Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with dozens of health benefits. The National Institutes of Health notes that omega-3 fatty acids can keep arteries supple, lower blood pressure, lower triglyceride levels and prevent heart attacks, stroke and death in people with heart disease. However, not all fish contain considerable amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. For example, according to Dr. Andrew Weil, farm-raised tilapia have very low levels of omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association offers several suggestions for healthful fish high in omega-3.
Wild-caught salmon contains a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); it also has a very low rate of contamination from dioxins or heavy metals. Select Alaskan, rather than Pacific, salmon, as it is more abundant and friendlier to the environment.
All species of mackerel provide meat that is rich in essential fatty acids. Mackerel spoils very quickly, so it is usually only available in a canned, frozen or salt-cured form.
Lake trout is one of the few freshwater species to provide an abundant supply of omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, lake trout is now relatively uncommon and expensive; invasive species and overfishing have depleted much of their natural range.
Wild sardines are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Because wild populations are still strong, sardines are widely available and inexpensive.
These small, oily fish are commonly used on salads and pizzas, particularly in the Mediterranean. Anchovies are commonly refined to create commercial fish oil supplements.
About this Author
Juniper Russo Tarascio, a natural health consultant, has been writing professionally since April 2008. Since then, she has published over 1,000 articles for both print-based and online publications. Her primary writing interests include health, pets and natural living.