25/05/2018 | Tamara Brown
A quick, tasty smoothie to load up on essential omegas. Yum.
This recipe is featured in our Books.
A word from The Raw Food Girl
I know you’ve all heard of omega 3’s (also referred to as essential fatty acids), but do you know why they’re so good for you?
Firstly, omegas are absolutely vital for a healthy metabolism. Our bodies are undoubtedly the best machine ever invented – they can recycle plenty of essential nutrients, even some proteins. But the body can’t effectively produce omegas so we have to eat them.
The main source we hear about where to get omega-3 fatty acids is in oily fish… Which doesn’t bode well for the vegan society! Luckily, they can also be found in a few plants sources too, like chia seeds and flaxseeds.
However, it’s important to note that there are actually 3 types of omega-3 fatty acid. ALA (a-Linolenic acid) is the kind found in chia and flax, and it’s probably the very best source of ALA known to man. Chia contains 18g of ALA (per 100g) while salmon only contains 0.4g – more than 35 times less than from the plant sources. Since we can’t produce ALA ourselves, chia and flax are excellent sources of it.
The other types of omega-3 fatty acids are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). What a mouthful. I’ve always wondered why scientists come up with such crazy to pronounce names for things. I’m exhausted just typing it in.
Chia seeds don’t contain EPA and DHA – these fatty acids are richest in fish. Our bodies can actually produce these two omegas from ALA, so we can get the trifecta by eating plant sources alone but it’s not as efficient. You’ve probably heard the claim that ‘chia seeds contain 7.5 more omega-3 than fish?‘ They certainly do contain more ALA but not the other two.
I load up on flax and chia certainly, but I also eat salmon one or twice a week to get a richer variety of the three. Don’t get me wrong, I eat more than my fair share of fresh raw food (at least 70%) but I think it’s important to be aware of the nutritional value of what we’re eating.
One last thing – if you choose to eat fish, be sure to source it from a quality supplier. Fish can contain high levels of mercury so, like any animal product, if you choose to eat it then indulge in it SPARINGLY.