It is often said that consuming fish is essential to follow a healthy diet, and essential is confused with advisable. In this article, we will discuss the main nutritional contributions of fish and how to replace them with plant-based foods. We started!
Nutritional substitutes: Proteins, Vitamins, Omega 3
Fish undoubtedly has an interesting supply of vitamins, proteins, minerals, and fats that are very appropriate for the body. But all of them can be substituted with plant foods. Let’s see it:
Proteins of plant origin
Fish provides protein. Protein is essential for the formation, repair, and maintenance of body tissues, for the proper functioning of hormones, the transport of oxygen and nutrients in the blood to the cells, the function of antibodies, etc. In the plant world, we find proteins in
Almost all foods contain protein and generally, all proteins have some of the 20 amino acids present, in different amounts. Foods that have good amounts of all the essential amino acids are called complete protein foods.
Vegetable examples that are full protein foods are quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, hemp seeds, soybeans, and spirulina. You might think that to allow amino acids to work together in the body they have to be consumed in the same meal but this is not true. And, all plant foods contain protein, to a greater or lesser extent.
Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and Vitamin D
Fish provides vitamin A, Vitamin B, and Vitamin D.
Vitamin A is important to prevent cancer (it is an antioxidant), improve our skin, hair, and eyes, and strengthen the immune system. Some plant-based sources are Paprika, Red Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder, Sweet Potato (Sweet Potato), Carrots, and Leafy Green Vegetables.
Vitamin B is essential for transporting energy to cells and nervous tissue, for cardiovascular health and the nervous system. Plant-based sources are legumes, tree nuts, peanuts or peanut butter, tahini, or muesli.
Vitamin D is important for our brain, bones, and teeth and maintains body weight. Plant-based foods with this contribution: sesame seeds, tofu, flax seeds, almonds, green leafy vegetables, walnuts.
Minerals: Calcium, Fluorine, Iodine, and Zinc
Among them, calcium (soy, spinach, cabbage or watercress, broccoli, etc.), fluoride (fruits and vegetables, green vegetables, potatoes, etc.), iodine (algae, blueberries, beans, strawberries, etc.), magnesium ( green vegetables, nuts) and zinc (chocolate and cocoa, watermelon, peanuts or peanut butter, tahini or sesame paste), all of them essential for the body.
Fish is one of the foods that contain the most omega-3 fatty acid.
Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and cardioprotective, therefore, we cannot stop including it in our diet. We know that it is mainly found in fish, but if you are one of those who do not consume much fish or if you are a vegetarian, we will tell you what are the main sources of omega 3 in the vegetable world :
- Flaxseed: flax seeds and their oil are a great source of omega 3 in the plant world because for every 100 grams of flax seeds there are about 22 grams of omega 3, that is, a serving offers us more than 6 grams of this healthy fat. Flaxseed oil has around 53% omega 3, so a single tablespoon offers us 7 grams of this fatty acid.
- Chia seeds: contain about 4 grams of omega 3 per 100 grams.
- Quinoa: a gluten-free pseudocereal that can be used as the rest of the cereals contains for every 100 grams, 8.35 grams of omega 3.
- Canola oil: It has about 9 grams of omega 3 per 100 grams.
- Soybean oil: it has 6 grams of omega 3 for every 100 grams of product consumed.
- Nuts: 6% of its total fats are represented by omega 3, which indicates that the amount we can consume of this fatty acid through a portion of walnuts is around 1 gram, a not very significant contribution
- Walnut oil: contains 10.4% omega 3 in its composition, so one tablespoon offers us 1.35 grams of linolenic fatty acid.
- Oatmeal: provides about 1.4 grams of omega 3 per 100 grams and is among cereals, the main source of this fatty acid.
These are the main sources of omega 3 in the vegetable world, as we can see, olive oil is not a significant source of this type of fat, since it does not reach 1% of omega 3 in its composition.
You know, if you eat little fish or are a vegetarian but you don’t want to stop including alpha-linolenic acid, this healthy fat, in your daily diet, you can add seeds or some of the aforementioned oils to your meals to obtain omega 3.
Vegan fish substitutes in the kitchen
By achieving the correct combination of seaweed, tofu, vegetables, or seitan, textures very similar to fish can be achieved, we bring you an example of a recipe from our website:
Vegan Fish Fillets Recipe
Vegetable fish ingredients for 4 people:
- 1 pinch of Miso
- 1 unit (s) of Tofu
- 1 tablespoon of Soy sauce (tamari)
- 1 glass of Nori Seaweed package of nori seaweed in sheets
- 1 glass of Chickpea flour
- 1 tablespoon of Sesame oil
- 1 glass of Breadcrumbs