5 Vegetarian Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acid
The omega-3 fatty acid is an essential type of fat that offer many health benefits. We have listed down a few plant-based foods that are a good source of omega-3 fats.
Omega-3 fats are essential fats required by the body to carry out many vital functions. The human body is incapable of synthesizing omega-3 fats on its own, so we need to take supplements or include the foods rich in omega-3 fats in our diet to meet the necessary nutritional requirements.
There are three types of omega-3 fats, Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA). The DHA and EPA are obtained from fatty fishes or fish oils, whereas ALA is obtained from plant-based sources.
If you are a vegetarian, then foods rich in ALA like nuts and seeds should be an important part of your diet to meet your body’s omega-3 fatty acid requirement.
Here are a few vegetarian foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
These tiny seeds are an excellent vegetarian source of ALA omega-3 fatty acid, rich in protein and fibre content. Chia seeds also contain vitamins, minerals and micronutrients like calcium, iron and magnesium that help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases by decreasing blood triglycerides and improving good cholesterol levels. One serving (28 grams) of chia seeds has approximately 5 grams of omega-3 content.
Walnuts are loaded with healthy fats and ALA omega-3 content which help to help to improve brain health, cardiovascular health and aids in weight management. These anti-oxidant rich nuts contain a high amount of copper, manganese, vitamin E, calcium and fibre. A cup of walnut kernels contain about 2.5 grams of omega-3 fats.
These brown coloured seeds are the richest source of ALA Omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseeds also contain many other nutrients like magnesium, fibre, Vitamin E, manganese, phosphorous, selenium and protein. Incorporating flaxseeds in your daily diet may help to reduce bad cholesterol levels and improve heart health. One tablespoon of flaxseeds contain 2,350 mg of ALA omega-3 fats.
Soybeans are a great plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acid, rich in vegetable protein and fibre content. It also contains many essential nutrients, such as riboflavin, folate, vitamin K, magnesium and potassium. A half-cup dry roasted soybean has 670mg of ALA omega-3 content.
Hemp seeds contain a fair amount of omega-3 fats and other nutrients like protein, magnesium, iron and zinc that are excellent for maintaining heart health. Hemp seeds have a slightly sweet taste and can be added to yoghurts, granola bars and smoothies for making a healthy snack. Three tablespoons of hemp seeds contain around 3 grams of ALA omega-3 fats.
Omega-3 fatty acids have a multitude of health benefits such as reducing inflammation, fighting heart disease and maintaining brain health. These plant-based foods are an excellent source of ALA omega-3 fatty acids, so include them in your diet to meet your needs and enjoy its benefits!