Hello Loyal Soup People! This week, let’s chat about Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Some of you may have heard of these incredibly important superstar fatty acids because they are linked to a much lower risk of cardiovascular disease. They are so important to heart health that the National Academy of Science recommends that men consume 1.6 grams per day and women consume 1.1 grams – every single day. Fish based Omega-3’s seem to get all the limelight, but there are many studies that show the link between alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – which are plant based Omega-3 Fatty Acids – and heart health.
Numerous studies have shown that ALA consumption is linked to a drastically lowered risk of death from heart disease (almost 10%). They also help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and may help lower blood pressure and offer protection from strokes.
ALA’s can be found in many delicious plant based foods. Flax seed and chia seeds are the most popular foods right now containing high amounts of ALA’s. However, remember that flax seed must be ground up for your body to absorb them. Be very wary of potato chips containing whole flax seeds! They are still fried chips!
You can also find ALA in tofu, walnuts and walnut oil, along with other heart healthy plant based oils such as flaxseed and canola. To add more ALA’s to your diet, try sprinkling flax or chia seeds on your morning breakfast cereal or add them to a smoothie or juice. Add walnuts to your salad. Stir fry some tofu with seasonal vegetables for dinner.
Whatever you do, focus on adding more plant-based ALA’s into your diet whenever possible. Truly delicious AND nutritious!
*NOTE – Soupermom is not a licensed dietitian, doctor, personal trainer, or anything like that. She’s just extremely knowledgeable about healthy living!! But if you slip and fall while taking her advice, it is not her fault!