Eat Up: The Best Food Choices for Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 Essential Fatty Acids
You already know the importance of adding essential fatty acids to your diet, but do you know the best food sources for omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9?
We’re making it easy to work these must-have “essentials” into your daily routine by sharing some of our favorite food choices for each one below.
Best Choices for Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (Linolenic Acid)
- Cold water high-fat fish, especially wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, shad, herring, and trout
- Flaxseed oil (which has the highest linolenic content of any food), flaxseeds, flaxseed meal, hempseed oil, hempseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, and sesame seeds
- Certain dark green leafy vegetables, including kale, spinach, purslane, mustard greens, and collards
Best Choices for Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids (Linoleic Acid)
- Flaxseed oil, flaxseeds, flaxseed meal
- Hempseed oil, hempseeds
- Grapeseed oil
- Seeds such pumpkin seeds and raw sunflower seeds
- Nuts, including pignolia (pine) nuts and pistachios
- Borage oil, evening primrose oil, black currant see oil
Corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, and cottonseed oils are also good sources of linoleic acid, but are refined and may be deficient in some nutrients
Best Choices for Omega-9 Essential Fatty Acids (Oleic Acid)
Since our bodies can manufacture it, omega-9 technically isn’t classified as an essential fatty acid. However, foods rich in oleic acid are still recommended because of the role it plays in cancer protection, and decreasing the risk of heart attacks and arteriosclerosis. Good sources for omega 9 include:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Nuts such as almonds, peanuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts
- Sesame oil
Oh, and a few special notes on nuts and seeds—try to buy organic when possible, get in small batches, and store in the freezer to protect from rancidity.
And there you have it. All those essential fatty acids your skin and body needs for better health and a more youthful-looking appearance, simplified into one easy-to-shop list.
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