To function at your best mentally, maintain healthy eyes, skin and heart❤️, and protect against inflammatory conditions, Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are vital. Since our bodies cannot make them, we need to eat foods containing these fats to stay healthy.
These awesome plant-based sources provide good levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an Omega-3 fat that is then converted to EPA and DHA (the fats we use for our cell membranes) in the liver.
Aim to eat at least couple of portions of these top sources daily and check out our tips below for optimizing the conversion.
Good to know:
- Chia contains between 29 and 33 per cent oil. The oil contains the highest percentage of alpha-linolenic acid known and also contains zinc, magnesium and iron that all help the conversion in the body from ALA to important EPA and DHA.
- Brussels sprouts are only popular in December 🌲 but they should be a staple all year around – these little beauties contain high levels of ALA, along with Vitamin C, and their sulphur is amazing for the liver too!
- Spirulina is an incredibly nutritious algae and a rare plant source of EPA and DHA. In fact, fish oil contains these Omega-3 fats because fish eat algae! Mind blown 🤯
- Perilla oil is traditionally used in Korean cuisine, choose cold pressed, and ensure you avoid heating it at high temps to preserve the essential fats. Use for salad dressings, dips or on cooked vegetables.
How can I optimise my Omega-3 levels?
- The optimal ratio of Omega-3 fats to Omega-6 fats is 1:1 but western diets heavily favour Omega-6 – thanks to the huge amount of vegetable oils used in processed and restaurant food. Keeping your intake of veg oils on the low side will help the balance.
- Turmeric can help the body convert ALA to DHA! Curcumin, the powerful compound in Turmeric, was found in a 2015 study (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta) to increase DHA production from ALA in the liver and enhance its accumulation in the brain!✊