Diet Rich in Omega 3: The Best Recipes

Diet Rich in Omega 3: The Best Recipes

What are

Omega three are essential fatty acids , which the body is unable to synthesize; alpha linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) belong to this group.

Precisely because of their essentiality, the nutritional contribution of omega 3 must not be overlooked ; it is therefore advisable to make periodic use of the best recipes that contain them.To remember:

  • Omega 3s perform many vital functions and any deficiency can be very harmful to health;
  • To be precise, the only completely essential omega three is ALA , from which the body (enzymatically) is also capable of obtaining EPA and DHA . On the other hand, this ability can be compromised by aging , certain drug therapies, eating disorders and other factors;
  • Omega 3s are very susceptible to oxygen , free radicals , light and heat .

The best recipes for an omega-3 rich diet are those that contain the highest levels of ALA, DHA and EPA in the “finished dish”. This feature is the result of the union between the type of raw material and the manufacturing technique .

Primary Sources

Before talking about recipes, it is important to understand which foods contain essential omega 3s:

  • Primary sources of alpha linolenic acid (ALA): they are contained in fatty foods of vegetable origin. They abound in certain seeds and above all in their “living” part ( germ or embryo ). Secondly, they are also found in fleshy fruits, vegetables , etc.;
  • Primary sources of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid (EPA and DHA): they are mainly contained in fishery products (fish, crustaceans and molluscs ) and in algae (unicellular and multicellular).

Note : particularly nutrient -rich oils can be obtained from sources of omega three essential fatty acids , both animal and vegetable . On the other hand, choosing the foods richest in ALA, EPA and DHA may not be enough.


Omega threes are particularly sensitive to:

  • oxygen ;
  • Free radicals ;
  • heat ;
  • Light .

This requires following some precautions during processing, to prevent these nutrients from being compromised even before consumption:

Preserving in an optimal way : it concerns all the products and above all the extracted oils . Foods rich in omega 3 must be stored briefly and above all:

  • In the cold (when possible, better below zero);
  • In the dark ;
  • Hermetically sealed .

Note : it is often necessary to enrich the oils with antioxidants and above all with vitamin E .

  • Prevent ” contact ” oxidation : in addition to oxygen (present in the air) and free radicals (present in the food itself), the main source of oxidation (which mainly affects vitamins , fats and minerals ) is represented by contact with metals . It occurs mainly during cutting (knife, slicer blade, butcher’s saw, etc.) and in storage (containers, etc.). Today stainless steel is widely used which, of the various types, is considered the least “reducing”. It is not said that it is worth it but, from this point of view,
  • Cooking : to maintain the integrity of the omega 3s it is advisable (if possible) to eat them raw. Cooking always negatively affects the integrity of these molecules and all those that are thermolabile . Intense cooking destroys omega three almost instantly, but moderate cooking often requires longer times (with a similar effect). It is advisable not to exceed 100 °C for a few minutes.
  • Avoid dispersion : by storing foods rich in omega three in oil , they are diluted and lost. Even if the fats do not dissolve in water, the same happens during boiling (they are visible as superficial “holes”).


The best recipes with omega three can be divided into:

  • Rich in ALA;
  • Rich in EPA and DHA.

Best Recipes with ALA

They are all those that contain certain seeds or their fat portion . The seeds richest in omega 3 are: chia, kiwi , perilla , flax, blueberry , camellia, porcelain, sea buckthorn, hemp, walnut , canola , soy and vine .

The seeds to be boiled to prepare the first courses are above all chia, flax and soy. From the same we obtain a flour widely used for basic doughs:

  • For leavened ones ( bread ), it is also necessary to use a part of flour with gluten ;
  • It is not essential for pasta , but the gluten -free mixture is less resistant to cooking.

Nuts and hemp seeds can be eaten as a snack or in flour form.

By squeezing all the seeds rich in omega 3 you get an oil to be used raw on side dishes; on the other hand, not all of them are very pleasant to the taste (especially of kiwi, blueberry and vine).

Best Recipes with EPA and DHA

They mainly concern fish , molluscs and crustaceans .

They are richest in omega 3: wild salmon , tuna belly , mackerel , bonito , sardines and other oily fish , fish liver etc.

Carpaccio , tartare, various types of sushi and marinated raw fillets retain all the omega 3 content.

With regard to cooking, the following systems are more suitable: low temperature ( vacuum in water), jar-cooking and steam cooking .

The oils obtained from aquatic organisms (of fish, fish liver, krill , algae, etc.) are not suitable for gastronomy and act more as food supplements .



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