Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that boosts your ability to fight off inflammatory reactions and blood clotting over a long period of time. Introducing cold-water fish — good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids — into your diet may improve your overall health and well-being. Although you can find Omega-3 fatty acids in all fish, cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines provide the most concentrated amounts in each serving. So you might want to focus on eating those types of fish, if you’re trying to boost your daily consumption of essential fatty acids.
Go to your local fishmonger or market, and order fresh cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, cod, herring or sardines. Salmon and herring contain some of the highest amounts of Omega-3 fat of any fish — at 1.9 grams per 3 oz. cooked. Oily fish even look different from other fish, as the oil makes the flesh darker than that of white fish.
Eat the fish quickly after you buy it, as it may spoil in a matter of days. This is particularly true for oily fish.
Grill cold-water varieties of fish, as they are quite strong in flavor due to their oily flesh. Broiling or baking the fish may intensify the flavor and make the flesh taste too fishy.
Eat only one portion — about 5 oz. — of cold-water fish per week, as oily fish is particularly vulnerable to absorbing toxic chemicals like mercury. Pregnant or nursing women and young children should avoid eating oily fish altogether and limit their intake of fish that aren’t high in mercury — such as canned, farm-raised and white fish — to 12 oz. per week.
Create a balanced diet so that you’re not just depending on fish for your nutrients. You will need to get other essential vitamins and minerals elsewhere by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, drinking low-fat milk and consuming other healthy foods.
References and ResourcesCleveland Clinic: Heart and Vascular Health & Prevention
Springboard: What Is Omega-3?
Help with Cooking: Oily Fish