We have often heard experts and dietitians recommend Omega-3 fatty acids to be included in the daily diet. These essential fatty acids fall under the category of ‘Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids’ or PUFA. They are crucial to the overall health and functioning of the body. Research has suggested that Omega-3 are good fats and may have a positive impact on heart health. Further, this essential nutrient can only be obtained through our diet. Typically, seafood is said to be the best source of Omega-3. But as per a new study, there are several plant-based foods that are rich in Omega-3 too!
The study was conducted by scientists at Pennsylvania State University, USA, and was published in the journal ‘Advances of Nutrition’ in the February 2022 edition. Researchers found that the plant-based version of Omega-3, called Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) can be as beneficial for heart health as the animal-based derivative. The study suggests that consuming ALA, found in plant-based foods, was associated with a 10% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 20% reduced risk of fatal coronary heart disease.
So, what are the plant-based foods that contain Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of ALA? Here are some options that you can include in your daily diet for better heart health as per the study.
5 Plant-Based Foods Rich In Omega-3 Fatty Acids As Per The Study:
The study suggests that eating half an ounce of walnuts or about 14 grams of walnuts can be beneficial for heart health. “Plant-based ALA in the form of walnuts can provide these benefits, especially when incorporated into a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.” said researcher Penny Kris-Etherton.
Along with walnuts, flaxseeds too are a great plant-based source of ALA. Even flaxseed oil can be helpful in providing the body with the daily Omega-3 requirement. Just under one teaspoon of flaxseed oil would do the trick, according to the study.
3. Edamame and Seaweed
Boiled green soybean, also known as edamame, as well as seaweed, can both be excellent sources of Omega-3. These plant-based foods are included as part of the study’s recommendations and are also frequently used in Asian cooking. Green leafy vegetables and beans also contain small amounts of ALA.
4. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are said to be one the easiest and most readily available source of Omega-3 fatty acids. A one-ounce serving of Chia seeds contains up to 5 grams of Omega-3. They are also rich in fibre and a few key minerals.
5. Vegetable Oils
A particular set of vegetable oils are also said to have good quantities of Omega-3. This includes Flaxseed oil, as already mentioned, as well as Canola and Soybean oil. Use these oils for cooking food or drizzle them as dressing in salads et cetera.
Try these plant-based foods to get your daily dose of Omega-3 and work towards a healthier you!
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