8 Fish-Free Ways to Up Your Omega-3 Intake
Fishless Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are super important for both brain and heart health—and even nutritionists struggle to eat enough. The easy answer is to eat more seafood, but maybe seafood isn’t your thing. It's unclear whether supplements do much of anything for you, but not to worry: Each of these products will help you naturally nudge that number up, and most are available at large, well-stocked grocery stores.
Available in six flavors, each of these flaxseed-heavy muffins contains about 4g of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3. Our bodies naturally convert ALA to the “superior” omega-3s, DHA and EPA, but not very efficiently, so packing in the ALA is quite valuable.
Each cookie has 250mg of EPA and DHA omega-3s, as well as about 25% of your daily protein needs (mostly via grass-fed whey protein) and nearly one-third of your fiber goal. But at 330–340 calories and 20– 25% of your daily limit for sat fat, these are a hefty snack or dessert. There are three flavors: chocolate chip, peanut butter, and white chocolate macadamia; we liked chocolate chip best.
Susie's Smart Cookie
These breakfast cookies deliver up to 8g protein, 6g fiber, and 2g omega-3s, mostly from ground flaxseed, in 380–410 calories. Of the four available flavors—banana coconut, cocoa (pictured), orange cranberry nut (the original), and gingered apple—the banana coconut cookie garnered the most praise.
There’s nearly 1,600mg of ALA in a mere 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed. Eat them ground as your body can’t access the omega-3s (and other valuable nutrients like fiber and lignans) when the seed is whole. Here’s one more tip: Buy them whole and grind your flaxseed just before you use it—once ground, the fats (including ALAs) in the seeds can easily and quickly go rancid.
Omega 3 Fortified Milk
The most common brands we see at the grocery store are Organic Valley (which adds DHA, EPA, and ALA) and Horizon (adds only DHA). Both are organic with omega-3s physically added. Organic Valley Grassmilk contains 75–100mg per cup and Horizon Organic Milk with DHA Omega-3 has 32mg.
Omega 3 Fortified Milk
All eggs have some amount of omega-3s, but cartons bearing an “omega-3” label contain significantly more—around 115–225mg per enriched egg, based on the brand, compared to about 30mg per standard egg. The boost in omega-3s typically comes from flaxseed that farmers add to their hens’ diets.
Simply Essentials Chicken
This brand’s chicken and beef, which come from animals fed a flaxseed-heavy diet, are brimming with up to 833% more omega-3s than conventional chicken and beef. Cuts of their beef deliver anywhere from 22 to 134mg per 4 ounces; chicken contains slightly more, ranging from 48 to 341mg per 4 ounces.
Grass Fed Dairy
A study that compared raw grass-fed milk and whole grass-fed milk to conventional and organic milks found that both grass-fed milks had significantly more omega-3s. The raw grass-fed milk contained the most—and though drinking raw milk might be unsafe, those benefits could transfer to raw, aged, grass-fed milk cheeses.