How to Get Omega-3s as a Vegetarian
However, there’s an ever so small catch. Our bodies don’t produce omega-3 on their own. We can only get it by consuming it in our diet. Fish oils and fatty fish like salmon, trout and tuna are some of the most well-known sources. Not exactly vegetarian-friendly.
So, what’s a vegetarian to do? If your diet doesn’t permit the consumption of fish – or you just don’t like the taste – you still have options. Some plant-based foods, such as green leafy vegetables or certain nuts and seeds contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a type of omega-3.
The challenge, however, is that ALA isn’t as active in the body and must be converted to two other forms of omega-3 fatty acids – eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to give you the same health benefits. Your body’s ability to convert ALA into EPA and DHA is limited, so it’s extra important for vegetarians to ensure they’re getting enough.
Brussels sprouts, walnuts and flaxseeds are all good sources of omega-3s. Even better? Algal oil, a type of oil derived from algae, is one of the few sources containing both EPA and DHA, so it actually has comparable benefits to fish sources.
Given the benefits, it’s no surprise that all NutraVege products are derived from algae. Available in liquid or liquid-gel formats, they’re a great omega-3 option for vegetarians or people who simply prefer a plant-based supplement.
Bottom line? Omega-3 fatty acids are an important part of your diet and essential to your health. By incorporating more omega-3-rich foods into your diet or opting for an algal oil-based supplement, it’s possible to meet your needs, fish-free.