.512. eCollection 2017 Nov.

Effects of cooking techniques on fatty acid and oxylipin content of farmed rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

Author information

Department of Food Science and NutritionUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulMNUSA.
USDA ARS Human Nutrition Research CenterGrand ForksNDUSA.
Department of Biomedical SciencesUniversity of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health SciencesGrand ForksNDUSA.
USDAAgricultural Research ServiceNational Center for Cool and Cold Water AquacultureKearneysvilleWVUSA.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of various cooking techniques on the fatty acid and oxylipin content of farmed rainbow trout. Rainbow trout is an excellent source of long-chain omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) which have beneficial health effects. Fillets of 2-year-old farmed rainbow trout were baked, broiled, microwaved, or pan-fried in corn (CO), canola (CaO), peanut (PO), or high oleic sunflower oil (HOSO). Fatty acids and oxidized lipids were extracted from these samples and their respective raw fillet samples. Fatty acid content was determined using gas chromatography and oxylipin content by mass spectroscopy. The values obtained from each cooking method were compared to those obtained from the respective raw fillets using paired t tests. PUFA content was not altered when samples were baked, broiled, microwaved, or pan-fried in CO or CaO. Pan-frying in PO reduced α-linolenic acid (18:3n-3), eicosadienoic acid (20:2n-6), and dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (20:3n-6), while pan-frying in HOSO reduced 18:3n-3, eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3), docosapentaenoic acid (22:5n-3), docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3), linoleic acid (18:2n-6), 18:3n-6, 20:2n-6, 20:3n-6, docosatrienoic acid (22:2n-6), and adrenic acid (22:4n-6) compared to raw fish. Cooking decreased the omega-6 (n-6) PUFA-derived oxylipins, but caused no change in 20:5n-3 or 22:6n-3-derived oxylipins of the fillets. In conclusion, pan-frying was the only cooking method to alter the fatty acid content of the fillets, while observed changes in oxylipin content varied by cooking method. As the physiological impact of oxylipins is currently unknown, these results suggest that the cooking methods which optimize the consumption of n-3 PUFA from rainbow trout are baking, broiling, microwaving, or pan-frying in CO, CaO, or PO.

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