Nutrient Bridges: Top-up the omega-3 content in your dishes with California Walnuts
An increasing number of us are opting to follow a plant-based diet, but how do you replace the important nutrients (such as omega-3 ALA) that would usually come from meat, fish or dairy products?
Some foods (like walnuts) are particularly good sources of important nutrients, making them a great ‘Nutrient Bridge,’ (aka a way to bridge any gaps in your diet) to ensure you are giving your body everything it needs to function at its best.
Nutrient Bridges are a concept Dietitian Azmina Govindji coined in her book Vegan Savvy, which Azmina wrote to support her daughter’s vegan journey.
Walnuts are the only tree nut to contain significant amounts of the plant-based essential omega-3 fatty acid ALA (2.7g per 30g*), which research has shown can contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels.
The versatility of walnuts makes them an ideal choice for topping up your ALA omega-3 levels. As a clever hack, why not try…
- Vegetable soup + handful walnuts = Savvy bowl, now with added omega-3
- Red cabbage slaw + handful walnuts = Savvy bowl, now with added omega-3
- Porridge + handful walnuts = Savvy bowl, now with added omega-3
- Pasta bake + handful of crushed walnuts = Savvy plate, now with added omega-3
- Vegan Buddha bowl + handful walnuts = Savvy bowl, now with added omega-3
- Sautéed French beans + handful walnuts = Savvy plate, now with added omega-3
Other nutrients your body could be lacking on a plant-based diet and good Bridges for them include:
Iron: Add a small can of baked beans to baked potato
Protein: Add 3 tablespoons of cooked edamame beans to a salad
Zinc: Add a tablespoon of fortified yeast flakes to stir-fried veg
Calcium: Add a tablespoon of tahini paste to lentil dhal
Selenium: Add 3 tablespoons of chick peas to veggie rice
For more Nutrient Bridges, see Vegan Savvy by dietitian @AzminaNutrition, published by Pavilion books.