Have you traveled down the Internet rabbit hole searching for the best Omega-3 options?
Chances are fish oil-based supplements appeared on page after page, but we’re here to tell you that they aren’t the only game in town.
Keep reading because we’ll help you compare the benefits of fish oil and plant-based options so that you can find a solution tailored to your needs.
Let’s start with …
What Are Omega 3s and Why Do They Matter?
Omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3s) are healthy polyunsaturated fats that support many functions in your body.
Studies show that Omega-3s may help improve cardiovascular and heart health risk factors, including managing healthy blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels. They also support cognitive function and joint health.
Your body can’t produce the amount of Omega-3s you need to survive. So, Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients, meaning you need to get them from the foods you eat or supplements.
The two key Omega-3 essential fatty acids are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
Fish oil is well-known for being a great source of Omega-3s. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in these nutrients.
But Mother Nature has another Omega-3 secret up her sleeve. You see, some plants are rich in another type of Omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which the body can convert to DHA and EPA. Top sources of plant ALA include algae oil, chia seeds, and flaxseed oil.
Finding Your Optimum Omega-3
Increasingly, people are switching to vegan-friendly Omega-3 supplements (whether the person is vegan or not) to sustain their fatty acid uptake.
Why should you consider a vegan Omega-3 option rather than fish oil?
Many fish oil supplements are derived from low-end forage fish and undergo factory high-heat processing that compromises product quality.
Another concern is that many fish oils may still contain abundant impurities and ocean toxins that could undermine the benefits of Omega-3. Oh, and did we mention the dreaded fish burps?
Plus, some fish-derived omega-3 supplements aren’t sustainably sourced, which is as reckless as harmful.
How To Skip the Fish
Marine algae Omega-3 supplements are having a moment, and for a good reason.
Fortunately, marine algae are grown in clean and controlled lab conditions. This allows for greater control over toxins, impurities, and other contaminants. Even better, studies show that algal oil is even more concentrated in Omega-3s, particularly DHA, than fish oil.
But what about those other Omega-3 plant sources, including flaxseed, pumpkin, and chia?
Unlike marine algae’s active EPA and DHA, other plant-based omega sources only contain ALA. The issue with ALA is that your body has to convert this tricky fatty acid into EPA and DHA on its own. Not only that, but our bodies may not be able to convert ALA into EPA and DHA sufficiently.
In other words, most plant-based sources of Omega-3s require an extra step for your body to reap the benefits of EPA and DHA. Conversely, algae products help you skip the hard part to get fatty acid nourishment straight away.
We aren’t dissing fish oil supplements, but there are high-quality plant-based Omega-3 supplements as well. Above all, you’ll want to be a vigilant label reader.
Check the type of Omega-3. Many supplements contain little, if any, EPA and DHA. Also, buy products that are guaranteed pure, safe, fresh, and from sustainable sources.
Interesting in learning more about Vegan Omega-3 supplements? Head to our Vegan Omega-3 From Algae: A Comprehensive Guide.
Our customer service team is always happy to help if you still have questions. Reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org or M-F from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST at (800) 940-1972.
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