We should all know that Omega-3’s a Keys to good health, and here’s no shortage of reasons to get omega-3s, which are abundant in fish and their oils.
But high consumption of fish and their oils has created a shortage around the world. In addition, fish can be costly, and there are also concerns about toxins, like mercury, which affect many fatty fish to some degree.
Because omega-3 fatty acids play a role in vision, brain health, reproduction, and healthy skin and hair, scientists hunt for other sources.
This new source is a boon for vegans are omega-3s made from marine algae, rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, carotenoids, vitamins, and essential amino acids. In fact, eating this algae is how fish become so rich in omega-3s.
Harvesting microalgae is not only a more sustainable alternative to fishing, but also algae do not seem to carry the risk of contamination by pollutants.
Scientists are just beginning to explore the health benefits of microalgae and how best to harvest it. But small studies have already found that algae oil capsules can be as effective as eating salmon or taking traditional fish oil supplements.
And a group of European researchers believes that the use of these unicellular organisms can originate a major advancement in the food and cosmetics industry.
While microalgae is already available in capsule and drop forms, it is possible that we’ll see it in food and beverages in the not-too-distant future.
Also, remember that some plant-based foods deliver omega-3 fatty acids — canola oil, walnuts, ground flaxseed, and edamame, just to name a few.
The tradeoff is that they contain ALA, or alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 that is harder for the body to process and use than the EPA, or eicosapentaenoic acid, and DHA, or docosahexaeonic acid, found in fish. But these are viable alternatives, especially if you do not eat fish.
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