Did you know that 70% of the world’s population doesn’t have access to enough Omega-3 in their diet? Omega-3 has a huge role in keeping the human body in great shape, and especially for those of us with neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, or mental health conditions like anxiety, Omega-3 Supplementation in our diets is imperative for a healthy mind.
So let’s take a closer look at what Omega-3 supplements and foods there are and how you can incorporate Omega-3 and 6 into your everyday diet with minimal disruption!
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The human body needs omega-3 (also called polyunsaturated fatty acid) in order to develop and maintain normal growth and development. Vital to heart health, it’s an important component of cell membranes. That helps regulate nerve impulses and blood clotting, reducing the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
In addition, higher fatty acid levels of Omega-3 help regulate mood, memory, and create an overall improvement in behaviors. That makes Omega-3 fatty acid compositions a must-have for medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It’s this same memory-boosting performance that makes ir great for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Foods for Omega-3 are abundant. And the best thing about it is that, contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to only eat oily fish to ensure adequate levels of Omega-3 Fats in your diet. So here are some foods that are rich in Omega-3:
If you don’t mind having fish in your diet, focus on a fatty fish list such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, trout, and tuna. These all contain high amounts of omega-3 fats. Alternatively, if you don’t like the fish taste (or smell!), you can take a fish oil supplement with the same richness inside.
Salmon is a great source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
One of the best sources of omega-3 is leafy vegetables. They are a vegan’s best friend and a great food to add to any diet. Some recommended leafy vegetables include kale, spinach, chard, collard greens, lettuce, parsley, turnip greens, and mustard greens.
Spinach contains high amounts of Omega-3. Spinach is also rich in vitamin E and contains a compound that helps you lose weight. Not only that, but it’s also an appetite suppressant, which is perfect for anyone with ADHD and regulation issues.
Spinach is great for Omega-3 and has many mind-boosting properties!
Walnuts are a great source of fatty acids. They contain high levels of arachidonic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Walnuts have also been found to help improve cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Each walnut contains about 2.6 grams of this nutrient. But keep in mind that they are also full of calories and other nutrients, so while they’re a great filler food, make sure you don’t eat the entire bag in one sitting!
Walnuts are full of Omega 3
Flaxseeds are another excellent choice of foods for omega-3 and 6 intake. That said, flaxseeds are very dense in calories, so they should not be too excessive in your diet. You could try making your own flaxseed oatmeal. With just one tablespoon of ground flaxseeds, you can make one bowl of this warm and comforting breakfast cereal. It only takes 10 minutes to prepare and it’s high in protein plus fiber.
One tablespoon of ground flaxseed provides about 1.7 grams of omega-3. They’re also a good source of fiber, protein, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and vitamin B.
Flaxseeds are full of nutrients, especially Omega-3
Soybeans are one of the richest sources of omega-3 fats out there. They’re a staple food in many Asian dishes and can be used to make tofu, tempeh, miso paste, and soy milk.
Soybeans have been shown to have high levels of antioxidants which help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and various other chronic illnesses. Additionally, they can help prevent osteoporosis by providing calcium.
They’re also a great source of protein, fiber, folate, and minerals. One cup of cooked soybeans has 7.9 grams.
Soybeans are a great addition to any diet
Chia seeds can also improve cognitive performance. These little seeds are a great way to add more nutrients into your diet and provide you with a healthy alternative to other food sources that don’t boast the same benefits. These tiny seeds also make for an amazing addition in recipes such as overnight oats, granola, salads, and many more!
Chia seeds make a fantastic breakfast food when mixed with Overnight Oats!
The hemp seed is a natural source of protein that has been shown to have positive effects on weight management. It’s also high in fiber so they ensure you’re getting a good dose of this nutrient too! You may know that hemp seed is often used in cooking because it has an amazing nutty flavor and fluffy texture. Try adding it to salads or even baking with it for an added nutritional boost!
Hemp seeds taste delicious in a salad!
It is very easy to find foods for Omega-3 fatty acids if you look around. Some of the best options are listed above. However, when choosing between different types of fish or fish oil supplements, always choose a reputable brand and check the actual product packaging for the specifics.
Plus, there’s nothing more rewarding than ensuring that all your food sources are ethical. That way, you can be assured that you are getting the nutrients you need without unnecessary additives and the toxins generated from industrial pollution.
Check out more articles on neurodivergent wellbeing today!
When you eat foods with omega-3 and 6, your body uses them to make hormones, enzymes, and neurotransmitters. These substances play roles in everything from keeping your eyes clear to helping your immune system fight off infections. Here are some examples of the beneficial effects of integrating Omega-3 fatty acid supplements and foods into your diet:
One of the biggest benefits of Omega-3 supplementation is the ability to reduce blood pressure, improving cardiovascular health. The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fish per week alongside dietary supplementation to help lower blood pressure.
As a result of reduced blood pressure, more efficient blood cells and a healthy heart, higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids also prevent heart attacks and strokes. Studies have shown that overcoming an Omega-3 deficiency can also reduce inflammation in the arteries, which lowers cholesterol levels.
Research shows that people with an omega-3 deficiency may be more likely to suffer from mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. This could be because Omega-3 helps regulate brain chemicals that affect mood disorders as well.
Brain health is a priority for anyone’s well-being. And in neurodivergent people, making sure this cognitive function is working at full efficiency is vital to keeping more severe conditions under control. Studies show that Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may help treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia as well as boost cognitive performance, especially in anyone with Alzheimers or Dementia.
Children with ADHD often have an omega-3 deficiency in their bodies. These low omega-3 fatty acid levels are often the result of poor Western diets. Research suggests that Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder can improve overall executive function.
Cognitive performance issues and executive dysfunction are huge problems for people with ADHD. So by ensuring omega-3 intakes are high, the blood will be flowing more effectively and oxygen getting to the right parts of the brain.
There’s no official guidance on how much Omega-3 we need each day for a healthy diet. However, according to healthline.com, the recommended dosage is between 200mg and 500mg per day. This ensures a balanced diet across the board, hence the two fish per week guidance that so many recommend.
Last Updated on July 16, 2023 by Neurodadversity
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