You probably know that omega-3 fats are good for you. They do a lot for your body and brain, helping you enjoy optimal health.
Studies have shown that eating enough Omega-3 can lead to better heart health, reduction in cancer risks and inflammation relief, among a whole host of benefits.
Because we’re unable to produce these fatty acids, we need to consume them from foods. Different types are available, and they’re commonly found in plant sources (eg: canola oil, soybean oil and flaxseeds) and fatty fishes (eg: sardines, salmon and mackerel).
Fish oil has also long been available in supplement form. It’s affordable, readily available, and pretty safe – an excellent quick fix. But is it as good as fish oil straight from the source?
“When we take fish oil supplements, we’re only getting a single type of nutrient and miss out on other beneficial ones,” says Ms Yuliana, a nutritionist at MyKenzen Nutrition Services.
“Aside from Omega-3, fish are great sources of nutrients such as protein, D and B vitamins, selenium and iron.
Also, more isn’t always better when it comes to fish oil supplements. “They should be taken with precaution because [too much] Omega-3 can pose risks on toxicity,” she adds
“The Health Promotion Board suggests that supplements may help, but will not replace, a healthy diet.”
With natural food forms the preferred choice, how much should we consume to meet our Omega-3 needs?
We should eat at least two serving of fish per week to meet those needs. One serving of fish is about 90g of fatty fish (sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring) OR one to two pieces of canned sardines. If you’re vegetarian, you can meet those needs from DHA-rich algae or seaweed.
Here are some ways to ensure that you consume your recommended intake of Omega-3.
1) Choose your type of fish
At the supermarket, choose wild caught marine sources over farm-raised for a more valuable source of Omega-3.
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2) Go for options
Fresh fatty fishes aren’t always available year-round. Frozen or canned fatty fishes such as sardines, mackerel or tuna can however also provide equally great sources of Omega-3. Check out Ayam Brand products for some options.
3) Garnish away
Toss in tuna flakes or seaweeds over your favourite salads.
4) Try quick and easy ‘tin-foil baked fish’ for lunch or dinner meals using your oven toaster
First, choose any fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel or tuna and place in the center of the aluminum foil. Season the fish with some pepper and salt then top with fresh herbs and spices such as garlic, dill, thyme or lemon for more added flavour! Add sliced baby potatoes, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms or asparagus for one complete meal! Seal the ends of the foil and put in the oven for about 20 minutes or until fish is cooked and flaky.
5) Spread it out
Prepare omega-3 rich source spreads for your breads and crackers such as tuna, salmon or seafood deli spreads. You can also mix in canned sardines into your egg omelet for breakfast.