Contrary to popular belief, omega-3 fatty acids are not exclusively found in fish oil. Many people who have been following a vegan diet for some time are not surprised by this. They might have been consuming specific fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, or legumes to obtain omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to those choices, there are many alternatives to fish oil on the market right now, many of them in the shape of vitamin supplements. You need to be aware of what you’re looking for. The benefits of fish oil as a source of omega-3 fatty acids are well known. Omega-3 fatty acids have numerous health advantages, such as lowering your risk of heart disease, easing menopausal symptoms and depression, and lowering your chance of developing Alzheimer’s. But if you’re one of the many people with a seafood allergy, or if you’re vegan or vegetarian, pick an alternative to fish oil from the list below to keep your omega-3 levels in check!
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What is the best alternative to fish oil for vegans?
1. Udo’s Oil 3-6-9 Blend by Flora
Omega vegan supplements are Flora’s area of expertise. Omega-3 and omega-6 vitamins are refined from flax, sunflower, sesame, primrose, and coconut oils and are present in Flora’s Udo’s Oil 3-6-9 Blend, which is entirely plant-based and organic. The supplement is available on Amazon and the company’s website for about $40 per bottle.
2. Minami Algae Omega 3 Vegan DHA by Garden of Life
Minami Algae Omega 3 Vegan DHA from Garden of Life is a product of the company’s renowned line of plant-based supplements. Customers may be reasonably confident that the omega-3s they are taking are derived from natural, traceable, non-GMO sea algae because of the company’s shamelessly transparent approach to disclosing what goes into all of its supplements. The item is available on Amazon and the Garden of Life website for around $36.
3. Algae Omega Plant-Based EPA and DHA by Nordic Naturals
Nordic Naturals is not a completely vegan firm because it also offers fish oil omega-3 supplements. Its microalgae-based omega-3 supplements are vegan-certified and produced. These supplements are available on Amazon and the Nordic Naturals website for about $38.
4. O-Mega-Zen 3 by NuTru
Both EPA and DHA, found in NuTru’s O-Mega-Zen 3 supplement, are sourced from marine algal oil. The plant-based capsules’ nutrient oil is prepared using a technique known as micro-culturing. Although NuTru’s website is still being built, its omega-3 supplements may be purchased on Amazon for $26.99.
5. Algae Omega-3 by Ora Organics
Omega-3 oil from Ora Organics is ideal for vegans who don’t enjoy taking pills. In addition to MCT oil made from coconut and sunflower oils, this highly concentrated spray’s vitamins are derived from sustainably sourced microalgae. All ingredients are plant-based and free of heavy metals, synthetic chemicals, and pesticides. The spray costs about $36 and is available on Amazon or the Vitamin Shoppe website.
Why go for the alternative to fish oil?
When possible, we always advise receiving nutrition from food first because eating fish delivers essential elements, such as vitamins, minerals, and protein, that are not present in fish oil supplements. However, according to a study, some illnesses may benefit slightly from an alternative to fish oil.
Remember that using fish oil supplements shouldn’t substitute for taking your everyday prescriptions or other healthy lifestyle elements like a balanced diet and exercise. If you fall into one of the following categories, you should talk to your doctor about taking fish oil supplements.
Those with persistent cardiac failure:
Supplementing with fish oil may help those with heart failure who have diminished left ventricular function. One gram of EPA and DHA from fish or supplements made from fish oil is recommended for people with cardiovascular disease. It is crucial to remember that evidence does not support using fish oil supplements to prevent heart failure.
For those recovering from a heart attack:
Supplementing with fish oil may be helpful if you’ve recently suffered a heart attack. It is crucial to remember that evidence only supports fish oil supplements for those who have just experienced a heart attack; it does not keep it for persons who already have heart disease.
Those with high blood fat (triglyceride) levels:
If you have severe hypertriglyceridemia (levels > 500 mg/dl), high-dose fish oil can help decrease triglyceride levels. Under the supervision of a healthcare professional, people with high triglyceride levels can take four grams of EPA+DHA or EPA-only supplements every day. This medication may reduce triglycerides by more than 30%. Use an EPA-only treatment if your LDL, or bad cholesterol, is high.
Persons who have dry eye disease:
A 2019 evaluation of 17 research found that omega-3 supplementation reduced the symptoms of dry eye illness in participants.
People who are depressed:
Fish oil may help with existing depression symptoms if you don’t eat fish, but it shouldn’t replace medicine or other forms of treatment. It has not been demonstrated that fish oil supplements can stop depression.
Those who don’t consume fish If you don’t eat fish because you’re vegan, vegetarian, allergic to it, or don’t like it, you might want to take supplements with algal oil. These vegan supplements may meet your demand for omega-3 fatty acids. More research is necessary to provide EPA and DHA guidelines for vegetarians and vegans.
What’s Wrong With Fish Oils?
Unfortunately, there are severe drawbacks to obtaining your omega-3s via fish oil pills. Even though they might be the most well-known sources of DHA and EPA, the making and consuming of these supplements can raise ethical questions.
1. Fish oil production is not sustainable.
Commercial fishing and aquaculture are some of the most significant ways we harm our seas.
Reduced fish populations, bycatch, and disruption of natural aquatic ecosystems result from rising demands from fisheries and the fishing industry. Additionally, they have the potential to harm natural habitats like coral reefs.
Fish oils directly contribute to overfishing and habitat destruction because they are made from fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring. With some estimates claiming that up to 50 fish are killed to manufacture one bottle of fish oil, its production depletes fish populations.
The issue will only worsen if fish oil remains the most popular option for fatty acid supplementation. More people are looking to add fish oil pills to their diet as they become more aware of the benefits of omega-3s and the growth in chronic conditions, making this a non-sustainable option.
2. There Is A Risk Of Contamination And Toxicity With Fish Oil Supplements
The risk of exposure to pollution and contamination from heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, and mercury, is another significant problem with ingesting fish oils. Unfortunately, these heavy metals, which are harmful in high numbers, can find their way into our seafood and seafood-related goods, including fish oil.
Many professionals advise using fish oil pills daily to treat various medical ailments. Use fish oil capsules to increase your daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids. You may run the risk of often ingesting these toxins because fish products like fish oil supplements can potentially contaminate with heavy metals.
3. They May Not Work With All Diets
Additionally, not every diet works with these supplements. Fish oil is not an option for vegans or vegetarians who want to take a supplement to improve their heart health.
Although taking fish oil supplements is among the most popular strategies to improve our consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, it is not the only option. There are secure and efficient sources of omega-3 fatty acids that vegans can use in place of fish oil supplements without giving up any of the health advantages of fish oil.