If you want to boost your health, you need to include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. According to numerous studies, they may be able to decrease blood triglycerides, reduce inflammation, and may even help to ward off dementia1, 2, 3.
Getting enough omega-3s in your diet can be challenging if you are a veterinarian, vegan, or if you just don’t like the taste of fish.
Check Out These 5 Great Plant Sources For Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
1. Chia seeds
- There are many known health benefits of including Chia seeds in your diet. They provide a good dose of protein and fiber in every serving.
- As far as plant-based resources for omega-3 fatty acids, they are at the top of the list.
- Thanks to the fiber, protein, and omega-3 they contain, studies have found they can reduce your risk for chronic disease when they are part of your daily diet.
- According to one study, including Chia seeds in your diet along with soy protein, oats and nopal reduce blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, and glucose intolerance4.
- It only takes 1 ounce of Chia seeds to meet or exceed the daily recommended intake (RDI) of omega-3 fatty acids5.
2. Brussels sprouts
- Brussels sprouts are a powerhouse of nutrients including high levels of vitamin K, C, and fiber. They also contain copious amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable, in the same family as broccoli or cauliflower. Because cruciferous vegetables are high in omega-3 fatty acids and many other nutrients, they have been shown to provide numerous health benefits.
- Brussels sprouts are delicious and a healthy addition to your diet. You can serve them up steamed, blanched, stir-fried or roasted.
- Interestingly, cooking Brussels sprouts increases that number by up to three times. 1/2 cup of cooked Brussels sprouts has 135 mg of omega-3 fatty acids6.
- According to one study, increasing your intake of cruciferous vegetables can lower your risk of heart disease by 16%7.
- When you include half a cup of raw Brussels sprouts in your diet, you are getting approximately 44 mg of ALA8.
3. Algal oil
- According to some studies, it is on the same level as seafood when looking at its nutritional availability of both DHA and EPA.
- One study in particular compared cooked salmon with algal oil capsules and found that both were well tolerated and were similar as far as absorption was concerned9.
- One study that was conducted recently showed that the DHA algal oil compound can improve your memory10.
4. Hemp seeds
- Hemp seed contains large amounts of magnesium, iron, zinc, and protein. They are also made up of approximately 30% oil and that includes a fair amount of omega-3s11.
- According to studies, Omega 3s from hemp seeds may be beneficial for heart health12.
- A 1 ounce serving of hemp seeds yields approximately 6000 mg of ALA.
- It’s easy to include hemp seeds in your diet. You can mix them in a smoothie, sprinkle them on top of yogurt or add them to salads. You add a healthy and delicious crunch while giving your body something it needs.
- You will find plenty of healthy fats along with ALA omega-3 fatty acids in a handful of walnuts. Many people don’t realize that walnuts are about 65% fat by weight13.
- A number of studies found that your brain health may be improved by eating walnuts because they have high omega-3 content14.
- An additional study showed significant improvements in memory, learning, and motor development when eating walnuts15.
- It only takes a single serving of walnuts to get your entire day’s requirements of omega-3 fatty acids. Just 1 ounce has 2,542 mg16.
- You can include walnuts in your diet easily. Add them to your cereal, sprinkle them on yogurt or just grab a handful as a delicious and healthy snack. Doing so will boost your intake of ALA naturally.
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24505395, Effect of marine-derived n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on C-reactive protein, interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor α: a meta-analysis, 2014 Feb 5;9(2):e88103. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088103. eCollection 2014
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22113870, A meta-analysis shows that docosahexaenoic acid from algal oil reduces serum triglycerides and increases HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol in persons without coronary heart disease, 2012 Jan;142(1):99-104. doi: 10.3945/jn.111.148973. Epub 2011 Nov 23
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16216930, Fish consumption and cognitive decline with age in a large community study, 2005 Dec;62(12):1849-53. Epub 2005 Oct 10
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22090467, A dietary pattern including nopal, chia seed, soy protein, and oat reduces serum triglycerides and glucose intolerance in patients with metabolic syndrome, 2012 Jan;142(1):64-9. doi: 10.3945/jn.111.147447. Epub 2011 Nov 16
5. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2, Seeds, chia seeds, dried Nutrition Facts & Calories
6. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2363/2, Brussels sprouts, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt Nutrition Facts & Calories
7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4973479/, The effect of green leafy and cruciferous vegetable intake on the incidence of cardiovascular disease: A meta-analysis, 2016 Jan-Dec; 5: 2048004016661435
8. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2362/2, Brussels sprouts, raw Nutrition Facts & Calories
9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18589030, Algal-oil capsules and cooked salmon: nutritionally equivalent sources of docosahexaenoic acid, 2008 Jul;108(7):1204-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.04.020
10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25958644, [Study of DHA algal oil compound preparation on improving memory in mice], 2015 Jan;44(1):86-90.
11. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10681-004-4811-6, Hempseed as a nutritional resource: An overview, January 2004
12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18418423, Cholesterol-induced stimulation of platelet aggregation is prevented by a hempseed-enriched diet, 2008 Apr;86(4):153-9. doi: 10.1139/Y08-011
13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14664531, Determination of sterol and fatty acid compositions, oxidative stability, and nutritional value of six walnut (Juglans regia L.) cultivars grown in Portugal, 2003 Dec 17;51(26):7698-702
14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22048906, Effects of walnuts (Juglans regia) on learning and memory functions, 2011 Nov;66(4):335-40. doi: 10.1007/s11130-011-0260-2
15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25024344, Dietary supplementation of walnuts improves memory deficits and learning skills in transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease, 2014;42(4):1397-405. doi: 10.3233/JAD-140675
16. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3138/2, Nuts, walnuts, english [Includes USDA commodity food A259, A257] Nutrition Facts & Calories