Experts recommend eating one oily fish fillet a day for lowering blood pressure and preventing heart failure than omega-3 supplements after finding the current recommended intake to be too low.
The World Health Organization (WHO) currently recommends that people consume 1.1 to 1.6 grams of Omega-3 per day, while the NHS recommends only one serving of fish per week.
But a new study from Macau University of Science and Technology found that the optimal dose for heart health is 3 grams, and even the strongest 1,500-mg supplement provides twice that amount. Many supplements are produced in capsules of only 300 mg.
The researchers analyzed the results of 71 clinical trials worldwide published between 1987 and 2020 and found that the sweet spot for lowering blood pressure was 3 grams per day, equivalent to about 4-5 ounces of Atlantic salmon.
“According to our study, a daily intake of about 3 grams of these fatty acids in the average adult may moderately lower blood pressure,” said study author Dr. Xinzhi Li, assistant professor at the University of Macau’s School of Pharmacy.
Algae supplements are also an option
“Most of the studies reported fish oil supplements rather than dietary intake of omega-3s, suggesting that supplements may be an alternative for those who cannot regularly eat fatty fish such as salmon.
“Algae supplements are also an option for people who don’t consume fish or other animal products.”
Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly found in fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, trout, herring, and oysters and are essential for heart, brain, joint, and eye health.
Fish don’t actually produce their own omega-3s but get them from eating seaweed and algae.
Oily fish often contain high levels of contaminants
One of the reasons the NHS does not recommend a high intake of oily fish is because it often contains high levels of pollutants such as mercury, cadmium, and lead.
Other foods with high levels of omega-3 include walnuts, chia seeds, and soybeans.
Some studies suggest that Omega-3s are also known to have beneficial effects on inflammation and immunity, and may even help prevent autoimmune diseases.
Omega-3 deficiencies have previously been linked to depression, joint pain, headaches, anxiety, skin irritation, brittle hair and nails, insomnia, and fatigue.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
This article lists oily fish that are high in omega-3s.
All nutritional data are from USDA FoodData Central unless otherwise noted.
1) Atlantic Mackerel
Mackerel is an oily fish and can be bought fresh, frozen or canned.
This popular oily fish is one of the best food sources of omega-3; Cooked Atlantic mackerel provides 1,422 mg per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) (1).
|Omega-3 per 100g||Omega-3 per fillet (88g)|
|1,422 mg||1,251 mg|
Salmon is one of the most commonly cooked fish, with salmon fillets, sashimi, sushi, and smoked salmon all being popular choices.
This orange to pink fish is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of cooked Atlantic salmon provides 2,586 mg of fatty acids (2).
Salmon is also an excellent source of beneficial carotenoids, such as astaxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin (3, 4).
It’s also worth noting that there are many different types of salmon, all with slightly different nutritional properties. The most common ones include Atlantic salmon and pink salmon.
|Omega-3 per 100g||Omega-3 per 1/2 fillet (154g)|
|2,586 mg||3,982 mg|
Herring is one of the most nutritious fish, providing large amounts of healthy fats, proteins, and essential nutrients.
Herring is also one of the most affordable fish, and it’s much cheaper than options like salmon and tuna.
This nutrient-dense oily fish provides 2,217 mg of omega-3s per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of Atlantic herring.
|Omega-3 per 100g||Omega-3 per fillet (143g)|
|2,217 mg||3,171 mg|
Sablefish are medium-sized fish that can reach a weight of about 25 kg (6).
Also known as “black cod”, this fish is rich in oil.
At this point, a cooked stingray provides 2,125 mg of omega-3s per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
|Omega-3 per 100g||Omega-3 per 1/2 fillet (151g)|
|2,125 mg||3,210 mg|
Sardines may be small, but they are very nutritious.
Perhaps the main reason for this is that we ate the whole sardine, including the guts it contained.
Sardines are available both fresh and canned, and canned fish is just as nutritious as the fresh.
This small, fatty fish also provides a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids. A 100-gram can of sardines provides 1692 mg of omega-3
|Omega-3 per 100g||Omega-3 per can, drained (84g)|
|1,692 mg||1,421 mg|
Anchovies come from the same family as sardines and herrings but are smaller in size.
However, this small, fatty fish is quite nutritious, and it is also an excellent source of protein, omega-3, vitamins, and minerals.
Each 3.5-ounce (100-gram) can of anchovies provides 2,113 mg of omega-3s.
|Omega-3 per 100g||Omega-3 per can, drained (45g)|
|2,113 mg||950 mg|
7) Fish Roe
Although roe is not technically a fish, it is a nutrient-dense fish product.
The nutritional value of fish eggs may vary with a particular type of fish.
However, a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving provides 3,120 mg of omega-3 fatty acids based on mixed types of roe.
|Omega-3 per 100g||Omega-3 per oz (28g) serving|
|3,120 mg||884 mg|
It is a delicious oily fish rich in omega-3.
According to the NCC database, 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of cooked herring provides 1,380 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.
In addition to fatty acids, herring is an excellent source of selenium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.
|Omega-3 per 100g||Omega-3 per cup (136g) serving|
|1,380 mg||1,870 mg|
Swordfish is a large fish that can weigh up to 650 kg.
In addition to its size, this oily fish contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids.
Swordfish provides 1,101 mg of omega-3s per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of cooked food.
In addition to fatty acids, swordfish provides a wide range of nutrients, including high levels of B vitamins and selenium.
|Omega-3 per 100g||Omega-3 per piece (136g)|
|1,101 mg||1,167 mg|
10) Bluefin (Tuna)
Tuna is the best dietary source of omega-3s, but there are many different types of tuna.
Bluefin tuna is one of the fattest species, providing 1,710 mg of omega-3s per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) cooked.
This popular fatty fish also contains a good amount of vitamin B12, with 100 grams of vitamin B12 providing 453% of the daily value.
One of the most common cuts of sashimi, bluefin tuna is also popular in Japanese cuisine.
|Omega-3 per 100g||Omega-3 per 3 oz (85g)|
|1,710 mg||1,460 mg|
Trout meat is orange in color appearance and resembles salmon.
There are several different types of trout, and rainbow trout is one of the most common.
Like salmon, trout also provides a good amount of omega-3s – 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of cooked trout provide 1,370 milligrams of fatty acids.
|Omega-3 per 100g||Omega-3 per fillet (62g)|
|1,370 mg||850 mg|
Omega 3 arranged per 100 grams
|Rank||Fish Name||Omega-3 Per 100 Grams|
|1||Fish roe||3,120 mg|
|2||Atlantic salmon||2,586 mg|
|4||Atlantic herring||2,217 mg|
|7||Tuna (Bluefin)||1,710 mg|
|9||Atlantic mackerel||1,422 mg|
As this guide explains, there are many different types of oily fish that provide high amounts of omega-3.
Options with the absolute highest omega-3 content are salmon, fish, herring, and roe.
By contrast, the most expensive (and convenient) option is probably Sardine.
All in all, for those who love seafood, there is something for everyone.