PLANT SOURCES of Omega-3 for your fat-balanced menu
Hemp Nuts & Seed Oil
Hemp seeds have a great Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio. One ounce of the seeds will provide 1100 Omega 3
and 2700 Omega 6, not to mention the satisfying protein & immune-supportive minerals. Hemp Seed also has advanced chain fats (GLA and SDA) which are known for lipid-layer and metabolic benefits. Whole Toasted Hempseeds are a great fat-balanced snack but shelled seeds (nuts) and oil are more substantial sources of Omega-3, especially delightful in Salads/Dressings Find Hemp Nuts & oil at natural grocers & vitamin websites like Vitacost.com or Amazon. Check to see if they are in stock at your local Trader Joe's or Costco where they offer very reasonable prices.
Flax Seeds & Flax Oil
Not surprisingly, flax tops our list as a premium yet inexpencive vegetarian source of Omega 3. One ounce of flax seeds packs in 6388mg of Omega 3 (nearly 6 times the RDA). You get 1655mg of Omega 6 in the process, which helps keep your Omega 3 to Omega 6 raios in check. To get an even bigger boost, you can take a tablespoon of flax oil which delivers 7196mg of Omega 3. If you are behind and deficient in Omega-3, flax is a great way to catch up, although you have to grind them in a coffee grinder or else we cannot completely digest them. Don't cook with Hemp or Flax Seed oils because heat damages the valuable Omega-3, However, baking with milled flax does not harm the Omega3s! So use flax for up to 1/5-1/4 of the flour in a hearty whole grain baking recipe. Flax Seeds can be found at most mainstream grocery stores, often under Bob's Red Mill brand. They also show up for pennies at discount stores like Big Lots & Marshall's
Chia seeds have only recently gotten mainstream attention (at least beyond use on ceramic “pets”) – and it is long overdue! A single ounce of chia seeds packs in 4915mg of Omega 3 but just 1620mg of Omega 6. They are also loaded with calcium (1oz=18% RDA), fiber, and manganese. Chia seeds are easier to find retail than Hemp nuts, but generally harder to find than Flax. Again, Costco and Trader Joes have very reasonable prices when in stock.
Sacha Inchi Seeds
In the Amazon Rainforest in Peru, it has been cultivated by indigenous people for centuries, and will grow in warm climates up to altitudes of 1,700 meters. The seeds of Inchi have high protein (27%) and oil (35 - 60%) content, and the oil is rich in the essential fatty acids omega-3linolenic acid (≈45-53% of total fat content) and omega-6 linoleic acid (≈34-39% of fat content), as well as omega-9 (≈6-10% of fat content). They are also rich in iodine, vitamin A, and vitamin E.
Seaweeds not only have fairly high amounts of Omega 3, but they are also one of the only vegan foods which also have EPA and DHEA. Spirulina (58mg Omega 3, 88mg Omega 6 per tablespoon) is one of the best choices. Wakame is a good runner up.
Beans don’t have as much Omega 3 as seeds or nuts. However, they still can help you meet your RDAs all while avoiding excess Omega 6. Mung beans — aka Urad Dal — are by far the best choice with 603mg Omega 3 and just 43mg Omega 6 in one cup cooked. French beans and navy beans are also good choices. To really get the most out of these super foods, sprout them first!
They look like brain tissues + have brain supportive Omega-3s! Walnuts hold it down as primary nut with significant Omega-3 (ALA) with 2.5 grams per 0z serving (1:4 ratio). Macadamia comes in second with 1:6 Omega-3:6 ratio.
Winter squash is a surprisingly good source of Omega 3, with 338mg per cup cooked – and you’ll only get 203mg of Omega 6.
To meet calcium and iron RDAs, vegetarians should be loading up on leafy greens. It turns out that greens are also a decent source of Omega 3 too. A cup of cooked spinach has 352mg of Omega 3 with only negligible amounts of Omega 6. Broccoli rabe, collards, kale and grape leaves are also good sources of Omega 3.
Vegetables in the cabbage family have a surprising amount of Omega 3. Cauliflower is the most notable with 208mg Omega 3 and just 62mg of Omega 6 per cup, cooked. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts are also good choices. Greens in the cabbage family are also a great bioavailable source of calcium.
Berries are not only good sources of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, but they also are also a good vegetarian source of Omega 3. Blueberries top the list with 174mg of Omega 3 per 1 cup serving while simultaneously only delivering 259mg of Omega 6.
Wild rice should be a staple for all vegetarians and vegans. One cup cooked delivers lots of iron, protein, fiber, magnesium, zinc, and manganese. You’ll also get 156mg Omega 3 while only taking in 195mg of Omega 6.
Herbs and Spices
Virtually all popular herbs and spices have a great Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio. Cloves are one of the best at 86mg/52mg per 2 grams, as is oregano (73mg/18mg), marjoram (49mg/18mg), and tarragon (44mg/11mg). You probably aren’t going to meet your RDAs for Omega 3 on herbs and spices alone, but the added nutrition is a good reason to make your foods more flavorful.
Mangoes are an all-time favorite food. These succulent citruses pack in 77mg of Omega 3s per fruit. They are one of the few vegetarian sources of Omega 3 which actually have less Omega 6 than Omega 3 (just 29mg per fruit).
A cup of honeydew melon balls delivers 58mg of Omega 3. Like with mangoes, it also has less Omega 6 than Omega 3 (46mg!).