Top 10 Foods Highest in Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Top 10 Foods Highest in Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fats with various health benefits including reducing the risk of heart disease (1), reducing the risk and severity of dementia (2), and alleviating inflammation in arthritis sufferers (3). They are referred to as 'essential fats' as they cannot be made in the body, so have to be obtained through the diet.

The 3 principal omega-3 fatty acids are:

High omega-3 foods include flaxseeds, chia seeds, fish, walnuts, tofu, shellfish, canola oil, navy beans, brussels sprouts, and avocados. (4) The adequate intake (AI) for omega 3 fats is 1600mg per day.

Below are the top 10 foods high in omega 3 fatty acids. For more, see the list of foods with a high omega 3 to omega 6 ratio, and the complete list of over 200 foods high in omega 3s.


List of High Omega 3 Foods

Flax Seeds

#1: Flax Seeds

4mg Omega 3 per 1mg Omega 6
Omega 3s
per Oz
Omega 3s
per 100g
Omega 3s
per 200 Calories
6479mg
(405% AI)
22813mg
(1426% AI)
8544mg
(534% AI)
Chia Seeds

#2: Chia Seeds

3mg Omega 3 per 1mg Omega 6
Omega 3s
per oz(~2 Tblsp)
Omega 3s
per 100g
Omega 3s
per 200 Calories
5064mg
(316% AI)
17830mg
(1114% AI)
7337mg
(459% AI)
  • 165% AI in 1 oz of hemp seeds
Salmon Fillets

#3: Fish (Salmon)

4mg Omega 3 per 1mg Omega 6
Omega 3s
per 6oz Fillet
Omega 3s
per 100g
Omega 3s
per 200 Calories
4252mg
(266% AI)
2501mg
(156% AI)
2428mg
(152% AI)

More Fish High in Omega 3s

  • 240% AI in a 5oz herring fillet
  • 182% AI in a 6oz tuna fillet
  • 84% AI in 3oz of canned salmon

See the complete list of fish high in omega 3s.

Walnuts

#4: Walnuts

1mg Omega 3 per 4mg Omega 6
Omega 3s
per Oz
Omega 3s
per 100g
Omega 3s
per 200 Calories
2579mg
(161% AI)
9080mg
(568% AI)
2777mg
(174% AI)

More Nuts High in Omega 3s

  • 18% AI in 1oz of pecans
  • 14% AI in 1oz of pine nuts
  • 5% AI in 1oz of pistachios

See all nuts and seeds high in omega 3s.

A block of tofu

#5: Firm Tofu

1mg Omega 3 per 7mg Omega 6
Omega 3s
per Cup
Omega 3s
per 100g
Omega 3s
per 200 Calories
1467mg
(92% AI)
582mg
(36% AI)
808mg
(51% AI)

Other Soy Products High in Omega 3s

  • 64% AI in 1 cup of boiled soybeans (edamame)
  • 30% AI in 1 cup of cooked soybean sprouts
Oysters on a plate

#6: Shellfish (Oysters)

25mg Omega 3 per 1mg Omega 6
Omega 3s
per 3oz Serving
Omega 3s
per 100g
Omega 3s
per 200 Calories
1346mg
(84% AI)
1584mg
(99% AI)
1944mg
(121% AI)

More Seafood High in Omega 3s

  • 48% AI in 3oz of mussels
  • 22% AI in 3oz of crab
  • 10% AI in 3oz of clams

See the complete list of fish and seafood high in omega 3s.

A bottle of vegetable oil

#7: Canola Oil

1mg Omega 3 per 2mg Omega 6
Omega 3s
per Tblsp
Omega 3s
per 100g
Omega 3s
per 200 Calories
1279mg
(80% AI)
9137mg
(571% AI)
2067mg
(129% AI)

Other Vegetable Oils High in Omega 3s

  • 58% AI in 1 tblsp of soybean oil
  • 52% AI in 1 tblsp of mustard oil
  • 14% AI in 1 tblsp of rice bran oil
Navy Beans

