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December 3, 2013

Omega-3 Rich Plant Foods

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Omega-3 is a nutrient that is very essential for everyone’s health but isn’t produced by the body. Instead, it can be taken in from the outside sources and through supplementation.

In the U.S., 99% of its population aren’t getting enough omega-3 fatty acids from natural sources. ┬áThis deficiency sometimes results to several health problems. But this hasn’t been clear on some, as the symptoms for the lack of omega-3 are sometimes just attributed to another condition’s symptoms.

Omega-3 Benefits

Omega-3 has so many notable benefits but experts say that the dosage is the key.

Omega-3 in the right dosage can help in heart health. It prevents irregular heartbeat, reduce blood clotting, decrease blood fats, and reduce fatty plaques in arteries, increase in good cholesterol and decrease in the inflammation.

The said nutrient is also beneficial in brain developments of the youngs. But it plays a big role in preventing brain function decline among adults and the olds. Omega-3 has the EPA, DHA which is a needed thing in baby’s brain development and in increasing learning capability of kids.

Omega-3 helps also in skin health and has a positive effect in bone health. Plus it can be a good contributor to a sound mental health preventing the high risk of dementia later. It can also help in alleviating the stressing effects of depression and anxiety because of its ability to control and help in curtailing hormones that causes depression.

Omega-3 Sources

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Omega-3 has many sources but its most notable and most popular ones are:

  • Sardines
  • Scallops
  • Calamari
  • Shrimp
  • Halibut
  • Salmon
  • Tofu
  • Seeds
  • Cod liver

But they aren’t the only ones, there are far more sources to take the supplements from.

Top Plant Sources

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  • Cauliflower. You may be consuming cauliflower regularly and from time to time but you may have not realized that it’s full of omega-3. Plus, a cup of cauliflower is low in cholesterol and in saturated fats. A cup of cauliflower served may contain 37mg of omega-3 but given it isn’t boiled but lightly steamed. Boiling will drain out its stored nutrients.
  • Flax seeds. Flax seeds are popular in the omega-3 world. It has a high content of omega-3 and isn’t that hard to prepare. It can be added in your cereal or smoothie. Flax seeds powdered are better than the whole one. A tablespoon of one may contain a whooping 7,980 mg of omega-3. Flax seeds are even added by some in their baked goods.
  • Perilla Oil. Native to East Asia, perilla is a good source of omega-3. One tablespoon of perilla oil may give you the 8,960 mg of omega-3. The oil is made up of ALA which is a source of omega-3 fatty acids. Perilla is used in other traditional medicine and is known in helping reduce asthma symptoms.
  • Algae. Since fish and other sea dwelling sources are good omega-3 providers, it can be deemed that algae may also be rich with the nutrients. Algae are the best way to have a plant based omega-3 in the diet. Algae omega-3 are sometimes instilled in soy milk, olive oil and energy bars.
  • Chia Seeds. Chia is same with flaxseeds in ways to be taken in. It is derived from flowering plants and produces omega-3 in its seeds as it yields oil. Since it has become commercially grown, Australia has become its top largest producer although it has been a native plant of Mexico and Guatemala.

End Upshot

The above mentioned sources of omega-3 can be a great way to keep you stacked and full of the nutrients. But again, balance of the supplement is needed. Once you are not able to have the nutrients from above sources, you may try to have supplements commercially developed but still are proven in terms of its benefits.

Image Credit: 1, 2, 3.

General Thoughts, Vegetarian Food

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