Omega-3 Fatty Acids come from 2 main sources: marine and plant.
EPA and DHA come primarily from marine sources. Marine sources are mainly fishes that live in cold water, such as Salmon. However, algae (or Algal Oil which is listed as an ingredient name) is a non-terrestrial plant rich in EPA and DHA. In order for the cold water fish to survive in itâ€™s environment, evolution has adapted it so that the fat in itâ€™s tissue remains liquid. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are what allows the fat to remain liquid and not coagulate. This is why fish are so flexible. Much like bacon grease (a fat) coagulates when placed in the refrigerator, the fat in the tissue of a cold water fish does not coagulate when exposed to cold due to the increased level of Omega-3s.
Fish high in Omega-3s (in order of rank for Omega-3):
- Salmon (farmed) (highest in Omega-3 Fatty Acids) (smoked reduces value to approximately 1/3)
- Salmon (Atlantic and Pacific) (wild)
- Salmon (canned) (Pink)
- Salmon (canned) (Chinook)
- Trout (farmed and wild)
- White Tuna
- King Mackerel
- Sea Bass
- Herring (Pacific and Atlantic)
See http://niazi.com/Omega/tofish.htm for a more accurate and complete listing of the fat content of fish. This link also contains a table of the Omega-3 Content Of Fish by type of fish, a table of the Best Sources Of Omega-3 Acids, a lisiting of the Worst Sources Of Omega-3 Acids, and a table of the Cholesterol Content Of Selected Fish.
ALA comes primarily from plant sources. Plant sources can be nuts, seeds, or vegetables. However, note that only about 5% of the Omega-3 in plant soucees is converted in EPA so this is not the highest source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids but is still a good source.
Plant sources high in Omega-3s:
- Algae (Algal Oil) (not a terrestrial plant)
- English Walnuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Canola Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Wheat Germ
- dark leafy greens such as Kale, spinach, parsley, etcâ€¦
- Corn Oil