Avocados are high in omega-3s, as they have up to 0.11 grams of omega-3s per 100g. A serving provides up to 9% of the Daily Value! They’re the richest fruit in omega-3s!
What’s the recommended daily intake of omega-3s?
The recommended daily intake of omega-3s is 1.6 grams for men and 1.1 grams for women.
There are 3 main types of omega-3s: EPA, DHA, and ALA. EPA and DHA are naturally present mainly in fish, while ALA is mainly found in certain plant-based foods.
ALA is the only essential omega-3. It can be converted into EPA and then to DHA in the body. But the conversion is very limited. Less than 15% of ALA is converted to EPA and DHA.
So, we better consume EPA and DHA directly from food or dietary supplements. It’s the only practical way to increase their levels in the body.
Most supplements with omega-3s are made of fish oil.
But, also, there are vegan supplements with DHA and EPA, made of algae. Algae are grown commercially in tanks, away from the ocean. So, they don’t contain ocean pollutants, such as mercury. You’ll find a wide variety of vegan (or fish oil) omega-3 supplements on iHerb.
How much omega-3s in avocado?
Avocado is a good dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids. It could help meet our daily needs. As most plant-based foods, avocado contains only alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). It doesn’t contain any DHA or EPA.
California-type avocados contain about 0.11 grams of omega-3s per 100g. This dose is about 7% of the recommended daily intake. In fact, a whole fruit contains about 0.15 grams of omega-3s, or more than 9% of the Daily Value!
Florida-type avocados have a slightly lower omega-3 content. They have only 0.096 grams of omega-3s per 100g. They contain 12% less omega-3s, as compared to California-type avocados.
Avocado oil contains decent amounts of omega-3s as well. Just a tablespoon has 0.13 grams of omega-3s. This dose is 8% of the DV.
Common foods high in omega-3s
Fish are the best dietary sources of DHA and EPA. Consuming fish, fish oil, or dietary supplements is the only way to boost DHA and EPA intakes.
Eggs are also great dietary sources of omega-3s. They contain all 3 types of omega-3s!
On the other hand, the richest plant-based foods in omega-3s (ALA) are certain seeds, certain nuts (e.g. walnuts), canola oil, soybean oil, and purslane. They contain up to 2.3 grams of omega-3s (ALA) per serving!
Fruits aren’t good dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Actually, avocado is the richest fruit in omega-3s!
Keep in mind that the long-term consumption of high amounts of omega-3s may lead to mild side effects.
Health benefits of omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for good health. For instance, omega-3s are responsible for numerous cellular functions, such as signaling, cell membrane fluidity, and structural maintenance. Moreover, they regulate the nervous system, blood pressure, hematic clotting, glucose tolerance, and inflammatory processes, protecting from inflammatory diseases.
Also, they’re involved in skeletal muscle metabolism. So, they may help prevent osteoporosis.
Most noteworthy, omega-3s protect the heart. They’ve beneficial effects on arrhythmias, atherosclerosis, inflammation, and thrombosis. Also, they seem to improve endothelial function, reduce blood pressure, and significantly lower triglycerides.
Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids play a key role in the brain and eye development and function.
In addition, omega-3s may improve sleep duration. Hence, avocado is a great night snack.
Should I eat avocados regularly?
Actually, avocados are among the richest foods in monounsaturated fatty acids. Replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated fats is good for the heart.
Also, avocados are key ingredients to most keto smoothies.