#8: Navy (Haricot) Beans

1mg Omega 3 per 1mg Omega 6
Omega 3s
per Cup
Omega 3s
per 100g
Omega 3s
per 200 Calories
322mg
(20% AI)
177mg
(11% AI)
253mg
(16% AI)

More Beans High in Omega 3s

  • 19% AI in 1 cup of kidney beans
  • 15% AI in 1 cup of pinto beans
  • 11 AI in 1 cup of black beans
Brussels Sprouts

#9: Brussels Sprouts

2mg Omega 3 per 1mg Omega 6
Omega 3s
per Cup Cooked
Omega 3s
per 100g
Omega 3s
per 200 Calories
270mg
(17% AI)
173mg
(11% AI)
961mg
(60% AI)

More Vegetables High in Omega 3s

  • 14% AI in 1 cup of Chinese broccoli
  • 12% AI in 1 cup of winter squash
  • 12% AI in 1 cup of broccoli
  • 11% AI in 1 cup of zucchini
  • 10% AI in 1 cup of spinach

See all vegetables high in omega 3s.

Half an avocado

#10: Avocados

1mg Omega 3 per 15mg Omega 6
Omega 3s
per Avocado
Omega 3s
per 100g
Omega 3s
per 200 Calories
223mg
(14% AI)
111mg
(7% AI)
139mg
(9% AI)

More Fruits High in Omega 3s

  • 12% AI in 1 cup of guavas
  • 10% AI in 1 cup of raspberries
  • 8% AI in 1 cup of blackberries
  • 7% AI in 1 cup of strawberries
  • 5% AI in 1 cup of blueberries
  • 5% AI in 1 cup of mangoes

See all fruits high in omega 3s.

See All 200 Foods High in Omega 3s

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Printable sheet of foods high in omega 3 fatty acids.

Health Benefits of Omega 3s

  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. (1)
  • Reduced severity of dementia and mental decline. (2)
  • Alleviation of arthritis and inflammation. (3)

Problems measuring the amount of Omega 3 Fats

Due to the variation in fat content of specific foods, it is never possible to measure all the omega-3 fats in a given food. This data is therefore probably an underestimate of the amount of omega-3 fats. That said, the underestimate is equal among foods, giving the rankings meaning.

About the Data

Data for the curated food lists comes from the USDA Food Data Central Repository.

You can check our data against the USDA by clicking the (Source) link at the bottom of each food listing.

Note: When checking data please be sure the serving sizes are the same. In the rare case you find any difference, please contact us and we will fix it right away.

About Nutrient Targets

Setting targets can provide a guide to healthy eating.

Some of the most popular targets include:
  • Daily Value (%DV) - The %DV is a general guideline for everyone and takes into account absorption factors. It is the most common target in the U.S. and found on the nutrition labels of most products. It is set by the U.S. FDA.
  • Reference Dietary Intake (%RDI) - The Reference Dietary Intake (RDI) accounts for age and gender. It is set by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. The RDI for amino acids is set by the U.N. World Health Organization. The daily value (%DV) builds on the reference dietary intake to create a number for everyone.
  • Adequate Intake (%AI) - Sets a target for Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats. The Adequate Intake is also set by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. It represents a number to ensure adequacy but lacks the same level of evidence as the Reference Dietary Intake. In short, the number is less accurate than the RDI.
  • See the Guide to Recommended Daily Intakes for more information.

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View more food groups with the nutrient ranking tool, or see ratios with the nutrient ratio tool.

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Data Sources and References

  1. Penny M. Kris-Etherton, William S. Harris, Lawrence J. Appel. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.2003; 23: 151-152doi: 10.1161/01.ATV.0000057393.97337.AE
  2. CH Maclean, AM Issa, SJ Newberry, WA Mojica, SC Morton, RH Garland, LG Hilton, SB Traina, and PG Shekelle. Effects of Omega 3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary. AHRQ Evidence Report Summaries.
  3. Rebecca Wall1, R Paul Ross, Gerald F Fitzgerald, and Catherine Stanton. Fatty acids from fish: the anti-inflammatory potential of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Nutrition ReviewsVolume 68, Issue 5, pages 280-289, May 2010
  4. U.S. Agricultural Research Service Food Data Central