The benefits of omega 3 are well known, and the primary source is coldwater (oily) fish. But what if you’re vegan or vegetarian? People have a number of reasons for not eating fish – health concerns, moral choices, and allergies, just to name a few. If you’re looking for another rich source, you should consider getting your omega 3 from algae.
First, let’s quickly go over the importance of omega 3 essential fatty acids.
Some Proven Benefits of Omega 3
If you grew up reading Tom Sawyer, you’ll remember Aunt Polly punishing Tom with large spoonfuls of cod liver oil. And lots of us can remember moms and grandmas who took their cue from Aunt Polly and tried to give it to us too – not as a punishment, but because it was thought to be so good for us. Grandma probably couldn’t tell you why … it just was. (“Now hush and open your mouth, Johnny!”)
Well, as it turns out, they were right. A lot of fish oil (including that nasty stuff from the liver of codfish) contains this wonder-working thing we now call “Omega 3”. It has come to be rated one of the most essential nutrients that’s available to us. And the more studies scientists conduct, the more ways they continue to find in which omega 3 is good for us …
- Cholesterol. Omega 3 fatty acids regulate your triglyceride levels.
- Your Heart. Omega 3 can lower your risk of heart attack or stroke. Research indicates that men taking fish oil on a weekly basis reduced their risk of heart problems by 50% over those who didn’t.
- Inflammation. Omega 3 can help to keep inflammation under control. Which is vital for people suffering from arthritis, heart disease, some skin conditions, and even chronic brain conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
- Pediatrics. Omega 3 has been shown to help boost children’s intellectual performance; statistically children taking omega 3 score measurably higher on vocabulary and math testing.
- Brain Health. Omega 3 improves the growth of neurons in the brain, raises dopamine levels, and increases cerebral circulation.
(For more on the amazing benefits of Omega 3, get our free eBook pack)
Omega 3 Fatty Acids Are Found in Other Things Too … BUT …
Flax and chia seeds are some of the best plant sources of omega 3. It’s also found in other seeds, nuts and plants, but in smaller amounts. However, these omega 3 fats are not EPA and DHA. They are mostly another kind called “alpha linolenic acid” (ALA). The human body can change ALA into EPA and DHA, but not very efficiently. In fact, in some cases the conversion rate is less than 1%. So, that’s why fish, or fish oils, are the preferred source.
Another Solution: Omega 3 From Algae
Well, where does the omega 3 in fish come from? Researchers traced this back to the source – algae. Coldwater fish feed on other smaller fish and plankton that feed on the algae. It’s this microscopic algae that actually makes DHA. This algae can be farmed to yield sustainable DHA that is vegetarian and organic (and even kosher!) And we can keep the fish out of it altogether.
Omega 3 from algae is called algal oil, and it’s now widely available as an affordable supplement in capsule form. We’ve compared various brands on the market, and the one we’ve been buying for our family is produced by Amala Vegan.