What You Need To Know About Plant-Based Omega 3

Posted on September 20th, 2021

There are several sources for fatty acids, but plant-based Omega 3 may have some advantages.  Now, fatty acids offer many health benefits. And that’s why many health and wellness experts recommend including them as a supplement or part of your regular diet. But you have options about where and how to do so. Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Omega 3 Fatty Acids?

Plant-based Omega 3
Photo by Nikita Kachanovsky on Unsplash

Omega 3 fatty acids play an essential role in human cellular function. They assist with maintaining healthy function in your kidneys, eyes, skin, brain, and heart.

Advantages Of Plant-Based Omega 3

Plant-based food contains ALA (alpha-linolic acid), a vital omega 3 fatty acid. Your human body converts ALA into DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). But, converting ALA is challenging.

In fact, we only convert around 5% of ALA into EPA, and less than 0.5% of that converts to DHA. This is why we must supplement our DHA and EPA intake. Otherwise, it’s very tough to meet your body’s daily omega-3 requirements.

Fish contains both EPA and DHA, but sourcing from plant-based foods may offer a host of other health benefits. Plus, when compared to animal products, plant-based sources have low trans and saturated fat levels. At the same time, they’re packed with vitamins, which often make them more beneficial than animal-based omega-3.

What Types Of Plant-Based Food Contains Omega-3?

Below are plant-based sources containing omega-3 fatty acids. Add them to your diet to help you meet your daily requirements.

Chia Seeds

These are rich in ALA omega-3 fatty acids. A serving of 1-oz contains 5.055 grams of ALA, which already exceeds the recommended daily omega-3 intake. Chia seeds are high in fiber and protein. Plus, they’re an excellent calcium source for vegans.

Avocado

They’re a rich source of ALAs and monounsaturated fat. Avos also contain iron, phosphorous, magnesium, fiber, vitamin K, vitamin B5, and even higher levels of potassium than bananas.

Brussels Sprouts

One raw cup of Brussels sprouts contains 87.1mg of omega-3. (A cup of cooked Brussel sprouts contains 145.2mg of omega-3.) This versatile vegetable is also a wonderful source of fiber, vitamin K, and vitamin C.

Tofu

It’s an excellent source of calcium, protein, and ALA. There are also easy and fun ways to incorporate tofu into your diet. Add it to a stir fry or noodles, or make it into a vegetarian burger.

Algal Oil

This vegan source contains both DHA and EPA. We extract algal oil from algae and according to research, it’s nutritional availability, absorption, and DHA and EPA tolerance equals seafood’s levels. Algal oil typically contains 400-500 mg of a combination of DHA and EPA. And it comes in liquid or soft gel form.

Flax Seeds

Some experts state that flax seeds’ omega 3 content exceeds that of any other food source. Just 1-ounce of these seeds contains 6,388 mg of ALA omega-3, representing 400-580% of the recommended daily value.

Flaxseeds are also a rich source of magnesium, manganese, fiber, and protein. They also contain lignans, a polyphenol that serves as an important antioxidant.

Hemp Seeds

They contain around 30% oil, making them a rich source of omega-3. Twenty-eight grams (one ounce) of hemp seeds typically contain around 6,000 mg of ALA, which is around 375% to 545% of the daily recommended intake. Plus, they’re a great source of iron, zinc, magnesium, and protein. Even better? They may help your digestion, skin health, and cardiovascular function.

Walnuts

A one-ounce walnut serving 2,542 mg of ALA. Walnuts are also a rich source of healthy fats and contain important antioxidants. Research reveals that walnuts can also help maintain gut health, promote brain health, and help maintain normal blood pressure levels.

Edamame

Better known as immature soybeans, edamame is an excellent source of omega-3. Half a cup of edamame beans contains 0.28 grams of ALA. In addition to omega-3, these beans are also a great source of protein, fiber, and many other important nutrients.

Kidney Beans

Kidney beans might be a great source of fiber and protein, but they also contain a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. They also help you to feel full for longer and the high levels of iron and folate make these beans an excellent pregnancy superfood.

Pumpkin Seeds Does Hemp Oil Contain CBD - hemp oil and hemp seeds

Pumpkin seeds offer fantastic nutrient value and are also an exceptional source of calcium, potassium, magnesium, PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids), and important antioxidants. A serving of 32.25 grams contains around 0.04 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. At the same time, pumpkin seeds also contain phytosterols that are known for helping to maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels.

What Is The Difference Between Marine Omega-3 And Plant-Based Omega 3

Now we will explain the difference between the mysterious abbreviations that we spoke about above. To begin with, ALA is the omega-3 fatty acid found in foods that are plant-based such as flax seeds, soya beans, chia seeds, walnuts, Brussel sprouts, and avocados. ALA is the abbreviation for alpha-linolenic acid. ALA is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that is shorter when compared to marine omega-3 that contains DHA and EPA.

DHA is the abbreviation for docosahexaenoic acid, while EPA is the abbreviation for eicosapentaenoic acid. These are the marine omega-3 fatty acids that are found mainly in plants and animals from the sea. The primary difference between each fatty acid is the actual source of the different omega-3s.

Plants Vs Fish – The Sources Of Omega-3

The predominant source of DHA and EPA are cold-water, fatty fish like mackerels, anchovies, and salmon. It is important to know that it will depend on what fish type you are eating, whether you are actually getting enough omega-3 or not. Some fish contain a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, while others don’t. Many of the omega-3 supplements available on the market go by the name of fish oil since they are derived from fatty fish tissue.

Krill – The Latest Supplement

Over the last few years, a new supplement has been added to this club that goes by the name of krill oil. This particular supplement is extracted from krill which are small crustaceans that live in large swarms in the oceans. In addition to DHA and EPA, oil that is extracted from krill also contains an important antioxidant known as astaxanthin. This also gives krill its red color and added health boost. Krill oil seems to share the majority of the health-based benefits of fish oil products, but a few added benefits due to the important antioxidant that it contains.

Both fish and krill oil contain DHA and EPA, but it is still important to check on the concentration when it comes to the different types and the supplement brand you are interested in buying. This will ensure that you are purchasing a good-quality product.

So, the primary difference between the omega-3 fatty acids derived from marine or plant sources has to do with the different types of fat. These fatty acids have different structures and different molecules as well as different effects on the human body.

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