Omega-3 has been fairly high on our priority list for a number of years now and many of us are aware that we should probably eat 2 portions of fish per week - one of which should be oily. This is because omega-3 is vital for bone health, brain function, hormone production and supporting heart health.
Omega-3 from animal sources is in the form of EPA and DHA (aka the active forms which the body can utilise). The plant form - ALA - has to be converted into the active form before it can be used. However, during the conversion process you can lose a significant amount, which means you would require more omega-3 from all the dietary sources.
To help you add more omega-3 into your diet, here are 5 easy foods and ways to do so:
Add 2 tbsp of milled flaxseed to your porridge or yoghurt
Flaxseeds will not only increase omega-3 intake in your diet, but they are also a great way to increase your fibre intake and support a healthy gut microbiome. You might wish to reduce the quantity of oats to make space for your flaxseeds as they’ll help to keep you fuller for longer.
What's more is that just one tablespoon of ground flaxseeds within the diet each day may have a positive knock-on effect, not only on weight loss but also on the appearance of cellulite!
Switch your mid-morning snack for a handful of walnuts
It’s no coincidence walnuts look like the brain! They’re full of healthy fats and omega-3 to help optimise brain function. You can easily stock this up in your snack cupboard at work or if you're feeling adventurous, you can also use crushed walnuts as a topping for your desserts!
A Small Amount of Hemp Seeds Go a Long Way
As well as being high in omega-3, hemp seeds are also a good source of protein to help support repair and recovery in the body. Elevate the flavours and crunch to your food by adding 30g of hemp seeds into your smoothie or soup - and the best part about this is that you get 4.1g of omega-3 in just that amount!
Make friends with seaweed
We all know seaweed as a staple ingredient in sushi but it is also ideal for snacking on! Seaweed is also an extremely rich source of the mineral iodine, a critical nutrient required for optimal thyroid health and is essential for controlling our metabolism. So, get creative and optimise your omega-3 intake with this versatile food! While you can eat seaweed by itself, they are also great for adding to broths or shredding over salad.
Get creative with chia seeds
Chia seeds (often refered to as frogs born) aren’t the tastiest ingredient on the planet but that’s what makes them so great. They’re a blank canvas meaning you can flavour them as you wish or hide them in recipes (and you wouldn’t even know they’re there). Try getting creative with a range of chia pudding recipes or simply mix them into your smoothies, porridge or yoghurt. You can also add them to salads, and stews (you’d really have no idea)!
By Nutritionist Jenna Hope (A Nutr), MSc, BSc (Hons)