Most of us know it’s important to get Omega essential fatty acids in our diets. As our body can’t produce these acids itself, we need to get them from our food. Natural sources include fish, flaxseed, walnuts and other seeds. Omegas have been shown to support heart health, mental wellness, joint pain and even things such as bone loss in menopausal women.
Of course, many of us have busy lives and don’t eat as well as we should so it can be tricky to get enough omegas, particularly if you’re not a fan of fish or are a vegetarian or vegan. You can of course focus on eating more flaxseed, walnuts and other seeds, but if you need some extra support to ensure you’re getting your omega fats then Vertese has a new plant-based supplement made from Ahiflower® oil.
You’re probably wondering what Ahiflower oil is, I know I had never heard of it! It stems from a wild plant that is native to the British countryside. The oil contains the highest concentrations of omega essential fatty acids than any other natural plant source. And unlike fish or flax, Ahiflower contains a very important omega 6, GLA which is associated with skin health, hormonal balance and reducing inflammation. This is the key omega found in evening primrose and borage seed oils. To quote the brand’s information:
“Ahiflower oil has 20% SDA which is the greatest level of naturally occurring SDA of any dietary plant. The advantage of SDA is that the body can convert it to the longer chain fatty acid EPA (commonly found in fish oil) much more efficiently.”
“Most plant-derived Omega 3 sources, such as flaxseed and linseed oil, only contain the shortest-chain form (alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA), which does not convert well to the important long-chain forms, found in fish and seafood (known as EPA and DHA). But Ahiflower® is different because it contains not only ALA, but another Omega 3 called Stearidonic Acid (SDA), which the body can metabolise much more efficiently into EPA – boosting levels of the crucial longer-chain Omega 3 fatty acids.”
I know all those ALAs and SDAs can be a bit confusing, basically fish and seafood contain a form of Omega 3 called EPA and DHA which are especially beneficial. Plant based sources don’t contain these so we (especially veggies and vegans) need to look for plant based sources of SDA which actually converts in our bodies to EPA at a much higher rate than ALA. More explained below!
“SDA is found naturally in only a very few plant oils but it is so much more ‘valuable’ in health terms than ALA that genetically modified versions of some plants have already been developed in order to increase their SDA content,” says Dr. Alexandra Richardson.
“However Ahiflower® Oil is a unique and completely natural source of ALA and SDA, providing both of these omega-3 from a single, non-GM plant. Therefore it’s a particularly good option for vegetarians and vegans, as well as anyone else who doesn’t eat fish.’
A 2016 study showed how Ahiflower oil converts to EPA in the body up to four times more effectively than flaxseed oil. It contains about ten times more SDA than hemp oil.
Personally what I like about this supplement is that you don’t get that fishy after taste that you do with fish oil capsules! As Ahiflower oil is a native product the ecological impact of creating it is far less impactful than producing fish oil, as well as being cruelty free too.
Getting your nutrients from food is always going to be the best move but if you know you’re probably not quite managing that then a supplement such as this could be a helpful way to get more Omega 3 fatty acids into your diet.
You can find out more about Ahiflower Oil in general, including more detailed explanations of the nutritional benefits here, and check out the Vertese website for more information. Ahiflower oil is available from VictoriaHealth.com, TotallyNourish.com, Revital.co.uk or by calling 0845 5219 190.
Do you think about how much Omega 3 Fatty Acids you’re getting in your diet? Do you think a supplement like this would be helpful for you?
*post in collaboration with Ahiflower Oil