These are the best plant-based foods with omega 3 in case you can't (or don't want to) eat oily fish

The omega-3 acid is an essential fatty acid with great anti-inflammatory power capable of preventing cardiovascular diseases as serious as stroke. If we do not obtain it through the diet, our body is not capable of producing it on its own, that is why all the dietary guidelines on heart-healthy eating point out in large print the need to comply with a regular intake of omega 3 and the easiest way to get it is by eating blue fish (preferably small ones like mackerel or sardines). But what happens when we can't or don't want to eat fish? In that case, it's time to check what we put in the shopping cart to guarantee that the foods of plant origin that we include in it are capable of providing us with omega 3.

What types of omega 3 fatty acids are there and where are they found?

We usually talk about omega 3 when in reality there are six types of fatty acids in this family although a We are interested in three: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The last two are long-chain fatty acids and are found in oily fish, and the first is a precursor to those long-chain omega-3s, but its origin in plants.

If we consume ALA in the right amount, the body is able to synthesize the rest of the omega 3 fatty acids it needs from it. Therefore, yes, you can get the omega 3 that our body needs even if you don't eat blue fish as long as it is very clear which foods contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and a series of conditions are met so that it is absorbed by the body correctly.

What are the plant foods with the most omega 3s and how to improve their absorption

Foods rich in omega 3 of plant origin are few, but easy to incorporate into the diet. Chia seeds and flax seeds, for example, can also be consumed as oils. With 7 g of daily crushed flax seeds or 10 g of hydrated chia seeds we can cover the daily omega 3 requirements of an adult. Other foods that have ALA are walnuts, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, and soybeans.


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But to properly absorb the ALA that these foods contain, it is very important not to lose sight of another type of fatty acid, omega 6, and to try to balance them. ANDomega 6 fatty acid is much easier to find in the diet than omega 3 (We find it in sunflower and olive oil, most nuts, avocados, legumes …). As one is so common in our diet and the other is not, although it would be recommended that we consume the same amount of both, the reality is that we are ingesting twenty times more omega 6 than omega 3.

But if we want to give up eating oily fish, that disproportion must disappear and start to be aware of the excess of omega 6 in our diet. To do this, obviously, we must not give up the healthiest products on the omega 6 list (such as olive oil), but reduce the consumption of those that contain it and contribute little to our diet: basically ultra-processed products made with fats low quality. If we reduce or eliminate the consumption of these types of products We will be able to assimilate much better all the omega 3 of vegetable origin.

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