If you want a balanced intake of omega 3, with equal and healthy amounts of n-3 type acids to moderate the n-6 so common in Western foods, you may be confused about where to turn to. Some sources will claim seafood the best n-3 food, while others while say you should get all your extra omega 3 from nuts.
But ultimately the truth is that a little-known herb called perilla is your best bet for a concentrated and readily attainable omega 3 n-3 fatty acid food. It vastly outperforms the raspberry in omega 3 quantities, and is far more versatile in meals than equally omega 3-heavy walnut.
There’s no reason you can’t easily get perilla into your diet every single day in a variety of ways, which is certainly easier than it would be if you restricted yourself to walnut-based recipes!
Also known as beefsteak plant or purple mint, this herb is truly a member of the mint family and has a similar strong, refreshing flavor. It can grow in many regions, including the United States, making it a snap to find in stores or even outdoors. There are too many perilla-based recipes to list here, but we’ll run through some of the better ones as examples of just how much you can do with this omega 3-full plant.
One of the easiest ways to use it is in tea. It serves as a natural but very mild sweetener, and is thus more healthy than adding sugar. The taste remains non-dominating even in a standard tea with perilla as the primary (or only) flavorful ingredient. As far as beverages go, it’s definitely better for your body than sweet tea or soda!
Then again, you might already have your sodas lined up and waiting to go. In that case, you might want a nice tuna roll or other sushi snack to go with them. Why not add a few perilla leaves to your sushi next time? The color greatly complements the aesthetics of such dishes, which has given the herb a solid history in sushi preparation.
Perilla also shines as an addition to salads and pasta dishes. With its delicate flavor and beautiful hue, it balances out heavier starch-oriented or overpowering ingredients such as noodles or tomatoes. Used in a salad, it doesn’t particularly need to be cooked, although in cooked dishes it generally isn’t hurt by going into the oven for a while, as with most herbs.
With only the most obvious culinary uses listed, we’ve left the majority of perilla’s properties up to you to find out. With no more negative side effects than a sprinkle of mint or basil, you’d be fool to avoid this source of omega 3… so please, offer it your consideration!