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Top Omega-3 Sources for Vegans

Alpha-Linolenic acid
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Omega-3 is a fatty acid also known as n-3 fatty acids. These are polyunsaturated fatty acids important for our health. These essential nutrients help our body in its normal functions. It help control the formation of blood clot, helps build cell membranes in our brain and since our body is not capable of producing omega-3 fats, we then need to get some from omega-3 rich foods.

  • Chia Seedschia seed is rich in omega-3 fatty acid and is becoming popular these days as source of Omega-3 among vegetarians. It can be added to various dishes. You can have chia seeds in your stir fried dishes, salads, seitan, dips, and more. Popular drinks like Milk Tea now include variety with chia seeds. Like Flaxseed, Chia Seeds are also tasteless. If there is any, it is very mild to your taste buds. A pilot study found that chia seeds can help produce higher blood level of alphalinolenic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid or omega-3 fatty acid. According to the USDA, a serving of one ounce or 28 grams of chia seeds lets you enjoy 9 grams fat, 5 mg of sodium, 11 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein. Other than that, chia seeds are also rich in calcium, phosphorus, and manganese.
  • Gillian McKeith's organic shelled hemp seeds i...
    (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Flaxseed or Flaxseed Oil – is one of the highly recommended sources of Omega-3. With just an ounce of flaxseeds, you will get to enjoy 6388mg of Omega-3 already, which is nearly six times the recommended daily allowance or RDA. Other than Omega-3, you will get to enjoy 1655mg of Omega-6 simultaneously. Flaxseeds are tasteless in general, which allows you to have a good intake in almost every food you are preparing from cereal to oatmeal to smoothies and the likes. Flaxseeds also have longer shelf life, thus you can store in bulk without the worries of them getting spoiled especially if you have them placed in your freezer.

  • Hemp Seeds – gluten free and very vegan, Hemp Seeds also has the essential fatty acid that each of us need and every vegetarian will surely love. Hemp seeds have the ability to produce 3 parts omega-3 to 1 part omega-6. Other than Omega-3, Hemp Seeds are also rich in protein, minerals, GLA, and SDA. Like flaxseeds, you can store chia seed in your freezer to prolong its life.
  • Perilla Oil – Perilla oil is a product from the plan called Perilla through squeezing. The oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. The oil consists about 50 to 60% of ALA.
  • Mustard Oil – mustard oil is another kind of oil rich in omega-3. This is best for those who want to get enough amount of Omega-3 but cut down their Omega-6 intake. A tablespoon of mustard oil consists 826mg Omega-3 and 2146mg Omega-6.
  • Seaweeds – seaweed are not only refreshing and delicious but healthy too because these are rich in Omega-3. Other than Omega-3 seaweeds are the only vegan food rich in EPA and DHEA.
  • Cauliflower – cauliflower as many have not known is rich is omega-3 fatty acids making this a great addition to our food for a healthy heart. Nutritionist Margaux Rathbun said that other than omega-3, cauliflower is also rich in potassium, magnesium and niacin, making this vegetable a heart friendly one.
  • Berries – these foods are not only great antioxidants but also are great source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids in addition to the vitamins and minerals it contains. Among the many delicious berries, Blueberries has the highest Omega-3 contents. With a cup of blueberries, you will get 174mg of Omega-3 and 259mg of Omega-6.

About the Author:
Amit is a vegetarian bodybuilder from India, runs betterhealthliving.org and a fan of Billy Simmonds (2009 Mr. Universe and Vegan).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_hispanica

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/26/omega-3-vegetarian-vegan_n_1299283.html

http://plenteousveg.com/vegan-sources-omega-3/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perilla_oil

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