A lot has been said about omega-3 rich foods over the years. Omega-3 fatty acids are the chain of fats which are extremely important for our body in order to stay healthy.
These are one of the most essential nutrients which are recommended by experts to incorporate in our daily meals. According to a study published in EFSA Journal, an average human should consume 250–500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per day to meet the required nutrition.
Here’s more on omega-3-rich foods, fatty acids and the benefits
What are omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are the essential chain of polyunsaturated fats which are not produced by the human body. However, these fats are very helpful for us to consume daily and therefore, they are found in different varieties of foods. Omega-3 fatty acids come with multiple health benefits like keeping your cardiovascular health intact, help your mind relax and relieve stress and play a crucial role in your brain’s functioning.
Which foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are mainly found in fish but there are several other high-fat plant foods that contain this nutrient. We have summed up a list of vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods rich with omega-3.
Chia seeds are one of the most talked-about superfoods in the market today. Apart from a good quantity of omega-3 fatty acids, they’re rich in other nutrients like dietary fibre, copper, calcium, protein, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. Chia seeds are great for weight loss and for improving heart health, and you can easily incorporate them in your summer diet through smoothies or even with desserts.
A cup of cooked spinach contains 166mg of omega-3 fatty acids. This leafy green also has a wide range of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, folate and potassium. According to Science Direct research, compounds in spinach called thylakoids, reduce your hunger pangs and satiate your taste buds in a way that you don’t crave for palatable foods. This helps with healthy weight loss.
Flax seeds function almost like chia seeds. These work wonders if you are looking forward to losing those extra kilos. Apart from flax seeds’ weight loss benefits, this superfood increases the level of good cholesterol (HDL) in your body and keeps your blood pressure in control. One of the common ways to add flax seeds in your daily summer meals is by mixing them in home-made muffins or bread.
Salmon is undoubtedly the most popular source of omega-3 acids. This fish is rich in vitamin D, protein and phosphorus. Salmon not just takes care of increased blood pressure levels and cardiovascular health, but also reduces inflammation in your body. It is also considered good for weight loss. The best way to enjoy salmon in summer is to have it grilled and paired with summer vegetables.
Kidney beans is one of the most popular lunch meals in India. These beans are a good source of the Omega-3 fatty acids which can improve your skin health, control your blood sugar and even improve your heart health. You can cook kidney beans in a curry and have them with rice or simply add them to different types of salads.
Red lentils are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which come with interesting slimming benefits. A study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that lentils can prove to be a good option for those who’re planning to lose weight. Red lentils contain resistant starch which is a source of acetate that signals your brain to stop overeating. Apart from omega-3 fatty acids, lentils contain vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, fibre, protein, and thiamine that are extremely important nutrients for your body.
Besides omega-3 fatty acids, soybeans are rich in protein and fibre. If you are trying to have them in a meal, then half a cup of roasted soybeans – which contains around 671mg omega-3 acids – is a good addition. This quantity can provide almost 14g protein and 8g of fibre in a serving. Soybeans are considered beneficial for your heart health and also improve your bone density.
Who said walnuts can only be had in winter? It is recommended that you have two to three walnuts per day to meet your daily nutritional requirements. Walnuts are not only a omega-3 fatty acids-rich food, but also contain protein, iron, and antioxidants. You can have them during summer by adding them in salads or desserts.
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This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok