If you’re vegan or thinking of eating a more plant-based diet, concerned about sustainability or just want to do your bit to look after the planet’s oceans, it’s worth considering taking a vegan omega supplement. Whilst fish oils have been touted as the cure-all for decades, other omega rich oils like algal, olive oil, evening primrose and CLA oils have remarkable benefits that deserve attention. Getting enough healthy fats and omegas is vital for cognitive function and balancing mood levels, heart health, the renewal of healthy cells, lowering blood pressure and blood sugar, as well as improving skin elasticity. If you’re thinking of going fish-free, read on to discover the benefits of taking a vegan omega supplement.
Fish Oil vs Algal Oil
As you may already know, the sea isn’t as clean as it used to be, in fact it’s estimated that there’s currently around eight million metric tonnes of plastic in the ocean right now (and if it continues to grow at this rate, plastic will outweigh marine life in the sea by 2050). Along with the plastic, there are giant floating islands of garbage, oil spills, and chemical runoff from roads, rivers and drainpipes. These factors all sadly contribute to more contaminated fish, especially if you consume any fish or fish-based supplements from China. (1) (Thankfully, Love Life Supplements krill oil and marine collagen are sustainably sourced from the clean waters of the Antarctic and Norway!). Consuming high amounts of fish or low quality fish oils can put you at risk of absorbing mercury, pesticides, PCBs, dioxins, chlorine, and other toxins that make their way into the water, (2) thus into the fish too. Other than the chemicals they may harbour, consuming excessive amounts of poor quality fish oils can actually lead to high blood sugar, significantly decreased blood pressure to an unhealthy level, diarrhoea, acid reflux and insomnia.
Consuming your LLS krill oil as per the recommended amount is still 100% safe and a perfect addition to your supplement regime, but if you do want to switch things up, algal oil is a great option too. Algal oil is derived from marine algae, and is high in beneficial omega 3 fatty acids like the all-important DHAs and EPAs, is produced in a more sustainable way than fish oils, has no cholesterol, lacks contaminants, and an important aspect for many; they’re odourless! No more post-supplement-taking fish taste left in your mouth… Algal oil is already being used in medicine and infant formulas to help improve brain development and thinking, as well as helping older people with certain eye conditions improve vision, and just like fish oil, it helps improve cognitive function, improves levels of beneficial fats in the blood, and reduces inflammation. (3)
Whilst it may be reserved for cooking and dressing salads, did you know that olive oil sitting in your cupboard has been revered as a health elixir for thousands of years? The production of olive oil is thought to date back to around 4000 BC, and is a staple part of the Mediterranean diet, which is also thought to be one of the healthiest and most longevity-promoting diets on the planet. Olive oil contains beneficial fats such as oleic acid, linoleic acid, and palmitic acid, which all help protect cardiovascular health, prevent diabetes, and reduce cholesterol. (4) (5) In fact, olive oil pretty much deserves a ‘superfood’ certification, as it holds a host of benefits including being extremely high in antioxidants, a powerful anti- inflammatory, may have anti-cancer properties, can help prevent strokes, is protective against heart disease, may help fight Alzheimer’s, helps treat rheumatoid arthritis, as well as having antibacterial properties. (6) For anyone with joint pain or stiffness, olive oil is definitely worth adding to your diet and is included in the vegan omega supplement too.
Evening Primrose Oil
Since the 1930s, evening primrose oil has been used as an effective treatment for eczema and breast pain, and is still used today for acne, diabetic neuropathy, osteoporosis, psoriasis, PMS, and rheumatoid arthritis. Evening primrose oil is made up almost entirely from unsaturated fat, and is even associated with the reduced risk of bone mineral loss in women over 70. (7) Even if you decide to keep your fish oils, combining them with the vegan omega 3 capsules as well as calcium has the potential to slow or reverse bone density loss, and studies show that combining evening primrose oil with these supplements can actually increase bone density by 1.2%, as opposed to the placebo group in this particular trial, who lost 2.3% bone density. (8) These results really matter, as many women suffer from increased risk of stress fractures and broken bones as they age, as do some younger women with low body weight or past eating disorders.
Vegan CLA oil is derived from the linoleic acid found in sunflower, and when it comes to eating a plant-based diet, getting enough CLA can be almost impossible without a supplement. Usually, CLA oil is found in meat and dairy products, and even those who do consume meat and dairy can struggle to get optimum levels of the ‘conjugated linoleic acid’. CLA can aid in weight loss, retaining lean muscle mass, and controlling type 2 diabetes (9), which may be an important factor if you’re concerned about maintaining your physique when going more plant based, as well as balancing blood sugar levels. Including CLA in the vegan omega supplement is like an added bonus which makes it difficult to find any reason as to why you wouldn’t choose this over anything else. If it’s sustainability, planet-friendly, plant-based, healthy and highly nutritious you’re looking for, I’d recommend giving the vegan omega supplements a try!