Monocytes differentiate into M1 and M2 macrophages, which are classically activated by microbial products such as LPS or IFN-γ and interleukins (e.g., the anti-inflammatory and Th2 promoting IL-4), respectively. The contribution of nutrients or nutrient-based substances such as ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs) and resveratrol (Res) on the differentiation and function of M1 and M2 macrophages was evaluated. THP-1 cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were differentiated into M1 and M2 cells and activated with LPS/IFN-γ or IL-4/IL-13. Macrophage lineage specific surface determinants (e.g., CD11b, CD11c, CD14, CD206, CD209, CD274, HLA-DR, CCR7, CCR2) were analysed by cytofluorometry. Res and ω-3 PUFAs altered CD14, CD206, CD274 and HL-DR surface expression patterns in M1 and M2 macrophages differentiated from PBMC. LPS/IFN-γ or IL-14/IL-13 activated macrophages subpopulations, which secreted cytokines and chemokines as measured by multiplex ELISA. Res and ω-3 PUFA reduced IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, CXCL10/IP-10, CCL13/MCP-4 and CCL20/MIP-3α in LPS/IFN-γ activated human leukaemia THP-1 cells, which is indicative of a dampening effect on M1 macrophages. However, Res increased M1 prototypic cytokines such as IL-1β or IL-6 in macrophages derived from PBMCs and also modified the expression of IL-12p70. Collectively, Res and ω-3 PUFAs distinctly promoted the differentiation and function of M1 and M2 macrophages. We conclude that these substances strengthen the macrophage-mediated effects on the innate and adaptive immune response.