Incorporating Omega-3 Fatty Acids into a Vegetarian Diet

Incorporating Omega-3 Fatty Acids into a Vegetarian Diet

A practical and informational guide for vegetarians looking for more creative ways to include essential fatty acids into their plant-based diet.

Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that has grown more popular in recent years as a “brain food,” the key ingredient to developing cell membranes and other neurological functions. Not only is it good for your brain health, Omega-3 also plays a crucial role in preventing cardiovascular disease and lowering blood pressure.

Since the best source of this Omega-3 is from oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines, vegetarians need to consume a simpler source of this fatty acid in order to meet their nutritional needs.

The plant-based source of Omega-3 is Alpha-linolenic acid which is able to convert EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) and DHA (docosehexaenoic) to the body. The most common sources of Alpha-linolenic acid are flaxseed oil, walnuts, pecans, leafy green vegetables and avocados. In addition to eggs, which also contain small amounts of Omega-3, there are a number of fortified cereals, breads and meal bars available on the market.

A viable option for vegetarians and vegans to get an adequate source of Omega-3 is to take a daily microalgae supplement. Dr. Andrew Weil recommends taking at least 400 to 600 milligrams of Neuromins DHA, a product that is made from microalgae extract.

Although taking a microalgae supplement alone is an excellent idea, vegetarians should also follow a Omega-3 rich diet in order to avoid resorting to taking the capsules sporadically throughout the week.

Since the vegetarian diet and lifestyle already requires a great deal of creativity, the remainder of this article will focus on the same innovative meal planning in order to introduce more essential fatty acids into your every day life.

Give Flaxseed a Starring Role in Your Meals

Experts at the University of Maryland Medical Center recommend that adults take one to two tablespoons of Alpha-Linolenic acid daily. This means that, apart from the occasional sprinkling on your oatmeal or in your morning smoothie, flaxseed can receive more than just a special mention in your diet.

Just about any basic recipe can easily be updated with the addition of flaxseed. Take Banana Bread for instance, a baked good that can benefit from an appearance of flaxseed. A recipe such as the one at <href=”#bananabread” target=”_top”>Golden Valley Flax can help give you an idea of how to adapt this heart-healthy ingredient to your favourite breakfast item.

If you live a busy lifestyle and often dread spending too much time in the kitchen, you can easily put together a quick dinner salad that is rich in essential fatty acids. Start off with a homemade dressing such as Strawberry Vinaigrette. Combine fresh strawberries, flaxseed oil, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard in a food processor. After all these ingredients are blended, drizzle it over a bowl of baby spinach, walnuts, chick peas and other vegetables of your choice.

Freedom from the Effects of Pollution

One intriguing fact about the quality and safety of vegetarian Omega-3’s will surely help vegetarians stave off any feeling of annoyance surrounding the inconvenience of their daily Omega-3 intake. The essential fatty acids in microlagae are not exposed to any kind of pollution.

According to Source-Omega, a manufacturer of microalgae products founded by leading researcher and Biochemist, Scott Doughman, some types of fish contain large amounts of mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Since there is an absence of ocean-borne pollution and contamination in cultured microalgae, you can feel safe taking a daily supplement of this DHA-based Omega-3 fatty acid.

Although it takes a little extra time and effort to ensure that their nutritional needs are met, vegetarians can bask in essential fatty acid bliss knowing that the excellent health benefits of their daily supplements will not be ruined by harmful pollutants.

Categories: Diet, Nutrition