A List of Omega-3 Foods With Natural or Added DHA and EPA
Most Americans don't get enough DHA and EPA in their diets. Children and adults need about 160mg of DHA per day. Most kids don't get much more than 20mg per day. Studies have found that omega-3s may lower the risk or reduce the effects of asthma, depression, cardiovascular disease, ADHD, and rheumatoid arthritis. DHA and EPA are crucial for proper brain function and may contribute to intelligence. A study done in Britain suggests that underperforming school kids may improve academically, if they take DHA supplements. Taking DHA supplements or eating foods with high levels of omega-3s during pregnancy may be beneficial for a fetus's brain and eye development. There are many foods available that are enriched with DHA and EPA. This is a list of some that you will find in many grocery stores.
Smart Balance Brand
Smart Balance has several products that are enriched with Omega 3's, DHA and EPA.
- Omega 3 Buttery Spread, Omega 3 Light Buttery Spread and Buttery Sticks (32mg of DHA / EPA per serving)
- Low fat, fat free and lactose free milk (32mg of DHA / EPA per serving)
- Omega-3 Grade A Natural Large Eggs (70mg of DHA per serving)
Gortons Fish Products
Some Gortons products have Omega 3's with DHA and EPA. Since salmon is a natural omega 3 food, you will find DHA in all of the Gorton salmon products. If you have kids, Gortons Fish Sticks made from pollack are a great choice. They contain 130mg of DHA and EPA per serving of 6 fish sticks. They also have Garlic and Herb fish fillets that have omega-3 fats. Check the packaging to ensure you are getting the DHA fillets.
Horizon Organic DHA Milk and Eggs
Horizon Organic has low fat and fat free milk enriched with DHA from vegetarian algal oil. The milk contains 32mg of DHA per one cup serving. Horizon Organic Omega-3 Eggs also contain DHA from vegetarian sources.
DHA Yogurt and Orange Juice
There are multiple different brands of yogurt that are enriched with DHA. Stonyfield has brands of yogurt call Yo Baby for babies and Yo Toddler. Some of the YoBaby and Yo Toddler yogurt line are enriched with DHA. Yoplait Kids has a DHA yogurt for children. Check the yogurt aisle at your grocery store or organic grocer for DHA enriched yogurt.
The Tropicana Pure Premium line includes omega 3 orange juice with both DHA and EPA. There is 50mg of DHA and EPA per serving.
Natural Sources of DHA
Many types of oily fish have high levels of omega 3 fatty acids including DHA and EPA. Some of these fish may have high mercury content. Before choosing a particular oily fish, you should find out it's level of mercury. Chunk light canned tuna has less mercury than white tuna or tuna steaks. Swordfish and king mackerel also have high mercury content. The Natural Resources Defense Council lists the fish with the lowest to highest mercury content.1
List of Fish with High Levels of DHA and EPA
DHA and EPA Supplements
There are a lot of fish oil supplements that are high in omega-3s, EPA and DHA. Unfortunately, nutritional supplements are not regulated by the government, so the amounts of DHA and EPA may be less than claimed. Many supplements don't contain the level of nutrition listed on the packaging, so it may be better to get most of your DHA and EPA from foods. Despite this concern, a daily supplement makes it easy to get closer to the 160mg daily recommended requirement.
If you need a tasty omega 3 supplement for children, try the L'il Critters Omega-3 Gummy Fish brand, which has 32mg of DHA per serving.
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