Get Your Healthy Vegan Fats!
Vegan fats are great source of essential fatty acids. Fats, in our culture, have a nasty reputation. Contrary to that belief, our body needs fats. And just to further clarify—our body needs GOOD fats. As amino acids are building blocks of protein, fatty acids are the building blocks of fats and oils. Like amino acids, there are fatty acids that our body cannot manufacture and has to be supplied by the diet. These fatty acids are called essential fatty acids (EFAs). EFAs have many healthy benefits. They help your brain develop and function normally by assisting in the transmission of nerve impulses. In fact, insufficient EFAs can actually cause memory gap and inability to absorb information. EFAs in a raw vegan diet are also important for your body to maintain its capability to rebuild and produce new cells. This is why healthy vegan fats have anti-aging qualities.
HEALTHY VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN FATS!
It is a breeze to source out healthy vegan fats from a raw food diet. Many plant based foods exist to provide these EFAs. There are two types of EFAs—Omega-3 and Omega-6. Omega-6 EFAs are linoleic acid (LA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). You can easily find this in raw nuts, legumes and seeds. Vegan fats can also be found in unsaturated fresh pressed vegetable oils such as grape seed oil, prim rose oil, sesame oil and soybean oil. Omega-3 EFAs include alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). You can source these from a raw vegan diet that consists of fresh pressed flaxseed oil and walnut oil.
Do you know that most fatty acids in oil form HAS to be consumed raw? Yes, you read that right. EFAs are easily destroyed by heat and to top it all, processing or cooking it may result in creation of free radicals. Hydrogenating oils transforms linoleic acid to trans fat which spells bad news for the body. Do you know what’s the best way to get EFA from food? Simple, consume them raw when you can. For vegans or vegetarians, other great sources of essential fatty acids consists of cereals rich in Vitamin D and B12, leafy green vegetables, soy milk, and whole grain breads. Also note that it is critical that vegans or vegetarians bring together their vegetable intake with B12 (avocados, wheat germ, and yeast extract), calcium (almonds, cashews, and legumes), and iron (nuts, pulses, and tofu). For this to work, these fatty acids require the presence of vitamins (A, B3, B6, C, and E) and minerals (Magnesium and Zinc).
This simple list of some vegan food sources of EFA will assist in simplifying your selection process.
1. Flax seeds and Flax seed oil – Omega 3 fatty acids don’t exclusively come from fish. You can also find them in flax seed and its supplements. Fish oil offers DHA and EPA Omega 3 fatty acids while flax seeds have ALA, which can be converted to DHA and EPA. You can take flax oil, or better yet, grind up flax seeds and sprinkle on cereals, soup and salads. They have a pleasant nutty taste and you can also add them to any fruit or vegetable juice or water. You can also take flax seed oil capsules daily.
2. Grape Seed Oil – A true-blue natural vegan source of EFA, grape seed oil has one of the highest linoleic acid content. Grape seed oil has high good fats and low bad fats. It has low saturated fat and no trans fat. It has a great nutty taste that brings out flavor in food. Best used as salad oil to heighten flavors of garlic and rosemary. Too good to be true? Nope, it is true. So go ahead and get a hold of organic, cold-pressed grape seed oil. Just make sure to read the label to be sure that you’re getting the unprocessed one.
3. Walnuts – Nuts are full of essential fatty acids coming from plants. Consuming walnuts by handfuls on a daily basis will surely improve essential Omega 3 fatty acid’s presence, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce risk of heart ailments.
4. Vegetables – Integrating dark green, leafy vegetables on your diet will give you diverse amounts of essential fatty acids, but inadequate for the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). Hoever, supplements will be required to fill that space. Having well-balanced diets containing flax seeds, walnuts, vegetables, and supplements will guarantee your health’s condition by providing suitable amounts of healthy vegan fats.