A series of eyes with hearts in the pupil surrounded by omega 3 foods.

Omega 3 Please

I have mild to moderate dry eye, and the severity of the symptoms varies literally with whichever direction the wind blows that particular day. For me, I have the most success with managing my dry eye disease when my treatment plan aligns with my lifestyle choices.

At my last eye exam, my eye care provider and I decided to incorporate more Omega 3 into my dry eye management plan. Not much of a supplement fan, I decided to be more mindful of my Omega 3 intake by making some dietary adjustments.

Fatty fish

Omega 3 can be added in supplement form, however I think getting them from whole food sources at least two times per week is best. Fatty fishes, like salmon, are the most commonly-associated food source rich in Omega 3.

Last year, my husband and I had a private chef come to our house for our anniversary, and he prepared the most delicious Tuscan salmon dish. This dish has been in regular rotation at our house: pan seared salmon in a creamy garlic butter cream sauce with spinach or kale, sun dried tomatoes, capers and parmesan cheese. We have enjoyed this plated over rice, potatoes, and even zucchini and squash noodles.

Flax and chia seeds

Flax and chia seeds may be tiny, but they are mighty when it comes to Omega 3. These seeds can be added to any meal or beverage or consumed alone. I personally like to add them as a salad topping or include them in my morning smoothie.

My favorite heladería has a pepino-chia agua fresca (cucumber chia water). I also like making a quick agua fresca at home with water, crushed ice, chia seeds and fresh fruit (watermelon and pineapple are my favorite fruits to use). Chia seeds can also be soaked in milk (any kind will do) and made into an easy pudding that can be flavored and topped any way you choose.

Nuts, berries and veggies

Walnuts have the largest amount of Omega 3 compared to other nuts like cashews and almonds, and a handful goes a long way.1 An easy grab-and-go snack, I love pairing nuts with cheese cubes, dried fruit and tiny morsels of chocolate or greek yogurt-flavored drops. Berries, like acai and blueberry, and vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts and avocado, can be additional food sources rich in Omega 3.

Not just for eyes

Omega 3 fatty acids can potentially reduce inflammation in the body, which is one mechanism that could reduce dry eye symptoms in some people.

Incorporating Omega 3 into your diet through whole food sources, fortified foods, or supplements may not only promote eye health, but skin, heart, menstrual and mental health, too. Take a look at the research out there, though, as some studies differ on Omega 3's impact. Omega 3 may also play a role in decreasing and managing cholesterol.2

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