The list of benefits of omega-3 fatty acids seems to get longer with time as more research is done on them. From lowering cholesterol levels to reducing the symptoms of menopause, the goodness of omega-3 fatty acids is evident and experts agree: they are good for you.
Great sources of omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, mackarel, tuna, sardine and other fatty fish. However, not everyone is fond of fish. If you’re not keen on fish, don’t worry, here are some other sources of omega-3 fatty acids to consider.
- Flaxseed. This is a gold mine for omega-3 fatty acids – just two tablespoons a day will meet your daily requirement. Just sprinkle them on cereals and you are good to go!
- Walnuts. A quarter cup will cover about 14% of your daily ALA needs. ALA is short for alpha-linolenic acid, which is then converted by our body to the same omega-3 fatty acids such as those found in fatty fish. However, walnuts can pack quite an amount of calories, so watch your portion size!
- Canola oil. A tablespoon of this clean-tasting oil can help you meet 11% of your daily ALA requirement.2 It is great for sauteing, stir-frying, grilling, and baking a variety of dishes. You can also use it as salad dressing or for marinades.
- Dark leafy vegetables. Aside from dietary fibre and unique protective substances, dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and romaine lettuce are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Two cups a day would meet your daily requirements, so how about a salad?
- Soybeans. Tofu, tempe, soybean oil and other soy-based food are delicious sources of ALA. A tablespoon of soybean oil or half a cup of tofu can contribute 7% of your daily ALA needs. Now you have a great reason to enjoy a healthy tau foo fah dessert – just remember to reduce or avoid the sugary syrup!
Note that the popular beverage known as ‘soya bean drink’ or ‘soya milk’ can be high in sugar. Go for those that are low in sugar or, better still, free of sugar.
A little more boost
According to experts, plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids are great, but they still cannot match fatty fish in terms of benefits. Therefore, you can also consider foods fortified with omega-3 fatty acids as part of your diet in addition to the foods listed above. Additionally, you can give yourself a boost with omega-3 fatty acid supplements such as red krill oil.
References: 1. Everyday Health. Available at www.everydayhealth.com. 2. Health.com. Available at www.health.com.