Vegetarian Sources of Omega Fatty Acids

Research and studies continue to support the importance of incorporating omega fatty acids into the diet to maintain neurological and cardiovascular health. The most common source of omega fatty acids is from various types of fish, so much so that omegas are often referred to as “fish oil.” What if your diet does not allow for fish or you are simply concerned with the high mercury content in some fish?

The good news is that there are various sources of plant-derived omega fatty acids. When we eat fats in our foods, our bodies break them back down into fatty acids. Fatty acids are the building blocks of our cell membranes, and are important for energy, energy storage, and for every system of the body to function. Because of this, the omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids play a part in our skin health, respiratory system, circulatory system, organs, and especially in our brains. In addition, they help our bodies absorb vitamins and nutrients from food.

Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids are all unsaturated fats. Each of the omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids offers our bodies benefits. Omega 3s and omega 6s are essential fatty acids, known as essential because the body cannot produce them and they therefore need to be incorporated into our daily diets. On the other hand, omega 9s are non-essential fats because our bodies are able to produce them. We can still benefit from dietary sources like olive oil and avocados for omega 9s.

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)—makes up about 8% of our brains by weight, and over 90% of the omega 3s in the brain are DHA. Because of this, DHA is important for brain development and healthy brain functioning.1 The inclusion of plentiful DHA in the diet improves learning ability, whereas deficiencies of DHA are associated with deficits in learning. DHA is taken up by the brain in preference to other fatty acids.2

Seaweed and algae are important sources of omega 3 for people on a vegetarian or vegan diet, as they are one of the few plant groups that contain DHA and the omegas. Chia seeds are an excellent plant-based source of ALA omega 3 fatty acids. They are also high in fiber and protein.3 Hemp seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, edamame (young or green soybeans) and kidney beans are all sources of vegetarian omega fatty acids.

Regardless of your reasons for choosing plant-based omegas, Nikken makes it easy for you. Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA is 100 percent vegetarian and contains all three omegas, 3, 6 and 9. The proprietary formula of cranberry seed oil, flaxseed oil and red algae comes from renewable sources and the flaxseed oil in particular, is cold pressed to avoid heat. (Heat tends to deteriorate the beneficial effects of omega 3 fatty acids.)

Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA is one of the Active Wellness nutritional supplements found in the special “Heart of Nikken” packs available through February 28. Each pack contains Kenzen® Bergisterol®, Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder and Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA — plus one piece of magnetic jewelry, exclusive to Nikken. You have your choice of the pack with a silver Kenko Perfect Link II necklace, a gold tone Kenko Perfect Link II necklace or a Kenko Heart Set.

1 https://mindovermunch.com/blog/omega-3-6-9-fatty-acids/

2https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10479465/#:~:text=Docosahexaenoic%20acid%20(DHA)%20is%20essential,associated%20with%20deficits%20in%20learning.

3https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323144#:~:text=Seaweed%2C%20nori%2C%20spirulina%2C%20and,that%20contain%20DHA%20and%20EPA.

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