In the iwi News
A vegan diet is touted as a very healthy lifestyle, often associated with lower cholesterol levels, healthier blood pressure, and...
A vegan diet is touted as a very healthy lifestyle, often associated with lower cholesterol levels, healthier blood pressure, and weight loss. As with anything, though, there are some drawbacks. Many nutrients that are crucial for our bodies are easier to obtain through animal products than they are on a plant-based diet, making it more challenging for vegans to maintain the nutrients they need.
However, with mindfulness and thoughtful choices in your diet, you can obtain the nutrients you need to support your overall health and wellness. iwi is happy to help, providing an overview of the hardest nutrients for vegans to get and explaining where you can find them.
What Are Some Nutrients that Vegans Struggle To Get?
Although a vegan diet encourages many people to get more nutrients in their diet by adding more plants, some nutrients are harder to find in plants. By being aware of the less abundant nutrients in a vegan diet, you can be more proactive in making sure you include them as part of your daily nutrition. The following are some of the most common nutrients that vegans struggle to get.
Calcium is a mineral that serves several important functions in the body, which include supporting healthy bones and teeth, healthy muscle function, and proper heart and nerve function.
Calcium is found in various plant and animal sources, like dairy, fortified juices, leafy greens, and almonds. Although, depending on the source, calcium is not always very bioavailable, meaning that the body may not break down and absorb all the calcium you ingest. For example, dairy has a bioavailability of 30%, so your body only uses less than a third of the calcium you ingest.
It is important to take in an abundance of this nutrient, making it hard for vegans to maintain high calcium levels. Because plant-based sources of calcium are lower in the mineral than animal sources, vegans would have to eat a lot to get their recommended amounts. A supplement is a great way for vegans to receive enough calcium.
Vitamin B12 is a vital nutrient, providing energy for the body. It also plays a crucial role in forming red blood cells and DNA and has an important part in the development and function of brain and nerve cells. The recommended dietary allowance for men and women at least 14 years old is 2.4 micrograms daily.
Those on a vegan diet have a hard time obtaining this essential vitamin because it is found naturally occurring almost only in animal products, like eggs, meat, and dairy.
On a plant-based diet, B12 can be found in foods such as soy products, nutritional yeast, meat substitutes, and nori seaweed, a type of algae.
This vital nutrient is essential for producing hemoglobin and myoglobin, which are proteins inside red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. Iron also helps produce some essential hormones. The recommended amount of iron for adult men at least 19 years old is 8mg, while for women over the same age, it is 18mg.
Iron is found most abundantly in meat, poultry, and seafood. Plant-based sources of iron include beans, nuts, leafy greens, and fortified foods like cereals and bread.
Iron is found in two forms: heme iron and non-heme iron. Both forms are found in meat, seafood, and poultry products, while plant foods only contain non-heme iron. Non-heme iron is not absorbed as well by the body as heme iron.
Eating plant-based sources of iron along with vitamin C can improve absorption. Because of the low absorption rates, vegans can benefit greatly from an iron supplement.
Iodine is a trace mineral found in some foods and is used to make hormones that influence the body’s metabolism and development. Because iodine is important for brain and bone development, it is even more important for infants and pregnant women. Adults should obtain at least 150 micrograms of iodine, while pregnant women should obtain at least 220 micrograms.
Iodine is found naturally in various animal-based foods, including fish and other seafood and dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese. Seaweed is the only plant-based form of iodine, which makes it hard for vegans to get the mineral in a standard diet.
Fortunately, iodine is easy to obtain from iodized salt, so it is just a matter of being mindful about including this important nutrient in your diet.
Zinc is a mineral that is important in immune function, metabolism function, cell function, wound healing, and supporting the senses of taste and smell. The body only needs small amounts of the nutrient, but it is still important.
The trace mineral is found in shellfish, beef, poultry, and pork as well as in plant-based foods like legumes, nuts, whole grains, and fortified cereals. Vegans may not always obtain the necessary amount of zinc because some plant foods contain phytates, which can reduce zinc absorption. This decreased absorption makes supplementation a good idea for vegans.
Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids that make up a key part of the membranes of the cells in the body and provide a key energy source. These fatty acids have several benefits, supporting a healthy heart, maintaining healthy circulation, and promoting a positive mental outlook, among many others. The two most important fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
These essential nutrients are found most often in fatty, oily fish, like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and trout. They are often easily accessible through supplements like fish oil and krill oil. There are very few plant-based DHA and EPA sources, making it challenging for vegans to receive enough of these crucial nutrients. However, making the right choice in supplements can help. For example, iwi provides an omega-3 supplement made from algae, one of the richest forms of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids.
Obtain More of the Nutrients You Need
On a vegan diet, it can be hard to obtain all of the nutrients that you need to support your health. By being mindful of the nutrients you receive through your diet, or adding helpful supplements to your daily routine, you can avoid any nutritional deficiencies. At iwi, we strive to do our part to support everyone in reaching their daily nutrient intake, regardless of lifestyle.
This goal is why our supplements provide one of the most bioavailable forms of omega-3 possible. With our omega-3 supplement, you can obtain both DHA and EPA to support your plant-based diet. We also offer a complete family of products formulated to help you obtain many of the nutrients you need to support daily bodily function. Try iwi today and take strides toward receiving a large portion of your necessary nutrient intake.
Iron - Consumer | National Institute for Health
Iodine - Consumer | National Institute for Health
When it comes to staying healthy, maintaining your heart health is key — but this task can seem overwhelming. There’s...
When it comes to staying healthy, maintaining your heart health is key — but this task can seem overwhelming. There’s so much to know about what is best for your heart.
One of the main ways to protect your heart is to understand your cholesterol. Since your cholesterol is directly related to your heart health, watching your cholesterol levels is important.
Learning how to check your cholesterol accurately at home can become a vital tool for supporting your health. Having at-home tests can give you the peace of mind you deserve and help you make the best-informed choices about your diet and routine.
At iwi, we want you to be prepared to crush your wellness goals, whatever they may be. That’s why we want to walk you through how to check your cholesterol at home so you can feel confident about getting that vital information for your health whenever you need it.
This guide will offer a few ways to help you better manage your overall heart health.
Understanding Your Cholesterol
What is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a certain type of waxy fat that your body makes. It’s an important part of your health because the body uses it to build hormones like testosterone and thyroid hormone, so while it is not itself a harmful substance, some people have higher levels than are considered healthy.
Learning what cholesterol is and how your diet can contribute to high cholesterol is important for your long-term heart health. As you probably already know, high cholesterol can significantly impact your health, increasing your risk of stroke and heart disease.
Do You Need an At-Home Cholesterol Test?
Maybe you want to avoid a trip to the doctor’s or learn how to incorporate managing your cholesterol levels into your daily routine. At-home cholesterol test kits are a great solution for managing your heart health.
At-home cholesterol kits are sold at pharmacies or online and allow you to read your cholesterol without having to go into a doctor’s office and wait several days for the results.
What Should I Know About Measuring Cholesterol Levels?
Once you have your cholesterol at-home kit, the next step is to know how to use it and understand it for your heart health.
Before you can do that, you want to be comfortable with the terminology regarding cholesterol and what makes it good versus bad cholesterol. You may also want to know about the several measurements taken in a traditional cholesterol test.
Let’s discuss the difference between “good” cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol:
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is considered “bad” cholesterol and might be what you think about when you think about cholesterol. It’s a bad type of fat that clogs up your blood vessels and increases your risk of heart disease. VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) is a precursor to LDL, and is a second form of “bad” cholesterol.
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL), on the other hand, is good cholesterol. HDL works to lower the amount of LDL in your system by transporting it to your liver for removal. HDL actually works to clear up your arteries, so finding ways to incorporate more of it is especially important.
A traditional cholesterol test at a doctor’s office will also give you information about triglycerides. This can be helpful even though triglycerides are not a type of cholesterol. That’s because they are constituents of a lipoprotein that can increase your risk of heart disease.
So, how do these tests measure your cholesterol? The main measurement taken is your total cholesterol levels. This measurement adds up the good and bad cholesterol in your system so you can learn how the two compare against each other.
The test will also measure your good and bad cholesterol individually. Lastly, it also measures your non-HDL, which means all the different bad cholesterol. This means it’s a measurement of your total cholesterol minus the HDL level, including LDL and another type of cholesterol called very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL).
