Even though vegetarians don’t eat meat, it’s possible to get all essential nutrients, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals from plant-based foods. If you are following a vegetarian diet, it’s important to eat various whole foods ingredients to ensure that you have a well-balanced diet.
One misconception about the vegetarian diet is that it’s challenging to get omega-3 fatty acids in this diet. Many people assume that you need to eat fish or take fish oil supplements to get sufficient amounts of omega 3’s.
Some vegetarians shift to a pescatarian diet, which means the only type of meat they choose to eat is fish. Other people want to stick to a proper vegetarian eating plan. So, they avoid all kinds of meat (including fish) and instead add plant-based omega-3 foods vegetarian in their diets.
Vegan and Vegetarian Sources of Omega-3’s
What should you be eating if you want to get plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids? Here are a few of the best options to add these healthy fats to your regular meal plans. Vegan omega-3 ingredients include:
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Soybean oil
- Kidney beans
Keep in mind that these plant foods can provide ALA, DHA, and EPA. Nuts and seeds are the best vegetarian source of ALA, while algae are an optimal choice for DHA and EPA fatty acids.
Food Sources or Supplements?
You can eat the whole food ingredients listed above or find supplements to get the omega-3’s that you need. For example, ALA supplements are often made with chia seed, flaxseed, or hemp seed. Or, you can buy algae oil or nut oils that can be added to your cooking.
Most people agree that whole food sources are a better alternative to supplements. Your body not only gets the omega-3 fatty acids, but you also benefit from a variety of other vitamins and minerals.
At Nature’s Garden, some of our snacks provide the omega-3’s that you need. As you are considering your options for healthy eating, stock your pantry with our snack packs and nut mixes. We have a delicious omega-3 nut mix that provides the perfect snack when you are feeling hungry.