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5 sources of Omega-3 fatty acids for those who don’t eat non-vegetarian

Omega-3 fatty acids are important, but vegetarians may find it hard to include it in their diet. Here are vegetarian food sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Stay healthy with Omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Grace Bains Published: 19 Aug 2021, 17:56 pm IST
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Many of us have heard or read a lot about the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. Well, so have we, for all the right reasons. Omega-3 fatty acids are critical components of the membranes that surround each cell in your body, and provide calories to give your body energy.

These fatty acids help improve psychological health, enhance lung capacity, fight inflammation, aid better immune responses, aid eye health, and improve the endocrine (hormone-producing glands) systems.

A study by Cardiology Research and Practice states that, “Omega-3 fatty acids can improve insulin resistance, inflammation and heart disease risk factors in people with metabolic syndrome.”

omega 3
Omega-3 is a boon for your health. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
Three types of Omega-3 fatty acids

-alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
-eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
-docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

While your body is equipped to produce a variety of fats that it requires from the foods you consume, Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that has to be consumed directly from food sources.

Hence, it is extremely important to choose foods that are rich in Omega-3!

Here are five food sources for vegetarians to derive Omega-3 fatty acids

1. Seeds
Seeds such as flax (2,350 mg per serving) and chia (5,060 mg per serving) contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. These seeds are also packed with magnesium, iron and fiber and can help you fight high cholesterol, as well as protect your cells from harmful free radicals produced during metabolic processes.

2. Walnuts
Walnuts are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids (2,570 mg per serving) and are beneficial for heart health and reducing appetite. Walnuts also offer monounsaturated fats that improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels and have anti-inflammatory properties.

omega 3
Add walnuts to your diet to boost Omega-3 intake. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Soybeans
Soybeans offer 1,241 mg of Omega-3 per serving and are also a good source of fiber and protein. Consuming soybean helps reduce the risk of heart disease, improves bone health and reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

4. Blueberries
Blueberries are low in calories and packed with nutrients and antioxidants. They provide 437 mg of Omega-3 per serving and have up to 9.2 millimoles per litre (mmol) of antioxidants per 100 grams. Antioxidants in blueberries, called anthocyanins, reduce risk factors for heart disease, lowering LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure as per research published by the National Library of Medicine.

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5. Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts contain adequate amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, and each serving contains 430 milligrams of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This green vegetable is also rich in vitamin K and C, and its consumption is associated with lowering the risk of heart ailments. To derive the benefits, steam the brussel sprouts before consuming it.

So, increase your Omega-3 intake by including these natural foods in your diet. While Omega-3 supplements are available for you to purchase over the counter, it is advisable to stick to natural sources to receive the wholesome benefits of the produce you eat!

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About the Author

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book. ...Read More

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