How to Increase Your Intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

by Melissa Chichester

Are you getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet?

Eating a diet rich in fish, nuts, and seeds can help you receive enough of these “good fats” in your diet. Unfortunately, many diets fall short of these good fats. In fact, it is estimated that more than 90% of U.S. adults don’t get enough of EPA and DHA omega-3s from the diet to meet current recommendations for cardiovascular health.1,2

The most common omega-3 fatty acids are:

  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

These fatty acids are important because they support heart health and cardiovascular health.* Omega-3 fatty acids are also structural components of cell membranes. We need them for the maintenance of all of our body’s cells.* Plus, we need omega-3 fatty acids to help support skin health.*

So how can we get more into our diets? Here are 5 ways to consume more omega-3 fatty acids.

Eat more fish 

Fatty fish are a source of omega-3 fatty acids. This includes salmon, trout, tuna, anchovies, tuna, sardines, and more. Many people have trouble eating enough fish. It might be out of the budget or hard to find where you live – and you simply might not like seafood! However, if you can eat fish frequently, it’s a good way to get those omega-3 fatty acids in. 

Eat flaxseeds

Flaxseed oil is one of the most concentrated plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids found in nature. In addition, flaxseed oil supplements are an alternative for those who do not like fish oil supplements or eating fish. Flaxseeds are also a source of omega-6 fatty acids. They also provide oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid found in the membrane of nerves.

There are many ways to consume omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseeds. You can even make an egg substitute out of flaxseeds. Simply combine one tablespoon of flaxseed meal with 2 ½ tablespoons of water, and mix well until an egg-like substance forms. You can use this in baking and cooking. 

>>5 Plant-Based Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Cook with hemp seed oil

Hemp seed oil also contains omega-3 fatty acids. Cooking with hemp seed oil can help increase your intake. Use it in a stir fry, baked goods, or for frying something up on the stovetop. If oil isn’t your thing, sprinkle hemp seeds on a salad or into a smoothie for their nutritional benefits. 

Eat walnuts 

One of the best nut sources of omega-3 fatty acids is walnuts. Walnuts are a source of not only nutritious fatty acids but also some vitamins and minerals. They are a source of selenium, calcium, and fiber. 

Use omega-3 supplements

Puritan’s Pride Flaxseed with Hemp and Garlic is a source of heart healthy nutrients.* It supports heart health and skin health.* It’s also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids for people who cannot tolerate seafood or eat seafood. 

Our Kosher Omega-3 742 mg with EPA & DHA contains a 20-day supply of rapid-release softgels. This supplement provides a concentrated source of EPA and DHA to help maintain the health of your cardiovascular system and support healthy circulation.* 

One problem people have with fish oil supplements is that they are usually large in size. Puritan’s Pride Omega-3 Fish Oil 1290 mg Mini Gels are the perfect solution if you don’t want to swallow large pills. They support heart, skin, and joint health.* In addition, these purified fish oil softgels are coated to minimize any fishy aftertaste. 

Another option if you don’t tolerate swallowing pills are the Puritan’s Pride Omega-3 Gummies with Vitamin D3. This supplement has the same great omega-3 benefits and also supports bone health and immune health thanks to the addition of Vitamin D.*

>>Shop all omega-3 supplements

If you want to have omega-3 levels tested, a healthcare practitioner can provide an omega-3 index test. This is a simple blood test. Your doctor can make a personalized plan for you based on these results. Until then, eating a variety of foods can help provide the omega-3 fatty acids you need. Supplements can also complement your healthy lifestyle. 

1. Murphy RA, Yu EA, Ciappio ED, Mehta S, McBurney MI. Suboptimal plasma long chain n-3 concentrations are common among adults in the United States, NHANES 2003–2004. Nutrients. 2015;7(12):10282-10289. doi:10.3390/nu7125534
2. Papanikolaou Y, Brooks J, Reider C, Fulgoni VL. U.S. adults are not meeting recommended levels for fish and omega-3 fatty acid intake: Results of an analysis using observational data from NHANES 2003-2008. Nutr J. 2014. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-31
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.