Many people believe that fish play an essential role of the human diet. Because of the minerals, proteins, polyunsaturated fats and vitamins that their flesh contains, as well as their content of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, fish are touted to be vital for a person’s growth and healthy living.

But have you ever wondered where does the omega 3 and the other nutrients in the fish come from?

Contrary to what most people believe, fishes do NOT produce these nutrients – they get it from… the ocean plants.

That’s right. One of the primary reasons for the presence of omega-3 fatty acids in fish is because they eat microalgae.

So, why not simply go to the source and eat the plants, just like the fish do.  It’s a much healthier, more eco-friendly and much more compassionate alternative. By eating omega-3 rich foods and taking algal oil, you get the essential fatty acids EPA and DHA directly from the source, without the heavy metals and other environmental toxins present in fish.

What Are The Major Vegan Omega-3 Sources Out There?

First, it’s very important to mention that more importantly than the absolute amount of omega-3 in the diet, it is the ratio of Omega 3 to 6 that really matters. You want to keep the Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio at 1:4 or even below. Most people today have a ratio of 1:50 and above, which is very dangerous.

The biggest vegan source for Omega 3 are flax seeds. In fact, they contain so much omega 3 that all you need a small handful of them each day, provided with a good overall diet that doesn’t over-exceed the usage of Oemga-6 oils.

Other sources of omega 3 fatty acids are avocados and chia seeds.

Fish used to be the main source of omega-3 for many cultures around the world. The truth is that fish also contains a lot of heavy metals (most notoriously – mercury) and toxins, which are disastrous for our health.

Any Benefits of Omega 3?

Omega 3 fatty acids are good for the heart. They have been found to aid in prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Results of studies suggest that these fatty acids can help protect people against stroke due to plaque build-up and blood clots in the arteries leading to brain. People with heart disease are less likely to have heart attacks if they have sufficient amount of Omega 3 reserves in their blood vessels.

Omega 3 benefits have also been discovered not only for those who have health problems but also for pregnant women and unborn children. Pregnant women getting Omega 3 in their diet can have lower chance of experiencing preeclampsia, preterm labor and reduce risk of developing breast cancer. Effects of Omega 3 to the unborn child include good development of brain and nervous system, better eyesight and better sleeping pattern after birth. Researchers have shown that 70 percent of a new born baby is composed of Omega 3 fatty acids particularly, DHA and EPA. Thus, including these fatty acids in the mother’s diet is beneficial to aid in healthy child development.

Omega 3 is an essential component of children’s brain as well. Deficiency of this nutrient may lead to mental certain disorders like schizophrenia. People characterized with such disorder have difficulty in distinguishing the real and unreal experiences. Moreover, Omega 3 can help children to cope with learning demands. It is beneficial for children who could not focus in a certain object or situation. It is also found to help prevent bipolar disorders and even depression. The mechanism for the Omega 3 benefits to mental health is due to its effect in helping maintain the level of dopamine and serotonin that believed to be associated with the occurrence of these brain disorders.

It has been presented here that Omega 3 fatty acid is recommended not only to those who have serious health issues, but any person of any age or any gender, from pregnant women to the unborn, and from children to adult will all benefit from these fatty acids, and in fact MUST include them in our diet, as they are necessary for a proper functioning of our body.


Did You Know?

Another important nutrient for the brain and nerve cells is vitamin B-12. Vitamin B-12 is produced by bacteria, and is not readily available on a plant based diet. Since plant-based, rich sources of vitamin B-12 are not readily available, supplementing your diet with this nutrient is recommended.