Omega-3s. You’ve heard of them and you’ve probably heard you should take them, but maybe you don’t know why. Let’s break it down real quick.
Something you won’t know about me is that in my first second third life (I’m on the fourth now, lol) I was a certified personal trainer focusing on performance-based nutrition. I spent a lot of time helping people build nutrition plans to improve their quality of life – ironically only to let my own slide when becoming a mom – and it was a job that brought me so much joy to see other people’s success. Where I’m going with this is that a lot of the time, some dietary supplements are needed for a person is not able to include them as whole foods for any reason (cost, time, allergy, etc.) and Omega-3s were almost ALWAYS on the list.
What exactly is Omega-3?
Omega-fatty acids are an essential nutrient for our bodies that we don’t make ourselves. We need Omega-3s to optimize our day-to-day body functions, and they provide us with incredibly powerful and important health benefits. Things like fish oil, flax seeds, chia seeds, fatty fish, and some nuts are great sources of Omega-3s
You’ve probably heard about these ones the most:
- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) mostly found in animal products
- EPA (ecosapentaenoice acid) mostly found in animal products
- ALA (alpha –linolenic acid) found in plant-based products
All of these are total mouthfuls to say so let’s just stick to the letters, shall we?
So, what the heck are Omega-3s good for?
I mentioned health benefits, and I wasn’t kidding. Omega-3s have been shown to improve factors for:
- Heart health
- Brain health
- Brain development
- Cognitive function
- Eyes and nerves for children under 12
The list goes on.
Ok, Omega-3s are good for you. But why take a supplement?
As incredible as it would be to get all of our daily recommended Omega-3s from whole foods, it’s just not realistic for most women and families. A large part of that is the cost of high-quality food ingredients like Salmon, Walnuts, even organic milled flax seeds.
Heart.org says that you should aim to include fatty fish in your meal planning twice a week for maximum benefit. The last time I bought a salmon fillet that was a questionably small size for two adults, it cost me about $20. I don’t know about you, but my bank account does not allow me to spend $160 a month on just the protein component for 8 meals. Same goes for walnuts which are a lovely treat, but at $15 per SMALL container, they are just not on the “must-have” list for every shopping trip.
A plant-based Omega-3 supplement, like NutraVege, costs $34.99 for one bottle which is a 40-day supply! You can take it directly from the bottle, or mix it into smoothies, yogurt, or breakfast bowls. It’s definitely a more portable and flexible option.
Why choose a plant-based Omega-3 supplement?
Maybe you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or flirting with the idea of changing part of your diet over to plant-based nutrition. Maybe you’ve tried fish-oil Omega-3s and they didn’t sit right with you; you burp up fishy taste all day, they made you nauseous, or your body was just like, “Uh-uh. Not. Gonna. Happen.”
That was the case for me. I’m not allergic to fish, but my body did NOT care for fish-oil based supplements. And instead of increasing my whole food Omega-3s, I basically just stopped taking them. (Not ideal, especially when you are a new mom and you need ALL the nutrition.)
On a more technical aspect, even though flax and hemp seed oils are good sources of omega-3 they’re a source of ALA rather than EPA and DHA. Our bodies can convert a certain amount of ALA to DHA and EPA, but the process is not super-efficient (less than a 5% conversion rate aka not great).
NutraVege is made from algae oil, which is a direct source of EPA and DHA. No conversion required! Whoop whoop!
When I first tried NutraVege, I felt like I hit the supplement jackpot. It’s a plant-based omega-3 high in EPA+DHA. And because it’s derived from sustainably sourced algae, it’s ideal for vegans, vegetarians or people like me who can’t process fish-oil and are making a conscious effort to include more plant-based sources of nutrition.
There are liquid-gels and a liquid that comes in 4 flavours:
- Strawberry Orange (my fave)
- Grapefruit Tangerine (my husband’s fave)
- Cranberry Orange
Want to try it out? Enter my giveaway!
For your chance to win 1 bottle of NutraVege Strawberry Orange 200ml ($34.99 value), head over to my Instagram post to enter. Contest closes on Sunday, April 28th. The winner will be announced on Monday, April 29th.
Do you take an Omega-3 supplement? Share with me in the comments!