Marine Algae: A Fish-Free Omega-3 Powerhouse

Marine Algae: A Fish-Free Omega-3 Powerhouse

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for good health. That’s why they’re called essential fatty acids. Your body needs them to create healthy cell membranes, clot blood, contract and relax artery walls, and assist with a healthy inflammation response.

There are three main types of omega-3: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Since your body can’t make any of these omega-3 fatty acids on its own, you need to get them from food. But that can be kind of tricky for people who eat plant-based vegetarian or vegan diets. Why?

Well, ALA comes mainly from plants, but EPA and DHA come mainly from fish. Your body has the ability to turn some ALA into EPA and DHA, but it’s hard to get enough of these essential fatty acids through ALA alone. Luckily, for those who don’t want to eat fish, there is one other option…

Marine algae.

It’s a rich source of DHA, but it also contains some EPA and ALA. In fact, it’s by consuming marine algae that fish end up so chock-full of omega-3s. So, why shouldn’t we go straight to the source?

But don’t worry. You don’t have to munch on marine algae like a fish to get your daily dose of omega-3s (unless, you want to…some people enjoy snacking on seaweed). You can get marine algae supplements. And it’s something you should seriously consider if you don’t eat fish…or even if you do.

Studies show that supplements containing oil from marine algae can give you the same boost of DHA as eating fish.  And it seems to work just as well for vegetarians and vegans with low DHA levels as it does for omnivores with adequate DHA levels. One study even found that omnivores who took algae oil ended up with higher DHA levels than those who took fish oil.

Research also shows that DHA from marine algae can have the same beneficial effect on heart health as DHA from fish. And other studies show that DHA from algae appears to support brain health in a similar fashion as DHA from fish too.

There are a few other benefits to getting your omega-3s from algae instead of (or in addition to) fish. It’s more sustainable, since many omega 3-rich fish breeds are overfished. You also don’t have to worry about pollutants, like PCBs, which are found in the fat of fish.

All in all, marine algae are a healthy, sustainable and safe way to get those essential fatty acids. Plus, marine algae contain other healthy compounds, like vitamins, sterols, antioxidants, minerals and fiber. So, why not give marine algae a try?

Buried Treasure's Organic Chia Seed Oil with vegan DHA is a complete natural supplement for Omega 3, 6 & 9 in a sustainably sourced dietary supplement.