Being a vegetarian has its own benefits, yet there are certain nutrition concerns and requirements of the body that can be at question. While choosing to avoid meat, fish and poultry, some may give in to fish oil supplements, but for some strict followers, this goes against the adherence to being a complete vegetarian. We know of vegetarian foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains and pulses, giving our body the complete nutrition. Yet there are certain vitamins and proteins that can be derived from certain types of foods like sea food.
Fish in particular gives your body essential fatty acids, and its oil is a treasure of important omega 3 fatty acids like EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (decosahexaenoic acid). This oil is rich in the good cholesterol essential for the body. This saves you from the risk of heart disease, it also helps combat aging, skin disorders and depression, and also maintains healthy body function. A good and healthy vegetarian diet can also give you a part of these benefits. For the many stuck with questions about vegan alternatives to fish oil, we have some healthy options for you. You can get the nutrition of fish oil, basically omega 3 fatty acids from some of the easily available vegan foods. The list of alternatives is given in the following segment of the article.
We know that our body cannot produce these fatty acids and we can get these from vegetarian sources. Some experts also advise plant oil and other sources of vegetarian omega 3 fatty acids to be beneficial for the body. So what are these vegetarian fish alternatives? Listed below are some reliable sources of alternatives.
- Flax seed is considered an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. There has for long been a debate on this oil being better than fish oil. You can consume these freshly ground or whole seeds. Add them to foods and salads, 2 tablespoons should be sufficient for a day. These seeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid, but these need to be stored well in the refrigerator as they are perishable. You can also use flax seed oil in that case, but only for dressings in salads and other raw purposes. Do not heat this oil before consumption.
- Walnuts are another nutty bliss, rich in omega 3 fatty acids, you can include these in your daily diet. Walnuts have amazing health benefits too, so you get complete nutrition. Walnuts can also be consumed in oil form, so use walnut oil in food and salads for your daily dose. Canola or rapeseed oil is also a source of good cholesterol.
- Soya bean and tofu are also good alternatives. Soya bean in the form of seeds or oil can be used in daily cooking. While other seeds like pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds and sesame seeds are also rich sources of healthy and good cholesterol. Hemp oil or hemp seeds are a good alternative as a vegan source of omega 3 fatty acids.
- Tofu and soy milk are also considered great choices. Black current oil is known to have omega 3 fatty acids. Certain algae like Spirulina helps the body to consume omega 3 fatty acids from oils. Flax seed oil combined with this algae can give maximum conversion of omega 3 from the oil. You can combine this with any seed oil.
- For more benefits, there are certain vegetarian alternative supplements available in stores. These are supplements made from 100% vegetarian resources, and have absolutely no fish oil. They may not be very easily available but a little searching will help you to get these in stores in capsule or tablet forms.
These were some of the simple vegan alternatives to fish oil. So if you are a vegan or plan to strictly follow vegetarianism, fish oil may seem impossible, but with some substitutes or alternatives, it will make up for the deficiency, that too along with many other overall health benefits. Who says going vegan is a compromise on total nutrition? Be it fish or other sources, as long as the body gets its nutrition, it will stay healthy, irrespective of the source!