Unlocking the power of plant-based omega-3 for vegan diets

Omega 3 fatty acids are important for the proper brain, heart and overall functioning of the body. Photo: Shutterstock/Alexander Prokopenko

Omega-3 fatty acids are vital nutrients for brain function, heart health, and overall well-being. While fish stands as the primary source of omega-3, there are plant-based alternatives too to provide vegetarians with this essential nutrient. Let us delve into the vegetarian sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Flax seeds
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), flax seeds can be easily incorporated into one's diet. Ground flaxseed can be blended with yogurt or smoothies, and for those seeking higher omega-3 intake, supplements containing flaxseed oil are available.

Chia seeds
Abundant in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), chia seeds serve as an excellent omega-3 fatty acid source. They can be sprinkled onto drinks, salads, or incorporated into baked goods.

Among nuts, walnuts stand out for their omega-3 fatty acid content. A handful of walnuts can be enjoyed as a snack or added to salads, cereals, and more.

While cowpeas have significant omega fatty acid content, they contain less alpha-linolenic acid compared to chia and flax seeds. Nonetheless, cowpeas offer various health benefits, including protein, vitamins, minerals, and fibre, promoting heart and brain health.

Hemp seeds
Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals, hemp seeds are versatile additions to salads, yogurts, cereals, and smoothies, enhancing their nutritional value.

Leafy vegetables
Certain green leafy vegetables contain omega-3 fatty acids. Brussels sprouts, kale, and spinach are notable examples. Incorporating these greens into one's diet contributes to overall health. It is imperative for vegetarians to regularly consume these foods to ensure they meet their nutritional needs, including omega-3 fatty acids.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.