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Foods High in Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN
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Foods High in Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)

DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) is an omega 3 fatty acid primarily responsible for the healthy development of the brain, skin, and retina. Further, some studies show cognitive benefits from DHA in older adults, improving memory and learning.

DHA is found primarily in fish and seafood. It can also be created by the body using alpha-linolenic acids (ALAs). Since DHA is important for cognitive development, it is also found in breast milk. This is true even if the mother does not consume fish or any animal products, as DHA is made from ALAs which are found in plants.

Foods high in DHA include salmon, tuna, canned tuna, trout, mussels, oysters, cod, fish eggs, pickled herring, clams, and snow crab. Pregnant women should avoid mackerel, swordfish, and striped bass due to their potential mercury content. All other sources should be considered safe and healthy as long as they are fresh and well prepared.

For more foods high in DHA see the list of 200 foods high in DHA fats, and the list of foods high in omega 3 fats.

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List of Foods Highest in DHA

1 Fish (Salmon)
Salmon Fillets
-637mg DHA per 3oz of canned salmon
2 Tuna
Tuna Fillet
-535mg DHA per 3oz of canned tuna
3 Trout
Trout Fish
4 Mussels
5 Oysters
Oysters on a plate
Oysters are also very high in iron.
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6 Atlantic Cod
A cod fillet
7 Fish Roe (Ikura, Caviar)
Salmon Roe
8 Pickled Herring
9 Clams
10 Snow Crab (Queen Crab)
A crab claw

See All 200 Foods High in Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)

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Data Sources and References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.
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