Foods rich in Omega 3

Foods that contain a lot of Omega 3


What foods are rich in omega-3?

sources of omega-3

Photo of oil, nuts and avocados, main sources of omega-3

Omega 3 is a family of fatty acids that mainly consists of 3 components: linolenic acid, eicosahexaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

In general, the main sources of omega 3 are found in plants (fruits, nuts and seeds) in the form of linolenic acid, which is an essential fatty acid (the body can not produce it). Oils obtained from nuts and seeds concentrate these fats and are rich in omega-3.

In our body, the liver can convert omega 3 from vegetables and oils into EPA and DHA, which are not considered essential (the body can manufacture them).

Omega 3 is a type of polyunsaturated fat, this means that it is unstable to heat. Therefore, vegetable oils containing omega 3 are very sensitive and should not be used for cooking or frying. They should be used raw in salads or dressings.

Vegetable oils rich in omega 3

Vegetable oils are those with the greatest amount of omega 3. Containing the highest proportion, we have cold-pressed flaxseed oil, followed by walnut oil.

It should be specified that omega 3 is a type of fat very sensitive to heat and oxidation. Therefore these oils should never be used for cooking and it is recommended to consume rich-antioxidant fruits that help protect the omega 3 oxidation.

OilContent in omega 3

measured in grams of omega 3 per 100g.

Linseed oil first cold pressed


Walnut oil


Canola oil


Wheat germ oil


Soy oil


Corn oil


Other vegetable oils that contain omega 3 in large quantity are soybean oil, canola oil, wheat germ or corn oil.

Foods rich in omega 3

The main foods with much omega-3 from plant sources are, in order of importance:

  • Ground flax seeds 1 tablespoon (10g) contains 2.3 g of omega3
  • Ground chia seeds 1 tablespoon (10g) contains 1.8 grams of omega3
  • Shelled hemp seeds1 tablespoon (10g) contains 1 g of omega3
  • Walnuts: 7 walnuts provide 2.5 g of omega3
FoodContent in omega 3

measured in grams of omega 3 per 100g.

Ground flax seeds


Ground chia seeds


Ground hemp seeds




Tahini (sesame paste)0,4

What is the best source of omega-3?

The best sources of omega 3 are the foods that contain it, rather than oils rich in omega-3.


Photo of walnuts. Walnuts are one of the richest foods in omega 3. As a source of omega 3, it is best to eat nuts than “nut oil”.

When omega-3 is found in foods, for example in flax seeds, it is protected from oxygen and retains its structure and properties. It keeps well for months, so we should only grind the seeds before eating them, in order that these fats to be released.

Instead, linseed oil, after processing, is very susceptible to oxidation (by contact with oxygen, by light, etc.) And therefore its omega3 easily deteriorates. It should be kept in a refrigerator. It only lasts a few months before becoming rancid.

Eating a lot of flax oil may even be counterproductive, increasing too polyunsaturated fats in the body, which causes increased oxidation (more information).

Therefore, if we want to eat much omega-3, we do from ingesting flax, chia or nuts daily. Other foods that also provide a certain amount of omega 3, although in much lower amounts than the above, are: almonds, soybeans, chickpeas, purslane, spinach, strawberries, cucumbers, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc.

Animal foods rich in omega 3

The richest omega-3 animal foods are semi-fat oily fish (bluefish)


Sardines are rich in omega 3

  • Blue Fish: Oily fish is the richest food in omega 3. Among this type of food, from most to least, we have: Capsules of concentrated fish oil, capsules of cod liver oil, sardines, anchovy, salmon, Cod (especially liver), Herring, Mackerel, Tuna. Small fish are recommended because the big fish contaminated by mercury.

In a fewer amount than fish, we point out:

  • Egg (yolk)
  • Seafood: Lobsters, crabs, shrimp, etc.
  • It has been reported that the meat of grazing animals contains more omega-3 than meat from animals fed intensively.

Content in omega 3

measured in grams of omega 3 per 100g.

Wild salmon1,7
Fresh tuna1,1
Canned sardines1

*Related information:

Omega 3 for vegetarians

Krill oil properties

Balance between Omega 3 and omega 6

Sources of Omega 3

punto rojo More information on essential fatty acids

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

12 April, 2024

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