The importance of Omega-3 for a healthy diet

Consuming Omega-3 is essential for our health, even though many of us aren’t getting enough in our diet. The European Food Safety Agency recommends a daily intake of 250mg for adults, but why is it so important to our health and what are the benefits of Omega-3?

What are the health benefits of Omega-3?

We’ve outlined a variety of health benefits to help you understand how eating more Omega-3 rich foods can enhance your diet:

• Omega-3 contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels.
• During pregnancy and breastfeeding, omega-3 contributes to the normal brain and eye development of the foetus and breastfed infants.
• Omega-3 contributes to the normal function of the heart.
• Omega-3 supports normal growth and development of children.

So now you know how important Omega-3 is for your health, how can you include essential fatty acids into your diet? Read on to find out.

How to get more Omega-3 in your diet

The human body is unable to produce Omega-3, which is why it’s important to consume these essential fats from animal or plant sources that do produce Omega-3. There are a variety of ways to get Omega-3 into your family’s diet, and the easiest way is to eat more fish.

Current advice is to eat two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily. That means you should up your intake of fish like salmon, mackerel and fresh tuna to ensure you and your family are getting a rich diet of essential fatty acids.

Fish isn’t just high in Omega-3 – it’s also packed with nutrients and protein which is why it’s so healthy for us. There’s a huge variety of ways to enjoy fish and if you’re looking for some mealtime inspiration, be sure to take a look at our delicious fish recipes that are easy to cook and full of flavour which we’re sure the whole family will enjoy!

Our Birds Eye Omega-3 fish fingers are also a great source of Omega-3, especially when eaten as part of a balanced diet with extra vegetables. Try swapping from our original fish fingers to our Omega-3 fish fingers when you cook your next fish finger sandwich – a tasty and nutritious way to increase your intake of Omega-3.

What about vegans and vegetarians?

If you don’t eat fish – don’t fret, there are other ways you can incorporate Omega-3 rich foods into your diet! Although fish has extremely high levels of Omega-3, vegetarians and vegans can get the required amount they need from alternative sources. Oil is a great source of Omega-3, especially types like walnut and canola oil, whilst nuts and seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts are also great sources for vegetarians and vegans.

Try snacking on linseeds or sprinkle chai seeds on your porridge instead of eating fish, or swap the olive oil for walnut oil in this colourful couscous and pea salad – a great and tasty alternative to fish, packed with goodness!

No matter your preference, there’s a way for all the family to include more Omega-3 in daily meals and diets.
Find out more about how to get more Omega-3 in your diet with our 5 top tips.

What about Omega-3 supplements?

Of course there’s the option to get Omega-3 from supplements like cod-liver oil, but consuming whole foods is the most effective way to ensure optimal Omega-3 intake. As there’s such a variety of healthy foods containing Omega-3, it’s easy to incorporate essential fats in your family’s diet whilst enjoying delicious meals that are full of flavour and packed with goodness.

Whether you’re actively trying to eat a bit healthier or just want to try some new, tasty meals, increasing your intake of fish or nuts and oils is a great way to incorporate Omega-3 in your diet at the same time. By making a few simple swaps to your diet, you can help your body get all the essential nutrients it needs.

Read our Birds Eye guide for more information on the benefits of eating fish.