Filling up on omega-3 fatty acids is highly important for our body. These polyunsaturated fats, which play a significant role in how our body’s cells function, have been shown have many benefits.
Our body can’t produce omega-3s, so you’ve got to make sure your diet provides them. So here are the best sources (non-fish) of Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
1. Soybean oil
Even though flaxseed oil, hemp oil, chia oil, walnut oil, and cold-pressed canola oil are the best healthy oils if you are looking for the plant-based oil that has a close-to-ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. These oils are not the right choice for cooking hot meals (but, they are really great in salad dressings). Soybean oil, by contrast, can tolerate heat relatively well, and it has a decent amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
2. Walnuts and walnut oil
While all nuts can provide health benefits when consumed in moderation, walnuts are the winner when it comes to heart-healthy nuts. Various studies reported that walnuts are as effective as olive oil at reducing inflammation and oxidation in the arteries after a fatty meal.
Also, the walnuts can significantly lower total and LDL cholesterol levels. So what makes walnuts such a heart healthy food? The walnuts are packed with omega-3 fatty acids! And even more, walnuts have more antioxidant power than any other common nut.
Berries are not only high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but they are also a great vegetarian source of Omega-3. Blueberries top the list with 175 mg of Omega-3 per 1 cup serving while simultaneously delivering only 260 mg of Omega 6.
4. Hemp seeds and hemp oil
Whole hemp seeds are high in unsaturated fatty acids (about 29 % of their net weight). A significant share of these fatty acids is omega-3. Hempseed oil contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the 1:3 ratios that are considered optimal for our health. But hemp’s attractive fatty acid profile is not the only reason vegetarians and vegans might want start eating these nutty little seeds.
5. Flax seeds
Flax seeds or linseeds are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. They have various anti-inflammatory health benefits, protect your bones, protect against heart disease, breast cancer, and diabetes. Eating flax seeds more often can also lower blood pressure in people with high cholesterol.
Beans don’t have as much Omega-3 like seeds or nuts. But, they still can help you meet your RDAs all while avoiding excess Omega-6. Mungo beans or Urad Dal, are by far the best choice with 604 mg Omega-3 and just 42 mg Omega-6 in 1 cup cooked (not to be confused with mung beans). Navy and French beans are also good choices. To really get the best out of these super foods, sprout them first!
7. Olive oil
Olive oil is considered the healthiest oil because of so many nutrients it has. The extra virgin olive oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and polyphenols. They keep our heart healthy, as well as boost our immune system and protect us from many types of cancer.
Olive oil can even help in preventing of type 2 diabetes since it helps our body to produce adiponectin, a hormone that helps in controlling our blood sugar levels. Olive oil has also anti-inflammatory health benefits and can be of immense benefit to those with inflammatory diseases like osteoporosis and arthritis.