8 Foods That Can Help With Recovery: Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The word ‘fat’ tends to bring up negative associations in our minds: poor physical health, lack of mental discipline, emotional eating, etc. However, Omega-3 fatty acids are a bit of a game-changer.

Omega-3s are linked with a variety of physical health benefits and, in recent years, have been linked to serious mental health benefits. They play a significant role in brain function as they are heavily concentrated in the brain and have been linked to improved memory and behavior; Omega-3s have been inversely associated with depression and also seem to act as a powerful supplementary treatment in some mental health cases.

Some scientists assert, based on the low levels of Omega-3 intake in developed countries, that ingesting more of this fatty acid might be a key in controlling depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), addiction and autism. Here are just eight Omega-3–rich foods you should add to your grocery list.


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These little powerhouse seeds pack a whopping 133% of the daily recommended intake of Omega-3 fatty acids per serving (2 tablespoons). They’re antioxidant-rich, good for your heart and have been shown to improve metabolic syndrome. Conveniently, you can incorporate ground flaxseeds into baked goods such as breads, muffins and even cookies!


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Coming in close behind flaxseeds, walnuts contain 113% of the daily recommended intake of Omega-3 fatty acids. They have been linked with improved cardiovascular health, anti-inflammatory qualities and decreased risk of some cancers. Like most tree nuts, walnuts are high-calorie, so be mindful of your intake.


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The inclusion of this friendly fish on the Omega-3 list should come as no surprise; with 55% of the recommended daily intake of fatty acids per 4oz serving, salmon is a great go-to. Salmon is widely recognized as the most common source of Omega-3s and has been linked with cardiovascular improvement, improved mood and cognition, joint protection and decreased cancer risk.


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This one is a bit controversial, as there has been much speculation around the possible negative health effects of soy. That said, the soybean contains 43% of the daily recommended intake of Omega-3s. Try to consume the soybean in its whole or fermented form (tempeh, fermented tofu, soy miso) as processed soy is the one making most of the trouble.


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With 14% of your daily recommended intake of Omega-3s per 4oz serving, don’t overlook shrimp in your quest for the elusive fatty acid. Shrimp are relatively low-calorie and are actually a pretty great source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties (are you sensing a theme, yet?). Plus, they’re delicious.

Brussel Sprouts

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Don’t discount the sprout! While this vegetable may have a stinky reputation, the health benefits are anything but. Brussel sprouts contain 11% of the recommended daily intake of Omega-3s. Be careful not to overcook your sprouts, as their nutritional value diminishes when they’re cooked for too long; steaming is the best method!


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This cruciferous vegetable has been linked to cancer prevention; it supports the body’s detox system as well as the inflammatory and anti-inflammatory systems. Cauliflower houses 9% of the recommended daily intake of Omega-3s and is a great source of vitamin C (woohoo!). Like with brussel sprouts, don’t overcook cauliflower: cook ‘em with some tumeric in a skillet for extra flavor.


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In six grams of this healthy spice, you’ll find 278mg of omega-3 fatty acids. Ground cloves are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin E, calcium and is very low in cholesterol. They have also been associated with toxicity prevention and have anti-inflammatory properties. Cloves compliment curry dishes, apple cider and savory soups.

Feature Image: UnitedSoybeanBoard