Even though we talk about omega 3 as if it were one thing, that’s not quite true. Here is a list of the different types:
- ALA (alpha-linolenic acid)
- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)
The good news is that your body can use ALA to make DHA and EPA. The bad news, our bodies are very efficient with that conversion.That’s why it’s still a good idea to get some DHA and EPA.
Many vegetables (especially the green and leafy) have lots of ALA. So, although ALA is not always your best source for omega 3s, because veggies have lots of fiber and nutrients, be sure to include lots of them in your diet.
1. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds contain 8543 mg of omega 3 per 200 calorie serving.
You can easily add flax seeds to salads and baked goods.
Also, flax seed oil is an even more significant source of omega 3 with more than 12,000 mg per 200 calories.
Eating too many flax seeds without liquid can cause a blockage in your intestines.
2. Chia Seeds
Chia is the common name for salvia hispanica. It’s a flowering plant related to mint.
Chia seeds give you 7164 mg of omega 3 per 200 calorie serving.
You can add chia seeds to many baked goods. Another popular use is to add them to your smoothies.
3. Fresh Basil
This popular spice is also know as sweet basil.
Basil supplies 2747 mg per 200 calorie serving.
Basil is added to many Italian cooked dishes. It is also one of the main ingredients of pesto.
4. Chinese Broccoli
Cooked Chinese broccoli contains 2346 mg per 200 calories.
This green leafy vegetable is also known as kai-lan or gai-lan in Chinese. You’ll also find it called Chinese kale.
This vegetable is widely used in Cantonese recipes. You can try it stir-fried, boiled, or steamed.
Spinach is another green and leafy vegetable that is high in omega 3. Cooked spinach supplies 2183 mg per 200 calories.
You can get the omega 3 benefit with Spinach leaves added to your salads.
Spinach is also high in iron and calcium.
Other Sources of Omega 3
This article has just scratched the surface.
A previous article talks about the amount of omega 3 supplied by fish.
In addition to fish and vegetables, you can also get omega 3 by eating foods such as:
- radish seeds
- edamame (green soybeans)
- wild rice
- beans, especially kidney beans
In other words, it’s not hard to get omega 3s into your diet. It just takes a bit of planning.Picture credits: 123rf.com, Flickr by mesohungry, pixabay.com