Countless studies have shown the numerous health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for heart health, brain function,mood, and modulating inflammation in the body.
Most people who want to boost their intake of omega-3’s turn to fish oil supplements.
However, not only is flaxseed oil a vegan source of omega-3, it also includes these 3 additional advantages:
1. Less risk of environmental contaminants
Oily fish often contain several environmental contaminants such as heavy metals like mercury that spill into waterways through industrial sources and accumulate in marine food chains.
These chemicals are extremely dangerous to our health with pregnant women and children being particularly susceptible.
Toxicity from fish oil supplements would far outweigh any benefit from the omega-3 profile and while pharmaceutical-grade brands like Pure Encapsulations check for heavy metal contamination, there is no regulation for this.
Therefore, flaxseed oil is a safe alternative that can be enjoyed by all with very low risk of any environmental contamination.
2. More sustainable
According to WWF statistics, fish populations have reduced by 50% in the last 40 years with approximately 30% of fish stocks currently being harvested at unsustainable levels.
Protecting our oceans and the marine life it supports is a major concern. Incorporating more plant-based alternatives like flax into our diet is one important way to support our environment for future generations.
3. Contains lignans
In addition to omega-3 content, flaxseed is the highest source of phytonutrients called lignans. These plant compounds can influence the level of estrogen in our body to alleviate menopausal symptoms and potentially reduce the risk of hormonal cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Moreover, they exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that protect the body from cardiovascular disease and support immunity.
Therefore, despite the more potent effects of omega-3 from fish oil, there are several other factors to consider when thinking about safe, healthy, and responsible supplementation.
These 3 reasons outline why flaxseed oil is a great alternative to fish oil, not only for vegans or those with seafood allergies, but for everyone.
Written by Rachel Erwin, Registered Nutritionist