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Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Antioxidants

By Andrea Abbe

Although nutrition facts labels are informative regarding the basic content of foods, they don't tell the whole story. It's important to go beyond calories, fat, protein and micronutrients to discover additional health benefits of the foods that are available to you. If you'd like to give your daily diet an extra nutritional boost, you should know which foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

A Healthy Fat

Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy unsaturated fats that occur naturally in fish and plant sources and should account for at least a portion of your daily fat allowance. These healthy fats have been linked to decreased triglycerides and decreased inflammation in the body. They could lower the risk for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease and depression. Foods richest in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, olive oil, walnuts, flax seed and some fortified products, such as eggs with omega-3 fats added.

Role of Antioxidants

Antioxidants are nutrients that help protect cells and tissues of the body from the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to the cells, leading to disease and aging. Beta carotene, selenium, vitamin E and vitamin C are all nutrients that work as antioxidants. Foods that are especially high in antioxidants include blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, beans -- navy, pinto or kidney beans, for example -- artichokes, russet potatoes, walnuts, and pecans.

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