Plant Based Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in the nervous system and brain functioning. Fish and other plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids offers several health benefits. Also, they are enriched with anti-inflammatory properties. Our bodies do not produce it, so we must consume an omega-3 fatty acids rich diet.
At least 70% of the ketogenic diet has healthy fats in it. There are many other fat sources out there but here we are providing info about omega-3 fatty acids only.
We get three types of omega-3 fatty acids from the foods. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is found in the plants, and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) & Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are found in the fishes.
To meet the requirements of DHA and EPA, we must consume fatty fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids twice a week. You can also use omega-3 supplement fish oil to meet the requirements.
There are many non-vegetarian foods high in omega 3 with which a meat eater can fill his requirements. But what about people who are vegetarian or who follow a vegan diet? Are there any plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids?
We know that our body does not produce omega-3 fatty acids, but it can convert some of the ALA to either EPA or DHA. There is no clear evidence if plant-based omega-3 fatty acids work the same on heart health.
Plant-based omega-3 fatty acids are ideal for vegetarian people and all those who do not consume meat and fish.
Plant Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Flax Seeds
Flax Seeds are high in ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and other minerals, fiber, phytosterols, and vitamins so that they have several other health benefits. You can get flaxseed oil, whole flax seeds, and milled flax seeds. You can add flax seeds in your fruit smoothie, or sprinkle some flax seeds on salads, soups or cereals.
Pro Tip: Always refrigerate the flaxseed oil and flax seeds to keep them fresh.
- Chia Seeds
Nuts and seeds are the best sources of healthy fats as omega-3. Chia seeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are high in ALA, dietary fibers, vitamins, and minerals.
Pro Tip: You can add both chia seeds and flax seeds in your meals.
- Edamame Beans
Edamame beans are high in ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Also, they are full of fiber, vitamin, minerals, and protein content. You will find them mostly in Japanese restaurants. They can aid in weight loss goals.
Pro Tip: Boil edamame soybeans whole and serve them in lunch with sauce or yogurt.
- Canola Oil
Canola oil is enriched with alpha-linolenic acid. It is one of the best cooking oils with a mild flavor as it can withstand high temperatures. Canola oil can be used for cooking, baking, or as an ingredient to make sauces and dressings.
Pro Tip: You can use canola oil instead of olive oil.
The walnuts are enriched with nutrition. Walnuts are high in alpha-linolenic acids, protein, minerals, and many vitamins. You can eat them raw, or add them to cereals, salads, or yogurt. Walnut oil is used to make salad dressings and is also used in many baked goods.
Pro Tip: Buy whole walnuts (with shells) for long term freshness and keep the nuts in the fridge.
- Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are high in ALA, protein, magnesium, and calcium. Also, they are high in dietary fibers. You can use them as snacks or add them to the soups, or in yogurts. It is so easy to get your own toasted pumpkin seeds at home.
Pro Tip: Buy shelled pumpkin seeds; they are tasty and easier to eat.
- Pine Nuts
Pine nuts are high in ALA, protein, manganese, monounsaturated fats and, some B-complex vitamins. You can get pine nuts at a local grocery store. Store them in an air-tight container and refrigerate it.
Pro Tip: Eat them raw or spread pesto sauce made from pine nuts on your sandwich.
- Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and magnesium. They are a bit hard to find in local grocery stores. They are also rich in omega-6 fatty acids. You can find them in the health section of a good grocery store. Hemp oil is beneficial for a healthy heart, glowing skin, and hair.
Pro Tip: Sprinkle hemp seeds on salads, or add them to yogurt.
- Navy Beans/ Haricot Beans
Navy beans, aka haricot beans, are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Also, they are high in manganese, fiber, and non-dairy calcium.
Pro Tip: Eating Cooked navy beans with rice can provide you high-quality fat-free protein.
These are some plant sources of omega-3. These healthy fats are included in a keto diet. The best sources of omega-3 are fatty fish and fish oil. But if you are a vegetarian, then you can choose plant-based omega-3 fatty acids foods.
Read More: Keto Diet and Weight Loss