Fish oil as a source of Omega 3 fatty acids has been touted to help everything from pain to depression to healthy fetal development. The typical American diet is really high in omega 6 fatty acids, but low in omega 3. The ratio of 6 to 3 should be about 2 to 1 or 1 to 1. People eating the SAD (Standard American Diet) get about 17 to 1. This sets up problems. Our bodies are in a constant balance of promoting versus discouraging inflammation. Omega 6 fatty acids promote it, while omega 3 fatty acids inhibit it. People on plant-based diets sometimes wonder if they are getting enough omega 3s. Here are three good sources of Omega 3s from the plant kingdom:
#1. Walnuts. These nuts contain healthy doses of the omega 3 Alpha linolenic acid. You don’t need to consume a ton of them to get the benefits. go for a small handful daily.
#2: Flax. Flax seeds also contain a nice dose of ALA. The problem with flax seeds? Our stomachs can’t pulverize whole seeds enough to be able to extract the good stuff from inside. Grinding your flax in a coffee mill or spice grinder and sprinkling it over salad or oatmeal does the trick. One thing to remember is that flax oxidizes really quickly, rendering the good nutrients less potent; to avoid this, grind your flax freshly, right before you eat it.
#3. Algae. There’s been some buzz around walnuts, flax and other sources of omega 3s because they may not do a great job of converting ALA to the other omega 3s that our body needs, namely DHA. If you’re concerned about not getting enough DHA, then taking an algae supplement can be a good alternative to fish oil. Each capsule from Nature’s Way contains 200mg of DHA.
Where do you get your plant based omega 3s?