Sure, you’ve read all about how omega-3 fatty acids promote good health and cell renewal to keep your skin looking more youthful, reduce sun sensitivity, manage weight, boost your mood and fight off a multitude of illnesses like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis. But do you know how much you should be consuming every day? Here are some guidelines and some tasty foods that supply it.
Your body needs a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 to manage inflammation and promote brain health, however, most Americans get about 25 times more omega-6 (unhealthy varieties in mayonnaise, margarine and high-fat salad dressing) than omega-3. That lack of balance is what contributes to out-of-whack inflammation that not only hurts your heart, but can make acne run rampant and prematurely age your skin.
Because your body doesn’t produce omega-3 or 6 fatty acids, you need to consume them through your food or supplements. If you prefer to take supplements check the label for about 180 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 120 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the capsules. But instead of taking a pill, why not add some delicious foods to your diet? Here’s how to get your daily dose (about 3 grams of omega-3 each day) through your food:
Fish: You’ll only need about two 3-ounce servings per week of salmon, tuna, herring, anchovies, mackerel or trout to meet your omega-3 requirements. A 3-ounce serving is about the size of your palm.
Nuts and seeds: Eating an ounce a day (about one moderate handful) will boost your omega-3 intake sufficiently. Walnuts and flax seed are considered the best source, so add them to oatmeal, sprinkle on your salad, chop and bake them into whole-wheat pancakes or top your yogurt with them.
Oils: A tablespoon or two of omega-3-rich oils, like olive oil, is all you need every day to meet your quota, so don’t overdo it when using it as a salad dressing or when you’re stir-frying.
Greens. Did you know that two cups of dark leafy green veggies not only provide a ton of skin-supporting antioxidants, but also a good bit of omega-3s? Go for kale, spinach, collard greens or even romaine lettuce.
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