You must have heard of omega-3 fatty acids and how much these benefit the body. There are many who probably haven't heard of omega-3 fatty acids and their health-benefiting properties.
Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats required by the body to carry out various vital functions. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that fall under the category of polyunsaturated fatty acids and are of the three main types which include ALA, EPA and DHA.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is obtained from breast milk or fish oil. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is obtained from oily fish or fish oil like that obtained from salmon, mackerel, etc. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is found in seeds like flax seeds, chia seeds and nuts.
Omega-3 fatty acids also play a major role in the growth and proper functioning of the human body.
Let's have a look at the Indian foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
1. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients and they are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. The greatest advantage of flax seed is, it can be easily added to an oatmeal or a smoothie. Have a tablespoon of flax seeds daily to increase the intake of omega-3 fats.
Sardines are oily fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain a high amount of sodium. Sardines are usually eaten as a snack, which are added to sandwiches, salads or pizza. You can also cook them in whichever way you want.
Eggs are known for their protein content, but they also contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Eggs also contain other vitamins and minerals. To increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids, you can have boiled eggs instead of having them in the form of an omelette or poached.
4. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are not only rich in omega-3 fatty acids but also are high in other vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre too. They are loaded with magnesium, protein, and calcium that help to prevent diabetes, improve exercise performance and also enhance brain health.
Cauliflower is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. This vegetable is good for maintaining a healthy condition of the heart and it is rich in nutrients like niacin, magnesium and potassium. Steam the cauliflower before consuming it to kill the germs.
Salmon is not only rich in vitamin D but is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. It is high in protein and phosphorous. The healthy fats present in salmon prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases and can lower heart attack and high blood pressure.
7. Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are small green vegetables with high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and are considered to be the perfect food for the skin. Each serving of brussel sprouts contains 430 milligrams of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). But, steam the brussel sprouts before consuming it.
8. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are full of essential omega-3 fatty acids. The seeds are also high in proteins and polyunsaturated fatty acids such as stearidonic acid (SDA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). You can sprinkle hemp seeds on foods like salads or sandwiches.
9. Roasted Soybeans
Not many people are aware of this plant-based protein which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Soybeans have alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which promotes a good heart health. You can have a bowl of lightly cooked soybeans to increase your intake of the omega-3 fatty acids.
10. Fish Oil
Fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil supplements are prescribed for many patients, as it prevents and manages heart disease. The omega-3 fats also help to lower blood pressure too.
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