Essential Fatty Acids – List of top food sources

Essential Fatty Acids

Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids are fats that are necessary within the human body. Adding more Essential Fatty Acids to your daily diet is a great way to support our best natural health. Essential Fatty Acids support cardiovascular health, brain function and development, skin health, and offer many other benefits for your body. In this article we will explore the most common food sources for Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.


Sources of Non-Vegetarian Essential Fatty Acids:

  1. The first thing that probably comes to your mind is fish. It’s true, most fish are excellent sources of essential fatty acids. In particular, cold water fish:
    • Salmon
    • Herring
    • Mackerel
  2. Eggs

Sources of  Vegetarian Essential Fatty Acids:

On the contrary, I personally recommend to choose Essential Fatty Acids from plant sources. Reason is simple. Fish do not produce omega-3 fatty acids themselves. Fish stores the Omega-3 fats from the algae which it consumes. Only plants can synthesize omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid) and omega-6 fats (linoleic acid) which are therefore referred to as essential fatty acids.

In addition to providing essential fats, plants have NO cholesterol, are lower in saturated fat than fish, and don’t contain mercury, lead, toxic waste and other pollutants commonly found in fish.

  1. Sources of Omega-3 fatty acids:

    • flax seeds,
    • hemp seeds,
    • canola,
    • walnuts,
    • pumpkin seeds,
    • soybeans and its products such as tofu and tempeh.
    • Dark green veggies such as kale, collards, chard, parsley, seaweed, and cereal grasses (wheat & barley grasses) are also good sources because all green (chlorophyll-rich) foods contain Omega-3 fats in their chloroplasts.
  2. Sources of Omega-6 fatty acids:

    • Sunflower,
    • soybeans,
    • hemp seeds,
    • walnuts,
    • pumpkin seeds,
    • sesame seeds,
    • flax seeds, and
    • most grains.

While using dietary supplements may be the easiest way to get your Essential Fatty Acids, consuming food sources of Omega-3s and Omega-6s is necessary as well. Add walnuts to your oatmeal in the morning, or have almonds as your afternoon snack.  Being sure to incorporate Essential Fatty Acids into your daily routine is an easy way to support overall health and wellness.


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