Natural Plant-Based Omega-3s
Walnuts, flaxseed, and chia seeds are healthy and safe omega-3 sources. You can sprinkle them on salads, blend them into smoothies or even make them into pudding! Omega-3s are a group of fatty acids known to be beneficial in heart disease prevention, brain development and function, and prevention of infections. There are 3 main types of omega-3:
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), found in various plant foods, is the least active form in the body. DHA and EPA, the more active forms, are found in deep-water seaweed, and also in the fish who consume them. Our bodies can use plant-based omega-3s instead of animal-based, but to do this sufficiently, they require very concentrated omega-3 sources.
The most concentrated sources of plant-based omega-3 are flaxseed and chia seeds, both of which also contain high amounts of calcium and iron. They can both be sprinkled on salads or blended into smoothies. You can also make chia pudding with your favorite plant-based milk – here’s a basic recipe.
There is no need to take an omega-3 supplement unless you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have high levels of blood lipids. Several companies make plant-based supplements.
Omega-3s are a complex topic – if you’d like to know more, ask in the group and one of our dietitians will be happy to help.
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