OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
The omega-3 fatty acid that is found in plants is called alphalinolenic acid (ALA) and it is an essential fatty acid, meaning the body cannot synthesise it so we must obtain it from our food. ALA is found in chia seeds, flaxseeds and walnuts. The body can convert ALA into EPA and DHA, the omega-3 fatty acids that are present in oily fish, however this conversion can be inefficient. DHA is also found in algae, so there are some plant-based DHA supplements available if needed.
Dr Libby is a nutritional biochemist, best-selling author and speaker. The advice contained in this column is not intended to be a substitute for direct, personalised advice from a health professional. See Dr Libby live during her upcoming ‘WhatAmI Supposed To Eat?’ tour throughout New Zealand. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit drlibby.com