So, we know what LSA is, right? If not, you can find out all about it here. It’s got loads of health benefits and has well and truly solidified its status as a superfood. But not everyone is a fan of nuts and seeds or can incorporate them into their diet on the daily. I spoke to Nutritionist and Wellness Coach Melanie Eager, as well as Sumo Salad Partnering Nutritionist and Dietitian Rebecca Gawthorne, to find out the best LSA food alternatives which offer the same health benefits.
Health benefit: Source of protein
LSA is super high in protein which helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. Melanie recommends “quinoa, chickpeas, tofu, tempeh, chia seeds, hemp seeds and edamame” as alternative sources of protein. Rebecca says “lean meats, chicken, fish, eggs and lentils” are all high protein foods (which also happen to be available on Sumo Salad’s autumn menu – winning!).
Health benefit: Curbs sugar cravings
I’m not entirely sure that anything could ever fully control my sugar cravings but according to Melanie, these are great substitutes to LSA that can help:
- Brown rice
- Chia seeds
“[These foods] stabilise blood sugar levels which prevent spikes and drops in your body’s glucose levels (which is what causes sugar cravings!),” explains Rebecca.
Health benefit: Source of essential vitamins and minerals
There’s a reason why LSA has achieved its superfood title – containing vitamins A, E, D and B, as well as calcium, zinc and magnesium. But it turns out bananas contain all of these things too, except for vitamin D (so close!), but you can get your daily dose of vitamin D from dark leafy greens.
Health benefit: Source of omega-3 fats
Omega-3 fats promote a healthy heart and brain and according to Rebecca, there are three types of omega-3 fatty acids – ALA, EPA and DHA. LSA contains primarily ALA which can also be found in chia seeds and walnuts. EPA and DHA omega-3s can be found in oily, cold water fish like salmon (yum!).
Health benefit: Boosts bone and skin health
Once again, chia seeds prove to be almost as jam-packed with nutrients as LSA, as they contain a combination of calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus and antioxidants like vitamin C, which “is required for collagen production in skin cells and will boost bone and skin health,” says Rebecca.
Health benefit: Cleanses and detoxes the liver
According to Rebecca a food can’t physiologically detox the liver, as our liver is the organ that detoxes our bodies for us. However, “Some substances, including certain foods, can build up to toxic levels and damage our liver,” she says. So to help the liver do its job right, we need to remove any toxic substances from our bodies. Melanie recommends lemon water, garlic, grapefruit, leafy greens, walnuts and turmeric as great cleansing assistants.
Health benefit: Regulates cholesterol levels
To regulate your cholesterol levels without incorporating LSA into your everyday diet, Rebecca explains you have to do a combination of two things. Firstly, eat foods that are high in mono and polyunsaturated fats such as salmon, avocado and walnuts. Secondly, “Lower your intake of foods high in saturated fats such as deep fried takeaway, fatty meats and commercial cakes and biscuits,” (so pretty much ALL OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS!). Melanie adds that brown rice, bananas, leafy greens and chickpeas should also be on your ‘cholesterol-friendly’ list.
So, we’ve found a HEAP of foods that can give you the same individual benefits of LSA, but is there a single food that contains all of the same goodness? “It’s very hard to find one food that has all of these benefits which is why a healthy, balanced diet with lots of fruit, vegetables and nuts is super important,” Melanie says, but reckons leafy greens are the closest substitute to LSA and can be added to “smoothies, stir fries, curries [and] stews”. As for Rebecca, she believes chia seeds are the one food that is nutritionally similar to LSA.
Do you eat LSA? Which of the above foods do you eat the most?