Why you need omega-3s

Swimming with omega-3s, salmon and tuna may be a top source of these healthy fats for animal-eaters, but that doesn’t mean vegans can’t get their fair share of omega-3s from plant sources — and without the risk of mercury. Here’s why you need omega-3s and a few omega-3 vegan foods.
Swimming with omega-3s, salmon and tuna may be a top source of these healthy fats for animal-eaters, but that doesn’t mean vegans can’t get their fair share of omega-3s from plant sources — and without the risk of mercury. Here’s why you need omega-3s and a few omega-3 vegan foods.

What are omega-3s

Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that we must get from food sources because our bodies can’t manufacture these particular types of fat. Cold water fish are especially good sources of omega-3s, but they can also be found in plant foods, such as flax seed, nuts, and vegetables.

Benefits of omega-3s

Research has shown that omega-3s can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, depression, ADHD, joint pain, degenerative brain diseases, and certain skin conditions. These healthy fats have also been shown to boost the immune system. The reason that omega-3s are so beneficial to health is due to their ability to reduce inflammation, which is a factor in many chronic illnesses and medical conditions.

Plant-sources of omega-3s for vegans

Flax is a star when it comes to plant-sources of omega-3s. It’s available as whole seed, ground, and oil. If you buy whole seed, grind it before using it; the body won’t digest whole seed. Flax oil can be used in vinaigrettes or drizzled on food as a finisher — it shouldn’t be subjected to high heat.

>>Vegan recipes featuring flax

Walnuts are another tasty source of omega-3s. One ounce of walnuts has the same level of omega-3s as a serving of salmon.

>>More yummy reasons to eat walnuts

Other vegan sources of omega-3s include dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, cantaloupe, kidney beans, canola oil, hemp seed (and hemp food products), pumpkin seeds, and tahini.

More vegan lifestyle tips!

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