Omega 3 Fatty Acid
Omega 3 fatty acids play an important role in human cells and human health. Omega 3 builds up cell membranes, maintains the nervous system functioning and cholesterol levels in balance, and stave off inflammation. In human body Omega 3 is converted into the fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
Shortage of dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids and too much intake of omega-6 fatty acids is believed to be a significant contributing factor to many diseases. Since human body is unable to make omega-3 fatty acids, we have to obtain them from diets. Omega-3 supplements have become popular. They’re used to help preventing and treating a number of serious diseases. But it is recommended seeking doctor’s advice first before taking Omega-3 supplements.
Diet for Vegetarians
Cold water fishes such as salmon, mackerel, antarctic sea bass etc. are rich in Omega 3. However without proper planning a vegetarian diet may be in short of Omega 3 fatty acids. Although foods such as oils, nuts and seeds are very high in Omega 3, the problem is that they are also high in Omega 6, another type of essential fatty acid.
Omega 6 restrains converting Omega 3 into DHA and EPA. So, the Omega 3 from foods like walnuts (2542mg Omega 3 but 10666 Omega 6) or sesame seeds (105mg Omega 3 but 5984mg Omega 6) may not be adequate sources of Omega 3 for conversion into DHA and EPA.
Most health experts recommend keeping Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratios at 1:4. However, some experts recommend keeping the ratio at 1:1.
Most cold-water fish contain DHA and EPA. However, there are very few vegetarian sources of DHA and EPA (algae 海藻 being the main one).
To meet DHA and EPA recommendations, vegetarians and vegans should strive exceeding the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for Omega 3 while simultaneously retaining Omega 6 intake low.
Vegan diet – rich in Omega 3
Flax Seeds 亞麻籽
Hemp Seeds 大麻籽
Herbs and Spices
Honeydew Melon 蜜瓜
Leafy Greens 綠葉菜
Soybeans and Tofu
Walnuts and Walnut Oil
Wild Rice/Canada rice/Indian rice 菰属
Winter squash 冬南瓜