Your body doesn’t produce omega-3s on its own, which means they’re “essential fatty acids” – you have to consume them. They’re key to overall great health and have been shown to:
One of the best sources of omega-3’s, flax is also high in fibre, supports good digestion and may help lower cholesterol. Add flaxseeds to your oatmeal, smoothie or use them as an egg replacer in plant based baked goods by combining 1 tablespoon of ground flax with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for 5 minutes until combined. Always keep ground flaxseed in the fridge.
Add them to your oatmeal, salad or snack on a handful. Always choose raw nuts and seeds to avoid unnecessary oils and salt. A bonus: Walnuts are higher in disease fighting antioxidants than any other nut.
Add them to your smoothie, sprinkle them on your hummus or your dairy free yogurt. Chia seeds are also high in calcium. Try these Seed & Nut Super Squares
You probably wouldn’t have guessed this one but Brussels sprouts are quite high in omega-3’s – higher than any other veggie. Roast them, steam them or sauté them and add them to your power bowl or chop them up raw for a delicious Brussels sprout leaf salad.
Algae and seaweed are great plant based sources of omega-3 as they are one of the few plant foods containing both DHA and EPA (more on this below). You can snack on dried seaweed or crunch it up and sprinkle it on your salad or power bowl. You’ll also find seaweed in most vegan sushi.
Plant based omega-3 foods contain the omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), unlike the DHA and EPA found in seafood. DHA and EPA are long chain omega-3s whereas ALA is a short chain omega-3.
(don’t worry, there isn’t a test)
Clinical studies have researched the effects of both marine and plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids and have found that both have cardio health benefits.
However, you need both types to get ALL the health benefits listed above – don’t worry, your incredible body converts ALA to DHA. That’s why it’s essential to include at least one or two of the foods above in your lifestyle every day.
I personally get my omega-3’s by adding flax to my morning smoothie or oatmeal and making sure I snack on a couple walnuts a day. I sprinkle chia seeds on my avocado or almond butter toast or stir them into my hummus.