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    Plant-Based Sources of Omega-3s

    May 17, 2024

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    Omega-3s - Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    What are omega-3 fatty acids?

    "Omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3s) are polyunsaturated fats that perform important functions in your body."1 They are essential to your body but your body can’t produce the amount of omega-3s that you need to survive. So, you need to get omega-3 fatty acids from the foods we eat.

    Why do we need omega-3s?

    Omega-3s are vital to your body as help all the cells in your body function. "They’re a vital part of your cell membranes, helping to provide structure and supporting interactions between cells. While they’re important to all your cells, omega-3s are concentrated in high levels in cells in your eyes and brain."1

    In addition, according to the Cleveland Clinic, "omega-3s provide your body with energy (calories) and support the health of many body systems. These include your cardiovascular system and endocrine system."1. So as you can see, omega-3s are vital to many parts of the body.

    There are 3 types of omega-3 fatty acids. Two of the three types of omega-3s, EPA and DHA, come mostly from animal-based foods. However, there is one plant-based type of omega-3 fatty acid and that is called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). ALA is the form of omega-3 found in plants and in the body "ALA is endogenously converted to EPA and DHA".2.

    We can indeed get omega-3s from plant-based sources. But are plant-based sources sufficient compared to non-plant-based sources?

    The amount of ALA your body needs depends on various factors, including your age and sex assigned at birth. "Vegetarians can take practical steps to optimise conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA, including reducing intake of linoleic acid. There are no official separate recommendations for intake of fatty acids by vegetarians. However, we suggest that vegetarians double the current adequate intake of ALA if no direct sources of EPA and DHA are consumed."2.

    ALA is converted by the body from EPA and DHA. So one concern is that since ALA is converted, it might not be ready-available as fast as a direct source or the conversion ability decreases with age or illness. But indeed one can get enough ALA on a plant-based diet.

    In addition, if there is a concern that one is not getting enough omega-3 from vegetables or seed oil directly, there are plant-based supplements from microalgaes which are adequate. And, according to the NIH "Vegetarians with increased needs or reduced conversion ability may receive some advantage from DHA and EPA supplements derived from microalgae."2

    Do vegetables, fruits, or nuts contain omega-3?

    Yes! According to multiple sources, the best plant-based sources of omega-3 are ground flaxseed, edamame, chia seeds, and walnuts.1,2,3

    So one can see that when Garden of Vegan includes walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and edamame into their meals, one is not only getting great nutrients but also omega-3!

    Furthermore, there are plant-based oils that are sources of ALA including:2

    • Algae oil
    • Canola oil.
    • Flaxseed oil.
    • Soybean oil.

    Are there other plant-based sources with omega-3?

    Yes, perilla oil, hemp seeds, and Brussels sprouts are also good sources of plant-based omega-3.3

    What about algae as a source of omega-3?

    Algae is actually a good source of omega-3 and some medical professionals might recommend this as a supplement. According to healthline, "Algal oil, a type of oil derived from algae, stands out as one of the few vegan sources of both EPA and DHA" and further they day "Some studies have even found that it’s comparable to seafood in regard to its nutritional availability of EPA and DHA."3

    So if your health problems or age affect your ability to convert or absorb omega-3, then one can take algae supplements in a plant-based softgel or as a liquid."

    Adopt a fully plant-based diet and improve your health. Start your health journey today!

    When you shop at Garden of Vegan, you get delicious meals and sides that have high amounts of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and grains that have high nutrient content. In addition, Garden of Vegan is 100% certified organic, gluten-free, preservative and additive-free, and 100% plant-based. So you can improve your diet knowing you are getting the healthiest organic, plant-based meals delivered directly to your home or office.

    We aim to make getting healthy easier! Get started with healthy meals, side, and snack deliveries, or our super-fresh produce boxes. We also have meal plans for every lifestyle.

    How can Garden of Vegan improve your health?

    Garden of Vegan can help you with your health goals by making it easier for you to eat healthy nutritious foods:

    1. Garden of Vegan delivers healthy, plant-based ready-made meals across Australia. Leave the food cooking and nutrition to us!

    2. Garden of Vegan also delivers healthy sides, pantry items, and fresh produce boxes.

    3. Garden of Vegan also has many meal plans to help you achieve your health goals.

    So when you don't have the time or energy to prepare healthy food, let us help you improve and maintain your health and heart health. All Garden of Vegan delicious meals, sides, and produce boxes are certified organic and dairy-free, gluten-free, additive-free, and preservative-free. So you know you will be getting delicious meals, sides, and snacks that are super healthy as well.

    Unable to cook healthy food and you are an NDIS participant? No problem! Garden of Vegan works with the NDIS program too.

    Garden of Vegan's customers, including NDIS participants, can rest assured that our organic meals, produce, and pantry items are 100% organic and nutritious! And, NDIS participants only pay for the food cost component of the meals they order. NDIS participants and NDIS plan managers can learn more about Garden of Vegan NDIS plans and healthy meal delivery by filling out our NDIS form and we'll contact you as soon as possible.

    We want people to be healthy! We are continually changing our menus and expanding our nutrition information online! Join our Newsletter and read our blog.

    Additional health information from Garden of Vegan

    Garden of Vegan Vitamin Guide:
    Learn more about healthy foods and how you can increase your vitamin intake with healthy meals, sides, sauces, desserts, and pantry items at the Garden of Vegan Vitamin Guide.

    1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Cleveland Clinic

    2. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and vegetarian diets - NIH National Library of Medicine

    3. The 7 Best Plant Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Healthline