Sourced with thanks from healthline.com
Omega-3 fatty acids are important fats that provide many health benefits.
Studies have found that they may reduce inflammation, decrease blood triglycerides and even reduce the risk of dementia The most well-known sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fish oil and fatty fish like salmon, trout and tuna. This can make it challenging for vegans, vegetarians or even those who simply dislike fish to meet their omega-3 fatty acid needs. It must be noted that. Of the three main types of omega-3 fatty acids, plant foods typically only contain alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) which makes it less effective for you.
But if your dietary preferences are driven by vegetarian/vegan principals then finding the best plant based sources of Omega 3 acids is very important. The author in the article below shares some such good sources. Team RetyrSmart
Plant based sources of Omega 3 for vegetarian/vegan diets
Here are 7 of the best plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are known for their many health benefits, bringing a hefty dose of fibre and protein with each serving. They’re also a great plant-based source of ALA omega-3 fatty acids. Thanks to their omega-3, fibre and protein, studies have found chia seeds could decrease the risk of chronic disease when consumed as part of a healthy diet.
Boost your chia seed intake by whipping up a nutritious chia pudding or sprinkle chia seeds on top of salads, yogurts or smoothies.
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- Brussels Sprouts
In addition to their high content of vitamin K, vitamin C and fibre, Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Because cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts are so rich in nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, they have been linked to many health benefits.
In fact, one study found that an increased intake of cruciferous vegetables is associated with a 16% lower risk of heart disease
Whether they’re roasted, steamed, blanched or stir-fried, Brussels sprouts make a healthy and delicious accompaniment to any meal.
In addition to protein, magnesium, iron and zinc, hemp seeds are comprised of about 30% oil and contain a good amount of omega-3s Animal studies have found that the omega-3s found in hemp seeds could benefit heart health. They may do this by preventing the formation of blood clots and helping the heart recover after a heart attack.
Sprinkle hemp seeds on top of yogurt or mix them into a smoothie to add a bit of crunch and boost the omega-3 content of your snack. Hemp seed oil, which is made by pressing hemp seeds, can also be consumed to provide a concentrated dose of omega-3 fatty acids.
Walnuts are loaded with healthy fats and ALA omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, walnuts are comprised of about 65% fat by weight Just one serving of walnuts can fulfil an entire day’s requirements of omega-3 fatty acids
Add walnuts to your homemade granola or cereal, sprinkle them on top of yogurt or simply snack on a handful to increase your ALA intake.
Flaxseeds are nutritional powerhouses, providing a good amount of fibre, protein, magnesium and manganese in each serving. They’re also an excellent source of omega-3s.
Several studies have demonstrated the heart-healthy benefits of flaxseeds, largely thanks to their omega-3 fatty acid content. Both flaxseeds and flaxseed oil have been shown to reduce cholesterol in multiple studies. Another study found that flaxseeds could help significantly lower blood pressure, particularly in those with high blood pressure.
Flaxseeds are easy to incorporate into your diet and can be a staple ingredient in vegan baking. Whisk together one tablespoon (7 grams) of flaxseed meal with 2.5 tablespoons of water to use it as a handy substitute for one egg in baked goods.
With a mild yet slightly nutty flavour, flaxseed also makes the perfect addition to cereal, oatmeal, soups or salads.
The Bottom Line
Omega-3 fatty acids are an important part of the diet and essential to your health.
If you don’t eat fish because of dietary reasons or personal preference, you can still reap the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. By either incorporating a few omega-3-rich foods into your diet or opting for a plant-based supplement, it’s possible to meet your needs, seafood-free.