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Vegetarian Alternatives to Fish Oil

Updated on May 31, 2010

You are familiar with benefits of fish oil and you've tried to convince yourself that you can handle ingesting it but it just goes against your principles. Consuming fish oil violates many of the reasons that you became vegetarian in the first place. And besides, you don't think it would actually be good for your body to start getting fish into it now after you've been staying away from all meat for as long as you have. So, how do you stick with your beliefs and your vegetarian diet but still get the nutritional benefits you're missing out on by not eating fish oil?

Don't worry. There are vegetarian alternatives to fish oil that allow you to obtain those same results which include regulation of cholesterol and heart disease, anti-inflammatory problems and even some types of depression. What you're trying to get from the fish oil are the omega-3 fatty acids. Here are some of your vegetarian options for getting those without the fish:

  • Algae combined with nut / seed oil - Consuming algae such as spirulina can assist the body in properly converting omega 3 fats from the oils of nuts and seeds. This is one of the most common vegetarian replacements for fish oil. Spirualina as the algae and flax oil is the best combination although others are suitable as well.
  • Black Currant Oil - Some nutritional sales spots say that the Omega-3 fatty acids ALA and Stearidonic Acid which are present in black currant oil can improve the cardiovascular system and help maintain the hormones that can lead to some types of depression so this may be a good vegetarian replacement for fish oil. However, the FDA hasn't confirmed this.
  • Flax seed oil - This falls into the category above for seed oil combined with algae but it's good enough as a replacement to be worth mentioning on its own. Flax seed oil is also known to have other health benefits so you should learn more about this alternative.
  • Vegetarian Fish Oil Replacement Supplements - Plenty of people get their fish oil simply by going to their nutritional store or drug store and picking up the tablets of it. As a vegetarian, you can do the same things. There are vegetarian alternatives to fish oil capsules, such as Seven Seas Vegetarian Omega-3. These may not be as easy to find as fish oil capsules but if you seek, they are there.

After looking over the various alternatives that are available for fish oil, you're probably doing some thinking. Maybe you'll go ahead and proceed with one of these alternatives. Or maybe you're thinking that it wouldn't be so bad to try fish oil after all. If you're vegetarian resolve is being undermined, consider reading this article before making a final decision. It details the reasons that plant oils are preferable to fish oil, making a good case for finding an alternative to the latter. Even if you decide to go with fish oil in the end, at least you'll have all of the information.


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