Measuring Your Cholesterol Levels With At-Home Kits
It’s always important to have annual checkups with your doctor, especially if you are worried about your heart health. But sometimes, health care can be expensive, and if you want to know how your blood cholesterol levels are looking on a more frequent basis, going to the doctor’s office for a formal blood test and lipid panel might not always be a practical solution.
There aretwo main types of at-home tests. The first type is the actual cholesterol test which is done by pricking your finger and drawing a small amount of blood. This can be a helpful method because it’s efficient, and you can get your results quickly.
The other kind of at-home test is very similar to the first one. You still prick your finger and collect your blood sample, except this time, you send it off in a kit to a lab. The lab will analyze your results and send them back to you. imaware is one great option for at-home testing that only requires a few drops of blood.
Are Cholesterol At-Home Tests Reliable?
Wondering if these at-home cholesterol tests are too good to be true? That’s a valid question, so let’s ease some of your doubts.
Both of these at-home tests are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. But it’s important to remember that there is more room for human error, and at-home tests you do yourself only provide a measurement of total cholesterol.
Even though that number can be accurate, it won’t tell you how much good and bad cholesterol is in your blood unless it is sent to an external lab.
Sample test results are also quite accurate because the actual testing is done in a lab. You just want to remember that you read the directions carefully and tested properly, so you can get the most accurate results from the sample you send off.
What Are the Pros of Cholesterol At-Home Tests?
At iwi, we are all about efficiency and helping you get back to your life. If you want to know about the highlights of both types of cholesterol at-home tests, we’ve got you covered.
These tests are readily available at most pharmacies, so you don’t have to worry about booking an appointment. Essentially, these tests can be a helpful addition to learning more about your cholesterol levels, but they are not the only solution.
If done well, these tests can provide a full picture of your cholesterol levels, and you don’t have to go into a doctor’s office to take them. You can start to learn what changes you can make in your daily life to start making the necessary changes for your heart health.
What Are the Cons of Cholesterol At-Home Tests?
Although the at-home cholesterol tests come with various pros and can help you learn about your cholesterol levels in your day-to-day life, it’s important to be aware of the cons as well. More than anything, it’s important to check in with your doctor about what is best for you.
There are some limitations to this test. It will only give you a measurement of your total cholesterol levels. It doesn’t break down HDL or LDL levels unless it is sent to an external lab, so it doesn’t give you a full picture of how healthy you are or how at-risk you are.
Watching Your Cholesterol With iwi Supplements
But what happens when you finally do know your cholesterol levels? If they are too high for your liking, you will want to have solutions at hand that can help aid you in decreasing high cholesterol.
Not only did we want to guide you on what you need to know about at-home cholesterol tests, but also what to do after. That’s why we created our algae omega-3 supplements that can help support your heart health.
Omega-3 supplements, in particular from plant-based sources like algae, can potentially help maintain your HDL levels and help support your cholesterol health. It’s a simple first step in the right direction.
Beyond that, we have our natural cholesterol supplement, which has been clinically demonstrated to decrease total cholesterol against participants who took a placebo. In fact, VLDL cholesterol decreased about 25% on average in just three months.
Better living and potentially better heart health starts with us at iwi. Let us give you the helping hand you deserve, so come check out our supplements designed for your heart health.
Supporting Your Heart Health With iwi
We know how much you care about your heart health, and we care about it too. Looking for new ways to incorporate heart-healthy habits into your life can seem daunting, but starting slow can go a long way.
At-home tests, like those offered by imaware, can be a helpful tool in managing your levels on a day-to-day basis. But even better, you now know what to do after these tests. At iwi, we want to help you on your journey in supporting your heart health, whether it’s providing you with the information you need on how to make the best-informed choices or creating supplements that can give you the protection you need and deserve for better living.
The immune system is strong, but it is not invincible. Although many of us prefer to let the body fight...
The immune system is strong, but it is not invincible. Although many of us prefer to let the body fight off infections on its own or with help from natural remedies, alternative options may be unavoidable after a point. If you end up with a bacterial infection that will not go away, then an antibiotic may be the only option for completely kicking the infection.
