Consume Omega-3s for a Longer Life

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Doctors have said for many years that omega-3s and omega-6 fatty acids are good for us. They are especially important for gut, heart and brain health.

Recently there is even more evidence that omega-3s in particular are linked to longevity in life. In a study, published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers tracked 2,240 participants over 11 years. They analyzed the omega-3 levels in the blood. Higher levels of omega-3s resulted in lower mortality rates in people over the age of 65. Furthermore, people with high omega-3 levels who did not smoke had the highest survival rate of all.

The short moral of this health story is this: consume omega-3s for a longer life.

Consume omega-3s for a longer life title meme

What are Omega-3s?

Omega-3s are fatty acids that are a good type of fat. The body does not produce them, meaning we must get them from foods or supplements.

Omega-3s help lower the risk of heart disease, depression, inflammation, dementia and arthritis.

So how do omega-3s help us live longer? Their heart health benefits and anti-inflammation properties combine to keep disease at bay. Heart disease is one of the leading contributors to death, while chronic inflammation causes serious diseases of all kinds.

Omega-3s are found in nutrient rich foods. The three main omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Omega-6s are also important, however they are more readily consumed in a typical western diet, through unsaturated fats. Increasing omega-3s, which are often lacking in a typical western diet, are needed to balance the ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s.

Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are rich in omega-3s. However, on a plant based diet, what foods supply this vital fatty acid?

Here are the top six plant based foods that supply omega-3s.

Chia Seeds

These small but mighty seeds are an excellent source of ALA omega-3s. They also provide fiber and protein.

Studies suggest that chia seeds decrease the risk of chronic disease, lower blood triglycerides and reduce inflammatory markers. Just one ounce of chia seeds daily meets or exceeds the recommended requirement for omega-3s.

It’s simple to add chia seeds to smoothies, smoothie bowls and salads. Or create a delicious chia pudding, topped with fruit.

Ground chia seeds make a great egg substitute as well. Combine one tablespoon of of chia seeds with three tablespoons of water. Allow to set up, for five minutes. Use in place of eggs in baking recipes.

Consume Omega 3s for a Longer Life chia seeds
Consume omega-3s for a longer life – chia seeds

Brussels Sprouts

These cruciferous vegetables are high in omega-3s, vitamins C and K and fiber. An increase of Brussels sprouts in the diet significantly lowers the risk of heart disease by providing ALA omega-3s.

Half a cup of cooked Brussels sprouts contains about 135 mg of omega-3s.

Try them steamed, with onion and garlic powder, stir fried with other veggies or roasted in the oven. This Garlic Brussels Sprouts is so good!

Brussels sprouts
Consume omega-3s for a longer life – Brussels sprouts

Walnuts

Walnuts are packed with healthy fats, including ALA omega-3s. In fact, by weight, these nuts are 65% fat.

Including walnuts in the diet improves brain health, while also boosting learning, memory and motor development and reducing anxiety.

Just one ounce of walnuts daily fulfills the requirement for omega-3s.

Add walnuts to oatmeal, homemade granola or simply eat a handful as a snack, which is my favorite way to consume them. I eat a small handful of walnuts every day.

Consume Omega 3s for a longer life walnuts
Consume omega-3s for a longer life – walnuts

Flaxseeds

These little powerhouses of health provide fiber, protein, magnesium, manganese and omega-3s.

Flaxseeds boost heart health and also reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. One ounce of flaxseeds contains more than the recommended daily amount of omega-3s.

It’s easy to incorporate flaxseeds into the diet. Add to smoothies, smoothie bowls, oatmeal, soups or salads. And like chia seeds, flaxseeds make a great egg substitute in baking. Make a “flax egg” by combining one tablespoon ground flaxseeds with three tablespoons of water and allow to thicken for five minutes before using.

Flaxseeds
Consume omega-3s for a longer life – flaxseeds

Hemp Seeds

Hemps seeds are an excellent source of protein, magnesium, iron and zinc, along with omega-3s.

Studies show that hemp seeds improve heart health by preventing the formation of blood clots and helping the heart recover after a heart attack.

An ounce of hemp seeds contains more than a day’s serving of ALA fatty acids.

Sprinkle hemp seeds on oatmeal, salads and soups or add to smoothies and smoothie bowls. Or mix hemp, chia and flaxseeds for a healthy granola mix.

Consume Omega 3s for a Longer Life hemp seeds
Consume omega-3s for a longer life – hemp seeds

Algal Oil

Algal oil is derived from algae. It is one of the few vegan sources of both EPA and DHA fatty acids. It’s nutritional value is similar to seafood.

One study found that algal oil capsules, taken as a supplement, compared well to consuming cooked salmon.

Algal oil is helpful for improving memory.

It’s readily available as a supplement, in a softgel form. In liquid form, algal oil may be added to smoothies or other drinks.

Click photo to order Algal Oil Supplements

Are You Getting Enough Omega-3s?

As you can see, it’s easy to get enough omega-3s in your diet. It just takes awareness and intentionally including one or more of the above foods daily.

If you struggle with incorporating these foods, try adding a plant based omega-3 supplement that includes ALA, EPA and DHA. Check out the links below for supplements I’ve tried and can recommend.

Which of the above foods do you regularly consume? And which ones will you add to your diet now?

Vegan Omega-3s from Amazon:

 


 

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I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.

 

 

 

Omega 3s: Non Fish EPA & DHA

Omega 3s fatty acids are one of the “good” types of fat. They can help lower the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, and arthritis. The body can’t make them. We have to eat them in our foods or take supplements. Because I adhere to a plant based lifestyle, it’s important to me to get my Omega 3s through sources other than fish oil or fish based products. Fortunately, there are plant based options!

Omega 3s Non Fish EPA and DHA

Omega 3s are a specific type of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The body can synthesize saturated fatty acids, but doesn’t have an enzyme that allows it to create omega 3s on its own. The three omega 3s found in food are ALA, EPA and DHA. I’ll create a separate post about ALA. This post looks at the health benefits of EPA & DHA.

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) is a 20-carbon fatty acid found in oily fish, algae oil and some plants. The body is able to synthesize this molecule in its original form. This, along with DHA, are the omega 3s most needed in high quantities to achieve the benefits they offer.

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is a 22-carbon molecule is also found in oily fish, algae oil and some plants. The body will convert some DHA molecules back to EPAs in order to keep them at fairly equal levels if you consume more DHA.

Plants that are high in Omega 3s include walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and Brussels sprouts.

Omega 3s Non Fish EPA and DHA

Health benefits of having enough Omega 3s include improved heart health, decreased inflammation throughout the body, fight against mental disorders and mental decline, lowered risk of cancer, support for healthy bones and joints, improved quality of sleep, infant and child development, relieve menstrual pain, anti-aging, healthy skin, and lowered risk for macular degeneration.

EPA & DHA repairs and strengthens areas of the nervous system that have been damaged by the shingles virus. They fortify the endocrine system so that it is less susceptible to damage from excessive amounts of adrenaline that can be the result of a thyroid condition, an over abundance of stress, or both.

Although I try to include foods that are rich sources of Omega 3s, I take a supplement to ensure that my body is receiving this vital nutrient. It was especially important to me while I was eliminating the shingles virus from my body. Omega 3s helped to repair the damage to my sciatic nerves.

Look for plant based options, if avoiding fish is important to you, as it is to me. Click the link below to order a non fish version of Omega 3s.

Omega 3s Non Fish EPA and DHA

Order non fish EPA & DHA by clicking the link below.

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