How Can Vegetarians Get Enough Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

omega 3 flax seedMany benefits of omega 3’s have become widely accepted and supported by scientific research. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids can lower blood pressure and lower triglycerides. Omega 3’s can help people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and reduce inflammation throughout the body. Reduced inflammation is believed to lower the risks of heart disease, cancer, and cognitive disorders. People who do not get enough omega-fatty acids can have poor circulation, fatigue, depression, and cognitive disorders.

These essential fatty acids (ALA, DHA, EPA) are called “essential” because they are necessary for the body to function normally. Therefore, it’s important our diets contain enough sources of omega-fatty acids. Two important omega 3’s, EPA and DHA, are primarily found in fatty fish such as: tuna, herring, salmon and sardines.

If you’re vegetarian, it’s important to eat foods containing plant sources rich in omega 3’s. Many foods are fortified with omega-3’s such as milk, juice, soy milk, yogurt, pastas and breads. Vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, algae and watercress are high in the precursor ALA. Oils such as, rapeseed, mustard oil, soybean, walnut, and flax seed are also a good source of ALA. Algae also contains omega-3 fatty acids.

Many vegetarians are looking for ways to increase omega-3’s in their diets.

Flax seed oil comes from the flax plant and contains both omega-3 and omega 6 fatty acids. It contains ALA which the body converts to DHA and EPA. Some researchers think flax seed oil has the same benefits as fish oil.

Flax seed oil is easy to include in our diets. It is found in both liquid form and soft-gel capsules. Flax seed oil has a light, nutty flavor. Although it shouldn’t be used as a cooking oil, it can be used in baking, added to smoothies, used in salad dressings, and in many tasty recipes.

Algae oil is also a great option for vegetarians looking to increase omega-3 intake. This is available as a capsule or liquid supplement.

Chia seeds contain Omega-3 fatty acids. They are easy to prepare and put into smoothies.

The Red Radish Natural Foods has a wide selection of foods and supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids. We also have a selection of tasty breads that use flax seed oil blends. Stop by our store in Neenah, WI to see for yourself.

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