Vegans often have it rough when it comes to getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. Many plant-based foods are poor sources of this essential fatty acid (meaning they don’t contain a lot of it), and good sources generally aren’t readily available on a vegan diet. Fortunately, the benefits of eating fish are also present even if you don’t eat any fish!
Omega-3 fatty acids support brain and nervous system function, and play an important role in the health of our eyes, ears, throat, skin, hair and nails. This article discusses why eating fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as some foods rich in EPA and DHA (the two types of omega-3 fatty acids).
This article is based on information from LostYogi.com
Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important nutrients for your brain and nervous system. Omega-3s also play a role in healthy skin, hair and nails. You can obtain EPA and DHA through supplements, but the best way to consume omega-3s is to eat certain fish rich in these important nutrients – like salmon, mackerel, and sardines. There are many benefits of consuming omega-3 fatty acids. The best known benefits include: Better brain function – EPA and DHA are important building blocks for neurotransmitters that affect mood and mental health. Stronger immune system – EPA and DHA support immune function by increasing white blood cell (WBC) count and lowering inflammation. Healthy heart – EPA and DHA are important for healthy heart rhythm and blood pressure. Stronger muscle function – EPA and DHA support healthy muscle function by increasing energy production, promoting muscle recovery after strenuous activity, and maintaining strong joints by reducing joint inflammation.
Wild-Caught vs. Farmed – Wild-caught fish tend to have higher levels of omega-3s, but may also contain more EPA and DHA per serving. Wild-caught salmon, for example, is a great source of omega-3s, but farmed salmon has slightly less. Farmed salmon (industry standard: Atlantic/Pacific fatty acid ratio of 1:1) has slightly lower levels of EPA and Dha, but higher levels of DHA. Wild Alaskan Salmon – A good source of EPA and DHA, but low levels of long-chain omega-3s (a type of fat important for brain health, but present in low amounts in most fish). Alaskan Sockeye Salmon – Has higher levels of long-chain omega-3s, making it a good source of this type of fatty acid. It also has moderate levels of EPA and DHA. Pacific sardines – A good source of EPA and DHA with moderate amounts of long-chain omega-3s. Atlantic herring – A good source of EPA and Dha, with moderate levels of long-chain omega-3s. Bluefin tuna – A good source of EPA and DHA, but only moderate levels of long-chain omega-3s. Alaskan Cod – A good source of EPA and DHA with moderate levels of long-chain omega-3s. Pacific White Shrimp – A good source of EPA and DHA.
The amount of omega-3 fatty acids you need in your diet depends on your specific health needs, eating habits, personal preferences and budget. In general, though, you can safely consume 1.5 grams of EPA and DHA per day, which is the amount found in two servings of fatty fish. Alternatively, you can take a supplement that contains the amounts found in two servings of fish. EPA and DHA are found in fish, but other beneficial nutrients are also present. In order to get enough of these nutrients from fish, you’d have to eat about two servings (which is the amount found in one serving of fish, as well as another serving of fish). Depending on your budget, this may or may not be practical. If you can’t or don’t want to eat fish, you can also get EPA and DHA from algae supplements, but algae-derived supplements tend to have lower levels of EPA and DHA.
There are a few important things to consider when buying fish oil supplements. – Look for a reputable brand. Avoid supplements that contain fish oil that was only grown in seawater. Instead, look for supplements that have been produced using Alaskan or Pacific salmon. – Make sure the serving size and amount of omega-3s per serving is clearly stated on the bottle. – Check the supplement’s expiration date. If it’s expired, don’t use it. Fish oil should be consumed as soon as possible after opening the bottle.
Check the back of your supplements’ bottles for a contact name and number. This number is provided by the manufacturer as a toll-free number to call for information on the product. Most reliable brands are also available online. Some reliable brands of fish oil supplements include: – Carlson Cod Liver Oil – Carlson Salmon Oil – Nordic Naturals Fish Oil – Optimal EPA/DHA – Wild Superfoods Klamath Lake Wild-Caught Salmon Oil
Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, and you can consume these nutrients by eating certain fish rich in EPA and DHA. Wild-caught salmon, mackerel and sardines are good sources of EPA and DHA, but farmed salmon is usually lower in DHA. You can also consume omega-3 fatty acids by taking algae-derived supplements, but these tend to have lower levels of EPA and DHA than fish oil supplements made from wild-caught fish. There are benefits of consuming fish, and there is also a vegan source of omega 3 fatty acids – vegan algae. Vegan algae sources contain more of the vegans important nutrients than fish, and are also better for the environment.