It is evident that Omega-3 fatty acid promotes good health in this nutrition-deprived era. Earlier Omega 3 supplements were available through animal-based sources. Omega-3 fatty acids are not produced by our body but are ‘essential fatty acids & need to be supplemented by diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids have benefits in:
- Cardiovascular disorders
- Vision-related concerns
- Foetal brain development
- Weight management
- Skin health
- Hair health
Types of Omega-3 from food
There are 4 types of Omega-3 that we obtain through food. These are:
- ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid)
- EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid)
- ETA (Eicosatetraenoic Acid)
- DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid)
Among these sources of Omega-3, the ones that can be obtained through plant-based sources are
ALA- obtained from flaxseeds, chia seeds, green leafy vegetables, and soybean.
DHA & EPA are predominantly obtained from marine sources but the silver lining is DHA can ve obtained from algal oil.
Algal oil is derived from algae. Algal oil is rich in DHA. DHA accounts for 97% of Omega-3 fatty acids in brain. Algal oil is purely derived from vegetarian source and not from the fishes of cold water. Nowadays the option of algal oil is opted for vegetarian and sustainable resource of DHA. Since algal oil is a vegan option there is no chance of contamination of the food or supplementary products with ocean-borne accumulations.
Why vegan Omega-3 is more sustainable?
Physicians after being introduced to the health benefits of Omega-3 started prescribing their patients who were suffering from problems related to cardiovascular health, obesity, skin and that brought the attention of the world towards the source of the said component. While opting for cold-water fish source of Omega-3, there was less production in natural habitats whereas algae from the water bodies produced way more Omega 3 than that of their animal source. People who were vegan wanted to opt for the plant-based source. Algae can be easily yielded in organic farms and require very less maintenance. Pregnant women who do not want to take animal source of nutrition in their diet, the vegan source comes to rescue.
Rich source of DHA from Algal oil
DHA that is principally obtained from algal source. It is very helpful for the development of the brain especially in children and the pregnant women. Phospholipids present in brain and retina are rich in DHA. When we consume EPA in excess it gets converted to DHA. Phosphatidylserine that had high DHA content and is a big part of the neourosignalling system of our body. Since vegetarians are most prone to Omega-3 deficiency, the algal source DHA supplementation work as miracle medication for them.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids to our body so they are required to be supplemented through food or supplement tablets. While the world is shifting towards healthy dietary habits, the option of vegan sources of food is highly in demand for easy yielding and lack of contamination of allergens. Thus the vegan Omega-3 is very helpful for everyone who is deficient of it. After all the supplementation, it is always suggested to take the advice of a physician for various health issues.