Is There a Vegan Alternative to Fish Oil for Supplementing Omega-3?
This blog post is sponsored by the wonderful vegan and plastic free brand, Vegums.
A few weeks ago, my siblings and I had a conversation about supplements and vitamins. My little sister explained that years ago her doctor recommended she supplement her diet with fish oil. Furthermore, she told my brother and I that the fish oil pills she took tasted really bad and left a fishy taste in her mouth afterwards.
After this conversation, I began to wonder, “Is there a vegan alternative to fish oil?” I felt curious about the health benefits of fish oil and if a plant based source for it existed. After some research, I learned health professionals often cite fish oil as one of the most common sources of omega-3 fatty acids. In actuality, most people eat fish rather than consuming it in supplement form to get their omega-3. Because our bodies cannot create this essential fat alone, we must get it from our diet.
Unfortunately, the fish people consume often contain lots of chemicals and metal contaminants. Furthermore, conventional fishing practices are often not sustainable or eco friendly! Did you know that fishing nets make up a shocking 46% of ocean plastic pollution? This huge amount of plastic netting continues its job of catching fish long after fishermen abandon it, causing a lot of unnecessary wildlife deaths. Also, fishing at large often diminishes fish populations in extremely harmful ways that can easily lead to extinction. I knew there had to be a better way for us to consume omega-3 without harming the environment!
After digging deeper, I realized that we find omega-3 in fish because they either directly or indirectly consume algae containing omega-3. That’s right, omega-3 comes from the algae, not the fish! Therefore, that means you can definitely consume omega-3 without the fish.
But, before we jump into plant based sources of omega-3, you’re probably wondering why omega-3 is so important? Why do we need to make sure we get enough in our diet or supplementing?? How do omega-3 fatty acids improve our health?
Benefits of Omega-3
[Do you want to skip to the good stuff] Vegums is offering my readers 10% off their first Vegums supplement order. You can use coupon code “yellow10” now! I know this post is all about their awesome fish free omega-3, but they also have really wonderful multivitamins and an iron supplement as well!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. The content in this post should not act as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Here is a small list of ways omega-3 fatty acids can improve your health:
- support healthy digestion
- lower blood pressure
- help maintain eye health and protect against dry eyes
- healthy hair, skin, and nails
- boost the immune system
- reduce inflammation in the body
- reduce triglycerides
- slow the development of plaque in the arteries
- reduce the likelihood of heart attack and stroke
My brother and sister both had doctors suggest they add more omega-3 to their diets to help lower their triglycerides. Regardless, after further discussing omega-3, we realized that if omega-3 offers so many other benefits as well, we would love to have an eco-friendly option to help our diets! If you want to dive deeper into the health benefits of this fatty acid, check out this post for 17 Science Based Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
Plant Based Sources of Omega-3
As you can see from the list above, omega-3 fatty acids are pretty phenomenal and something you definitely want to make sure to get enough of in your diet! While we most commonly find this fatty acid in fish, there ARE several sources of plant based omega-3 including:
- flaxseed oil
- chia seeds
- soy foods
- canola oil
- algae oil
- brussel sprouts
- hemp seeds
- kidney beans
The Best Vegan Alternative to Fish Oil
While this limited list of omega-3 rich sources proves that you can certainly find plant based sources of it, I would like to highlight an important piece of information. Often, most plant sources of omega-3 provide the particular fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). However, our bodies most easily and efficiently use the fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) which are limited to fatty fish and algae. When you consume ALA, your body eventually transitions it into EPA and then DHA. However, your body also needs a number of different enzymes to complete this process.
Therefore, seeking out the direct source of algae or fatty fish eliminates a lot of work for your body. If you don’t want to eat a bowl of algae or seaweed regularly, consider supplementing. And lucky for you, I’ve found the PERFECT vegan alternative to fish oil. It’s called Vegums! Why do I love Vegums? They provide DHA in the most bioavailable fatty acid in omega-3, and it’s extracted and purified from sustainably sourced marine algae.
At the beginning of this post, I mentioned the fishiness aftertaste from fish oil that my sister experienced. Well, these vegan supplements don’t have that result at all. Vegums use the natural sweetness of real oranges and a pinch of unrefined beet sugar to make the most delicious gummy supplement.
Furthermore, while this may not impress everyone, I know my minimalist parents out there will love it. Not only does Vegums offer an adult omega-3 supplement, but they have made sure that this supplement is also safe for children. They recommend that children ages 3-12 take one gummy and adults take two. That means one container for the whole family — easy peasy!
Vegums Sustainable Packaging
Alright, on to my personal favorite part about the Vegums business model. Not only do they offer the best omega-3 supplement, but they do it with PLASTIC FREE packaging! That’s right. There are lots of vegan omega-3 supplements on the market, but Vegums commits to sustainability from their sourcing and production all the way down to their packaging. They package their vegan gummies in small reusable and/or recyclable metal containers.
Other Awesome Vegums Products
If you’re not in the market for a vegan omega-3 supplement, I also wanted to quickly mention their vegan multi-vitamins and iron supplements. They also package these products without plastic. This small business does a phenomenal job of taking care of both their customers and the environment. I’m so excited to see their brand and product line grow!
REMINDER!! Vegums is offering my readers 10% off their first Vegums supplement order. You can use coupon code “yellow10” now! I know this post is all about their awesome fish free omega 3, but you could also give their multi-vitamins or iron supplement a try!
Have you tried Vegums before? What do you know about omega-3 fatty acids?! Also, be sure to check out my blog post Plastic Free Supplements I Take Regularly for more healthy and sustainable supplement recs!