The term ‘Omega-3’ might sound like it belongs in sci-fi movie, but is actually an essential fatty acid. The word Omega3 describes the structure of a polyunsaturated fatty acid. Omega-3 is, as the name indicates, essential for healthy bodies.
There are actually three strands: commonly known as DHA, EPA and ALA Omega-3. DHA (which stands for docosahexaenoic acid) is responsible for making up 40% of the grey matter and is absolutely vital component of the brain and the retina. EPA, (which stands for Eicosapentaenoic acid) stimulates a powerful anti-inflammatory processes in the body, so is essential for joint health. ALA (which stands for Alpha-lipoic acid) is an inactive form of Omega-3, which although very commonly found, needs to be converted by the body in order to be effective.
So when it comes to getting Omega-3 into our diet, sources high in DHA and EPA are preferred over those high in ALA. As an idea of how much Omega 3 ALA you would need to be equivalent, a month’s source of flaxseed high in Omega-3 ALA is equal to a day’s source of Omega 3 in oily fish, high in DHA and EPA.
What if you don’t eat oily fish, follow a plant-based diet or just don’t support unethical fishing practices? How do you ensure you are getting enough of the strands of Omega-3 you need without fish oil supplements?
Fish-Oil Free Omega-3 Source
Well, there is a fish oil alternative that does contain Omega-3 DHA and EPA, the strands your body needs. And the story of this source also begins in the oceans...
To identify a fish oil free alternative for those following a plant-based or planet-conscious diet, scientists started with the premise that fish don’t naturally contain Omega-3: they get it from their diet. The big fish eat the little fish… who eat the algae and seaweed in the ocean, which contains the Omega-3 we need.
So scientists decided to cut out the middleman… or middle fish in this case! If they could go straight to the source, the algae rich in Omega-3, and harness that then they could find a plant-based source. Now the ocean bed is a complex ecosystem and small fish rely on this algae and seaweed to survive. So scientists decided to grow this algae in a laboratory setting, which also means that the algae is cultivated in conditions just like the seawater but without the pollutants that unfortunately affect many of our seas and oceans now. The end result is a high quality, plant-based source of Omega-3 DHA and EPA.
Is Plant-Based Omega-3 as effective as fish oil Omega-3?
Change is often met with resistance. People are used to fish oil being a recognised source of Omega-3 DHA and EPA and consider plant-based fish oil alternatives to be less effective. Many people question whether plant-based Omega-3 do as good a job. The answer is a resounding yes!
Here are 3 reasons why:
- It’s Omega-3 DHA and EPA - plant-based Omega-3 from algae features the correct forms of Omega-3 that your body needs, making it immediately bioavailable for your body to utilise.
- It has the same origins - plant-based Omega-3 sourced from algae has the same origins as fish oil Omega-3. It just cuts out the need to use fish in the process.
- It has the same strength - plant-based Omega-3 has the same strength as fish oils. In fact, taking a daily dose of a plant-based Omega-3 supplement like Vegetology Opti3 will give you more Omega-3 on a weekly basis than eating the two portions of oily fish a week, as recommended by nutritionists.
Why Should We Consider Plant-Based Omega-3?
Plant-based Omega-3 is not just an alternative to fish oil supplements for those following a plant-based diet, it also has its own benefits when it comes to sustainability and purity.
- Sustainable - fishing practices are regarded as unethical and many of us are against the way fish are gathered for Omega-3 extraction. Plant-based Omega-3 is a sustainable alternative that doesn’t interfere at all with that natural ecosystem.
- Unpolluted - algae used in fish oil alternative Omega-3 is grown in conditions like the ocean in a lab setting. This means that there are no pollutants from the ocean. One of the reasons nutritionists suggest only eating two portions of oily fish a week is because of the levels of toxins and mercury. This is avoided with plant-based Omega-3.
- Pure - Omega-3 starts to degrade as soon as it is exposed to oxygen. Fish oil Omega-3 has many opportunities to degrade in the process of extraction when making supplements. This lessens the potency. Whereas plant-based Omega-3 is extracted in a controlled environment straight away, locking in the goodness.
Is it time you gave plant-based Omega-3 a try?
If you, as many people have, considered fish oil Omega-3 to be superior to plant-based alternatives, perhaps it’s time to think again. Fish oil alternatives will be at least as effective as traditional fish oil Omega-3 supplements, and can actually be the prefered option.
Vegetology Opti3 is a plant-based Omega-3 supplement. To find out more about Opti3, click here: