There’s a super-important nutrient that, chances are, you’re not getting enough of: omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3s are a nutrient powerhouse, shown to improve heart health and mood. There are two kinds of omega-3s, in particular, that are important for overall health: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
“They are longer than other omega-3s, so they make your cell membranes more fluid, which helps brain, eye and nerve cells function better,” says Kantha Shelke, a spokeswoman for the Institute of Food Technologists. Yet most Americans only get 100 mg a day of DHA/EPA, far short of the recommended 250 mg.
All sorts of foods have been boasting omega-3s lately, from orange juice to bread. EatingWell magazine recently reported on how to get more of these healthy fats in your diet:
1. Wild cold-water fish make DHA/EPA from the algae they eat. You get 2,085 mg from a 4-ounce serving of salmon, 1,110 mg from sardines and 305 mg from light tuna.
2. Seaweed (nori) and kelp (wakame, kombu or dulse) are both algae, which produce some DHA/EPA. In a 1-ounce serving, you get 134 mg.
1. Eggs: Chickens turn some of the omega-3s from flaxseed in their feed into DHA/EPA. One large egg can contain up to 150 mg of omega-3s, some of which is DHA/EPA.
2. Milk: Some brands of milk add fish oil or algal oil to give a DHA/EPA boost (don’t worry, you can’t taste it!); 1 cup of fortified milk delivers up to 50 mg.
3.Peanut butter: Like milk, some brands are adding fish oil; a 2-tablespoon serving provides 32 mg DHA/EPA.