Five Reasons You Need To Incorporate Omega-3 In Your Diet

By Dr Jagmeet Madan, Eminent Nutritionist, Professor and Principal, Sir Vithaldas Thackersey College of Home Science, SNDTWU, Mumbai and National President Indian Dietetic Association

This month, we march on with the Power of 3, with omega-3 as the star of our diet for overall wellness. But what is it about omega-3s that makes it the hero of the day? For starters, Omega-3 is an essential nutrient needed by the human body that can only be provided through the diet and has been associated with various health benefits.

A Happy Heart -According to scientific research, plant-based omega-3 ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) may play an important role in reducing the risk of heart disease. Studies show that eating foods rich in omega-3s may help reduce risk factors for heart disease, including blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol1. For a dose of amazing omegas, be sure to add a handful of walnuts to your daily diet.

The Good Fats – Good fats are a source of essential fatty acids, compounds needed to maintain an ideal weight, optimal health, and normal physiological functions. The good fats to focus on are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are readily found in walnuts, seeds, salmon, olive oil, and avocado. Omega-3 fatty acids are a specific type of polyunsaturated fat that’s consistently praised for its heroic health perks.

Immunity Booster – The year 2020 had everyone working round the clock on one thing – immunity.  This is where an all omega-3 rich diet tops the food pyramid. As per FSSAI Eat Right During Covid-19 Guidelines, plant-based omega-3 rich foods such as walnuts, pumpkin seeds, bajra, fenugreek leaves should be included in our regular diet to support a healthy immune system.2

Healthy You – If not looked after, the human body can be riddled with problems like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, chronic inflammation, metabolic syndrome, anxiety, depression, etc. We are what we consume, and research indicates that including omega-3 in your daily diet, such as walnuts, may support brain health3, heart health1,and healthy aging. 4

The All rounder – The beauty of omega-3 is its versatility. Irrespective of whether you are a vegetarian or non-vegetarian, vegan or plant-forward, Omega-3s can be found and sourced from a variety of places.There are three forms of omega-3s. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) come from marine-based sources, like salmon, mackerel, and trout. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) comes from plant-based sources such as walnuts, chia seed, flaxseed, and vegetable oils. All omega-3s provide certain benefits, so it’s important to get these good fats from a variety of sources. As the only nut significantly high in omega-3 ALA (2.5g per one ounce), the best way to get more ALA into your diet is to start with walnuts.

So what are you waiting for? Pledge to include the Power of 3 in your daily diet. Taking care of your overall wellness is as easy as 1, 2, 3!


1Fleming JA, Kris-Etherton PM. The evidence for α-linolenic acid and cardiovascular disease benefits: comparisons with eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. AdvNutr. 2014;5(6):863S-76S. doi: 10.3945/an.114.005850.


3 Barceló-Coblijn G, Murphy EJ. Alpha-linolenic acid and its conversion to longer chain n3 fatty acids: Benefits for human health and a role in maintaining tissue n-3 fatty acid levels. Prog Lipid Res. 2009;48(6):355-74. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2009.07.002.

4Sala-Vila A, Guasch-Ferré M, Hu FB, et al. Dietary α-linolenic acid, marine ω-3 fatty acids, and mortality in a population with high fish consumption: findings from the PREvención con DIetaMEDiterránea (PREDIMED) study. J Am Heart Assoc. 2016;5(1):e002543. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.