Fish Oil

12 Foods That Are Very High in Omega-3

Many foods have Omega-3 fatty acids. A diet high in certain fish, seeds, and nuts can help you get more omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids have various benefits for your body and brain. Many mainstream health organizations recommend that healthy adults consume at least 250–500 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) per day. You can reach that amount by eating two servings of fatty fish per week ( 1 , 2 , 3). You can get high amounts of omega-3 fats from fatty fish, algae, and several high fat plant foods. For plant-based omega-3s, the Adequate Intake is 1,600 mg for males and 1,100 mg for females, according to the National Institutes of Health ( 4 ). Here is a list of 12 foods that are very high in omega-3.

1. Mackerel ( 4,580 mg per serving) Share on Pinterest Mackerel are small, fatty fish. In many countries, they are commonly smoked and eaten as whole fillets. Mackerel are incredibly rich in nutrients — a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving packs 500% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin B12 and 130% for selenium ( 5 ). What’s more, these fish are delicious and require little preparation. Omega-3 content: 4,580 mg of EPA and DHA (combined) in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) ( 5 )

3. Cod liver oil ( 2,438 mg per serving) Cod liver oil is more of a supplement than a food. As the name implies, it is oil extracted from the livers of the fish called cod. This oil is not only high in omega-3 fatty acids but also loaded with vitamins D and A, with a single tablespoon providing 170% and 453% of the Daily Value (DV), respectively ( 12 ). Therefore, taking just 1 tablespoon of cod liver oil more than satisfies your need for three incredibly important nutrients. However, don’t take more than 1 tablespoon at a time, as too much vitamin A can be harmful. Omega-3 content: 2,438 mg of EPA and DHA (combined) per tablespoon ( 12 )

4. Herring ( 2,150 mg per serving) Herring is a medium-size oily fish. It is often cold-smoked, pickled, or precooked and then sold as a canned snack. Smoked herring is a popular breakfast food in countries such as England, where it’s called kippers and is served with eggs. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of herring contains almost 100% of the DV for selenium and 779% of the DV for vitamin B12 ( 13 ). Omega-3 content: 2,150 mg of EPA and DHA (combined) in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) ( 13 )

5. Oysters (329 mg per serving) Share on Pinterest Shellfish are among the most nutritious foods you can eat. In fact, oysters contain more zinc than any other food on the planet. Just 6 raw eastern oysters (3 ounces or 85 grams) pack 289% of the DV for zinc, 69% for copper, and 567% for vitamin B12 ( 14 , 15 ). Oysters can be eaten as an appetizer, snack, or whole meal. Raw oysters are a delicacy in many countries. Omega-3 content: 329 mg of EPA and DHA (combined) in 6 raw eastern oysters, or 391 mg per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) ( 14 )

6. Sardines ( 1,463 mg per serving) Sardines are very small oily fish that are commonly eaten as an appetizer, snack, or delicacy. They’re highly nutritious, especially when eaten whole. They contain almost every nutrient your body needs. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of drained sardines provides more than 370% of the DV for vitamin B12, 24% for vitamin D, and 96% for selenium ( 16 ). Omega-3 content: 1,463 mg of EPA and DHA (combined) per cup (149 grams) of canned Atlantic sardines, or 982 mg per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) ( 16 )

7. Anchovies (411 mg per serving) Anchovies are tiny oily fish often bought dried or canned. Usually eaten in very small portions, anchovies can be rolled around capers, stuffed into olives, or used as pizza and salad toppings. Because of their strong taste, they are also used to flavor many dishes and sauces, including Worcestershire sauce, remoulade, and Caesar dressing. Anchovies are a great source of niacin and selenium, and boned anchovies are a decent source of calcium ( 17 ). Omega-3 content: 411 mg of EPA and DHA (combined) per 5 anchovies (20 grams), or 2,053 mg per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) ( 17 )

8. Caviar (1,046 mg per serving) Caviar consists of fish eggs, or roe. Widely regarded as a luxurious food item, caviar is most often used in small quantities as an appetizer, taster, or garnish. Caviar is a good source of choline and a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids ( 18 ). Omega-3 content: 1,046 mg of EPA and DHA (combined) per tablespoon (16 grams), or 6,540 mg per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) ( 18 )

11. Walnuts (2,570 mg per serving) Walnuts are very nutritious and loaded with fiber. They also contain high amounts of copper, manganese, and vitamin E, as well as important plant compounds ( 24 ). Make sure not to remove the skin, as it packs most of walnuts’ phenol antioxidants, which offer important health benefits (25). Omega-3 content: 2,570 mg of ALA per ounce (28 grams), or about 14 walnut halves ( 24 )

12. Soybeans (670 mg per serving) Soybeans are a good source of fiber and vegetable protein. They are also a good source of other nutrients, including riboflavin, folate, vitamin K, magnesium, and potassium ( 26 ). However, soybeans are also very high in omega-6 fatty acids. Researchers have suggested that eating too much omega-6 may cause inflammation ( 27 ). Omega-3 content: 670 mg of ALA in a 1/2 cup (47 grams) of dry roasted soybeans, or 1,440 mg per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) ( 26 )

13. Other foods? Keep in mind that sections 1–8 discuss foods that contain the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA, which are found in some animal foods, seafood, and algae. Conversely, sections 9–12 mention foods that provide the omega-3 fat ALA, which is inferior to the other two. Although not as high in omega-3 as the foods above, many other foods contain decent amounts. These include pastured eggs, omega-3-enriched eggs, meats and dairy products from grass-fed animals, hemp seeds, and vegetables such as spinach, Brussels sprouts, and purslane.

How is Fish Oil made?

I got this great question from David: "where does the fish oil come from? from where in/on the fish? what kind of fish?"

I really was not sure, so I did a little research and this is what I found. The fish oil is processed from whole fish and follows the following steps to separate the three major parts of the fish; fat-free dry solids, fats and water.

fish meal & oil processing plant in Iceland

raw fish enters the processing plant and is hashed (cut into pieces) and cooked by steam. The cooked mass of fish is then pressed or centrifuged to separate the fat-free dry solids and the liquid (oil & water). The fat-free dry solids are further processed into fish meal. Fish meal is commonly used in animal feed. The liquid (oil & water) which is called press liquor is further processed to separate the oil and water. The water that is separated from the oil also has solids in it and is added back into the fish meal. The next stages of oil processing is calling polishing. This is where impurities are removed via hot water. The final stage of oil processing involves adding anti-oxidants before the oil is placed in stainless steel storage containers.

Check out this link for more detailed description of the processing.

Sardines, anchovies, herring, mackerel, salmon and tuna are used most for human consumption as well as other Pelagic species. Pelagic fish live near the surface of the water as opposed to the bottom of the ocean floor. They can generally be found anywhere from the surface to 1,000 meters (547 fathoms) deep.

If you have any other questions please send me an email.


Mike Reid

Eric Carter