Plant Sources of Omega-3 From Lessonia
When we talk about ‘good fats’, omega-3 fatty acids are up there with the best!
Dietary intake of omega 3 fats are most commonly known for their cardiovascular health benefits. A SLR in 2021 found omega-3 fats reduce cardiovascular mortality and improved cardiovascular outcomes (1). In addition omega-3 fats potential in the treatment of depression (2) and reducing anxiety symptoms (3) and enhancing antioxidant defence against reactive oxygen species (4). A growing area of study is also looking at omega-3 fats in brain health and preventing neurodegeneration in older adults (5).
Omega-3 fats are found in sources such as fish, nuts and seeds. To get a better understanding of omega-3 sources, let’s look further into omega-3s. Scientific research largely focuses on three types of omega-3s, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (found in plant oils like flaxseed), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which are both found in fish and also some algae. ALA is essential to humans, meaning we cannot synthesise it ourselves, so it must come from dietary or supplementary sources. ALA can be turned into EPA and DHA but this process is not very efficient.
The health benefits of omega-3s are more strongly linked to EPA and DHA which is why the Heart Foundation of Australia recommends individuals to aim for 2-3 serves of fish a week. However, as many people do not include fish in their diet, it is important to know that there are ways to achieve these health benefits from plant-based diets.
Total omega-3 and ALA intake is still beneficial for improving lipid profile and preventing cardiovascular disease events (6). Another way to enhance the benefits of ALA consumption is to consider omega-6 intake. Omega-6s are essential to a humans diet but are consumed in abundance. And research shows that reducing Ω6:Ω3 ratio may improve cardiometabolic and lipid profile (7).
For plant-derived omega-3 sources, Lessonia can offer
Cranberry seed oil – the cranberry seeds are obtained from a by-product of the juice industry. This cold-pressed oil has 25% omega-3 and a 1:1 ratio of Ω3:Ω6.
Raspberry seed oil – this cold-pressed oil contains 20% omega-3 and a 1:2 ratio of Ω3:Ω6
Hemp seed oil – organic – an organic cold-pressed oil containing 20% omega-3, and a rich source of vitamin E and polyphenols.
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1. Khan S, et al. 2021, ‘Effect of omega-3 fatty acids on cardiovascular outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis’, The Lancet, vol. 38, pp. 101096.
2. Bae J, Kim G, 2018, ‘Systematic review and meta-analysis of omega-3-fatty acids in elderly patients with depression’, Nutrition Research, vol. 50, pp.1-9.
3. Kuan-Pin S et al. 2018, ‘Association of use of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids with changes in severity of anxiety symptoms’, Psychiatry, vol. 1, no. 5, e.182327.
4. Heshmati et al. 2019, ‘Omega-3 fatty acids supplementation and oxidative stress parameters: a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials’, Pharmacological Research, vol. 149, pp.104462.
5. Derbyshire E, 2018, ‘Brain health across the lifespan: a systematic review on the role of omega-3 fatty acid supplements’, Nutritional Insight Limited, vol. 10, no. 8, p. 1094.
6. Santos H, Price J, Bueno A, 2020, ‘Beyond fish oil supplementation: the effects of alternative plant sources of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids upon lipid indexes and cardiometabolic biomarkets – an overview’, Nutrients, vol. 12, no. 10, p.3159.
7. Santos et al, 2020, 'Beyond fish oil supplementation: the effects of alternative plant sources of omega-3 PUFAs upon lipid indexes and Cardiometabolic biomarkers - an overview', Nutrients, 12(10) 3159.