Omega-3 fatty acids play important roles in the functions of the brain and nervous system. Our body cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids directly. So, we must absorb omega-3 fatty acids from the diet. There are 3 main types of omega-3 fatty acids. They are ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Here are 4 plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
(1) Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are one of the healthiest superfoods. They are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and antioxidants. Even, chia seeds contain more omega-3 fatty acids than some animal sources, such as salmon. Consuming chia seeds can help to decrease blood triglycerides and raise good HDL cholesterol to minimize the risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Flaxseeds are a great source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein and magnesium. They help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol significantly. Their high-fiber content is good for weight management and helps to relieve some issues of digestive system like constipation. Flaxseeds contain anticancer compounds “lignan”, which help to manage some types of cancers like breast cancer.
Walnuts contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and healthy fats. They are good for the cardiovascular system and improving brain health. They help to decrease the bad LDL cholesterol and blood pressure who are suffering from high blood pressure. Consuming walnuts can also improve memory and learning. Its rich content of fatty acid also benefits to manage inflammatory diseases, including asthma and eczema.
(4) Perilla Oil
Perilla oil is a healthy dietary oil which is always used in Korean recipes. It has rich content of omega-3 fatty acids. According to the researches, consuming perilla oil from the diet can help to improve memory and reduce the risk of developing colon cancer significantly. Perilla oil is better to use it as dressing rather than cooking oil. High heat will oxidize its polyunsaturated fats and produce harmful free radicals. Perilla oil is also made as a dietary supplement in capsule form.
As omega-3 fatty acids cannot be produced by the body, you can get a sufficient amount of omega-3 fatty acids by taking the supplements.