Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid, which means it cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained through diet.Because omega-3 fats are polyunsaturated, they are considered ‘good’ fats. The three most significant kinds are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). EPA and DHA are mostly present in animal diets, namely oily fish and algae, while ALA is primarily found in plants.
The National Health Service( NHS, UK) presently does not have an omega-3 Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), but recommends that we consume one piece of oily fish (approximately 140g) each week. The British Nutrition Foundation recommends two to three pieces of oily fish per week, which is 1.5 g of EPA and DHA, while the British Dietetic Association recommends one meal of oily fish per week, which is approximately 450mg EPA and DHA.
These include neuroprotective advantages in both babies and adults. Omega-3 has been related to advantages in the treatment of depression, as well as some anti-inflammatory effects in chronic diseases including diabetes and heart disease. Before making any dietary changes, always see your doctor or healthcare professional if you have any concerns about your current health.
- Flax-seeds: This is a plant-based omega-3 supplement that converts to ALA, with just one tablespoon of entire seeds delivering 2.5g of ALA. Flax-seeds are tiny yellow-brown seeds that are similar in appearance to sesame seeds and may be eaten whole or crushed. Use them in oatmeal, smoothies, and soups, as energy balls, or as a dressing with flax-seed oil, which is even richer in ALA.
- Chia seeds, another plant-based source of omega-3, may be used as a wonderful non-grain alternative to breakfast when soaked overnight in milk or yogurt, added to smoothies, or used to create a healthy dessert. One tablespoon contains almost 2g of omega-3 (the ALA type), making it a superior vegan source of this vital fat.
- Walnuts are an omega-3 powerhouse that may be eaten as a snack, baked into bread, or sprinkled over breakfast or salads. One 30g serving contains 2.2g of omega-3 fatty acids (which will then be converted into ALA as it is a plant-based source). Walnut oil, which may also be used as a salad dressing, is an excellent source of omega-3 from plants.