Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to good health. According to the National Institutes of Health, they help control blood pressure, lower triglyceride levels, and prevent heart disease. While many people want to obtain their omega-3s from dietary sources rather than supplements, the main dietary source is fatty fish. If you have a hard time eating fish and don't want the aftertaste of fish oil, there are a few types of nuts that have omega-3 content.
The nut with the highest amount of omega-3 is the English walnut. The English, or common, walnut can be found whole or shelled in almost any grocery store, so access to them is easy. A 1-oz serving of English walnuts contains 2.57 g of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as numerous other nutrients good for health such as protein, vitamin A, various forms of vitamin B, folate, manganese, copper, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, an adult over 18 years old should safely be able to consume up to 3 g of omega-3 per day without the supervision of a doctor. However, if you have have the tendency to bleed easily, or are on any blood thinner medications, speak to your doctor before seriously increasing your omega-3 intake.
Black walnuts contain omega-3 as well, but in a considerably smaller amount than English walnuts. A 1-oz. serving of black walnuts contains only 0.56 g of omega-3, although they do contain other vital nutrients such as protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and selenium.
Butternuts have the second-highest amount of omega-3 content, as noted by Nutrition Data, which publishes nutrition content from the United States Department of Agriculture. A 1-oz serving of butternuts contains 2.44 g of omega-3, which satisfies the daily suggested intake. Butternuts are not commonly consumed by the handfuls, but according to Western North Carolina Nature Center, they can be used to make butternut ice cream or maple candies.
Like black walnuts, other types of nuts pale in comparison to English walnuts and butternuts for omega-3 content. Beechnuts, hickory nuts, pecans, and pine nuts round out the list of nuts for omega-3 content, with less than 1 g of omega-3 in a 1-oz. servings of any of them. While these nuts may not have omega-3, they do contain other healthy fats, such as monounsaturated fat found in almonds.
Eating a handful of nuts as a snack everyday not only satisfies a hunger craving, it is a great way to get healthy omega-3 into your diet.