The omega-3 fatty acid
is a healthy fat. Considered an essential fatty acid, the human body can not produce the fat on its own and it must be consumed through diet to provide its health benefits. EPA, DHA and ALA are the most important omega-3. It has been scientifically proven that DHA is essential for the proper brain function and the eyesight. EPA and DHA are beneficial for the healthy heart, while ALA helps to maintain a healthy cholesterol level in the blood.
Omega-3 is typically not consumed in necessary quantitates. The richest sources of omega-3 are fish, mainly fatty sea fishes such as salmon, tuna, halibut, mackerel and sardines. Fish is also important part of nourishments, for a significant vitamin D content. The richest plant-based omega-3 sources are chia seeds, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, hempseeds, hempseed oil, and walnuts. Other sources are canola and soybean oil which is also rich source of lecithin and linoleic acid.
has the highest concentration of omega-3 out of all oils. Omega-3 fat makes up about 50% of the oil content in the flaxseeds. Our body can better absorb the nutrients once the seeds are broken before eating. We should always grind them freshly before consumption as only half an hour later the nutritious value is getting lost. Flaxseed oil should be stored in the refrigerator to be protected from oxygen damage. Also, keep in mind that heat will damage the omega-3 essential acids in flaxseed oil - it is important not to heat this oil. Looking to add flaxseed oil to your diet, try adding a teaspoon of flaxseed oil to a smoothie or replace olive oil and drizzled it on a salad – it has a delicious nutty taste
are another excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, rich also in antioxidants; they also provide your body with necessary fibre, iron, and calcium. Chia seeds should be added to another food or soaked before eating. In vegan diet, chia soaked in water can replace eggs in baking. They are best combined with dairy, such as curd or yoghurt; you can add them to porridge, smoothie or into bread loaf, muffins or wafers.
Here are a few easy recipes that will help you to incorporate chia and flaxseeds oil in your diet. Chia is excellent for a healthy breakfast.
1) Chia pudding with coconut milk (4 servings)
Chia seeds taste great in combination with coconut milk. Try this simple pudding with any of your favourite fruit.
Mix ¼ cup of chia seeds with 1 cup coconut milk. You can divide in 4 small containers or keep in one. Cover and let the seeds soak overnight. In the morning add fruit cut into small pieces and a few chopped walnuts or a little bit of granola. For a Thai version add a ripe mango and roasted coconut chips.
2) Raspberry Chia Jam
Combine ⅓ cup freshly squeezed orange juice and 3 tablespoons chia seeds in a blender. Let mixture soak for 10 minutes. Add the 2½ cups raspberries (or other fresh berries) and 3 to 4 tablespoons agave nectar. Blend until mostly smooth. To store, transfer jam to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week and a half.
3) Peach-Spinach Chia Smoothie (2 servings)
Mix 1½ cups frozen peaches, 1 cup apple juice, ½ cup water, 2 tablespoons chia seeds and 1½ cups baby spinach leaves in a blender until smooth.
4) Blueberry Banana Smoothie (1 serving)
Mix 2 teaspoons chia seeds, ½ cup fresh blueberries, ½ banana, ½ cup Greek yoghurt and 1 cup of chilled green tea.
In the evening enjoy a healthy omega-3 rich salad, or simply replace olive oil with this flaxseed oil dressing (tastes best roman lettuce mixed with dark leafy greens) or a fantastic and beneficial flaxseed spread with a wholegrain rye bread.
5) Chicken salad with flaxseed oil (4 servings)
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Toast 2 cups of walnuts until crisp and fragrant, about 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, chop coarsely; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons flaxseed oil, 3 tablespoons cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey and 2 tablespoons water; season with salt and pepper. Add 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into small pieces, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 2 thinly sliced stalks of celery, 1/2 small finely chopped red onion and 3 cups skinless meat from roasted chicken. Divide among 4 plates and sprinkle with walnuts.
6) Light chicory salad
Mix 2 chicory heads cut into small pieces with seeds of 1 pomegranate, 100 g of Feta cheese, 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil and a pinch of salt. You can sprinkle with toasted walnuts for an extra portion of omega-3. Serve as a side dish with meat or with wholegrain buns as a light dinner. Chicory also tastes great with orange.
7) Flaxseed Oil dressing
Mix 1/4 cup flax seed oil, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 1 minced garlic glove.
Add Himalayan salt and pepper.
8) Omega-3 rich spread
Mix 1 avocado, 2 hard-boiled eggs, 100 g cream cheese, 2 tablespoons flaxseed oil and 2 tablespoons grounded flax seeds. Add salt to taste and serve with wholegrain rye bread.