Why Getting Omega-3 From Nuts & Seeds May Not Be Enough
Omega-3 is one of nature's superfoods. It's critical for the healthy functioning of many important parts of your body. Omega-3 supports your eyes, brain, heart, bones and joints to name a few.
It's commonly found in fish such as salmon. But for those who don't eat fish, or maintain vegetarian/vegan diets, an alternative is needed.
Walnuts, chia, flax and hemp seeds are commonly hailed in blogs as great plant-based sources of Omega-3. This is only partly true though. Below we'll reveal what is often left out of these articles.
The Full Scientific FactsNot all Omega-3 is the same. There are 3 main types of Omega-3 called DHA, EPA and ALA.
Only DHA and EPA are the types that provide our bodies with the many health benefits we associate with Omega-3 (especially DHA).
When we consume ALA, it's mostly treated as 'normal' fats, i.e. used for energy or stored in our bodies.
Unfortunately, most plant-based sources only contain ALA. This common mistake has driven the popularity of foods such as walnuts, soybeans, chia seeds, flaxseeds and hemp. While technically high in Omega-3, it's entirely ALA, the least beneficial type. These foods can be healthy for other reasons, but they aren't that effective in providing us with usable Omega-3 to substitute for animal sources.
It's important to note that humans can to convert ALA into the other types.
However, this conversion is inefficient. Research has found that it's as low as 0.5%. This means that most ALA just ends up being used for energy or stored just like normal fat.
Some studies have found that those maintaining vegetarian/vegan diets see their conversion rate of ALA increase when they don't eat meat. This is good news, but these results aren't seen for everyone.
What is apparent is that the ability to convert ALA into more beneficial DHA (or EPA) varies from person to person. So some people can feel great, whereas others may suffer signs of Omega-3 deficiency through no fault of their own.
Symptoms of Omega-3 Deficiency
If you're not getting enough Omega-3 for your body, then health problems can develop.
Are you experiencing any of the following?
- Dry skin
- Brittle nails
- Thin hair
- Poor sleep (insomnia)
- Feeling fatigued
- Joint pain
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry eyes (especially if you spend a lot of time looking at screens)
A New Plant-Based Solution
Algae has emerged as a 100% plant-based option that contains the right types of Omega-3 (DHA and EPA).
So what is algae? It's a natural plant that grows in our oceans. In fact, it's where fish get their Omega-3 from, meaning algae is the original source of Omega-3 DHA & EPA in the marine food system.
The benefits of algae-based products are:
- 100% vegan and vegetarian friendly
- No fishy smell or taste
- More sustainable and better for our environment
- Reduces the problem of overfishing
- Cheaper than buying fresh fish
- Unlike most plants, it contains the right types of Omega-3 (DHA and EPA)
The downside is that algae isn't exactly a common ingredient. Luckily, it's now possible to buy Algae Omega-3 capsules instead. These small softgels can simply be swallowed with water and give you all the Omega-3 you need.
If you recognise any of the symptoms above and want to find out more about Algae Omega-3 capsules, then click here to discover more about them.