As helpful as antibiotics can be, they can also come with a few uncomfortable side effects. However, obtaining the proper nutrients can help tackle these effects and promote healthy immune function.
What Are Antibiotics?
If you have been sick with a bacterial infection in the past, you have likely taken an antibiotic. Antibiotics are medicines used to fight bacterial infections by killing the bacteria causing the infection or preventing them from multiplying and spreading throughout the body.
Antibiotics can only treat infections caused by harmful bacteria, like strep throat or a urinary tract infection. They do not work to treat viruses that cause illnesses like the flu or the common cold. Although antibiotics are not necessary for curing every infection, they have the potential to be lifesaving.
However, as with anything, antibiotics are not without flaws.
How Does the Immune System Work?
When you first think of the immune system, you may think of microscopic cells that attack and fight off invading bacteria. This image would be accurate, but the immune system is a complex system of white blood cells, antibodies, and other cells that mobilize to defeat sickness-causing invaders.
If someone asked you where the immune system is located, you would say inside the body, of course, but you may be surprised to learn that 70% of the immune system is actually located in the gut.
The gut contains a whole world of microorganisms and bacteria, or microbiota, that play a crucial role in immune function.
For example, a microbial molecule in the gut signals to activate T cells, also fittingly known as natural killer cells, that target and eliminate harmful bacteria. The gut also plays a role in developing antibodies and other immune cells.
What Are the Effects of Antibiotics on the Immune System and Gut?
When you take antibiotics, their path into your body is directly through your gut. Unfortunately, the “anti” in antibiotics does not discriminate, meaning they also attack and eliminate healthy, beneficial bacteria. As antibiotics reach your gut, they take a toll on the microbiota and reduce the presence of many helpful species of bacteria.
A diverse microbiome is vital to a healthy gut, so the decreased presence of healthy bacteria can affect digestion and metabolic activity and potentially weaken your immune system. After taking antibiotics, you may experience additional side effects like diarrhea, nausea, and constipation.
There are also several unwelcome long-term effects of a weakened gut microbiome. An imbalanced microbiota can make you more susceptible to future infection. Therefore, it is best to be mindful about replenishing your gut health after taking antibiotics.
What Are Some Tips for Rebuilding Your Immune System and Gut?
Since such a large portion of the immune system resides in the gut, your nutrition plays a key role in the health and capability of your immune function.
By eating the right foods and obtaining the right nutrients, you can reverse the effects of antibiotics, build back the diversity of the bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract, and put your immune system back on track. The following are some key tips for rebuilding your immune system.
1. Eat Plant Foods
Plants have a world of benefits for the gut, as they are full of nutrients that are good for the bacteria in your gut and your body as a whole.
Plants are a great source of prebiotics, which are substances that feed the bacteria in the gut, stimulating the growth of diverse species and balancing the microbiome. The microbiota in your gut craves fiber and complex carbohydrates to reproduce, and plants have both.
To help feed your good gut bacteria, you should eat plants like:
Plants are also full of vitamins and antioxidants that protect healthy cells, promote the growth of immune cells, and help produce antibodies that fight infection.
2. Incorporate High-Fiber Foods
Fiber is an important nutrient for the immune system, as it can support the growth of microbes in the gut. Many beneficial microbes use fiber to generate fatty acids that stimulate the growth and activity of immune cells. High-fiber foods are another example of prebiotics because of their role in feeding the microbes.
Great high-fiber foods to include in your diet are:
- Whole Grains
3. Find Probiotic Foods
The direct opposite of an antibiotic is a probiotic, which reverses the impact of antibiotics on your gut. As the term suggests, probiotics provide beneficial species of bacteria to your gut, containing live healthy bacteria that can help replenish your microbiota. Probiotics are a safe and direct way to restore the health of your gut and support a healthy immune system.
Fortunately, there are many easy-to-find probiotic foods. You may already include some probiotics in your diet without knowing — fermented foods, like kimchi and sauerkraut, make for wonderful probiotics. Other examples of probiotic foods include:
- Pickles (made without vinegar)
Probiotic supplements can also help regenerate your gut microbiota with billions of beneficial bacteria.
4. Intake Plenty of Protein
Protein and amino acids are critical for the growth of immune cells and the overall function of the immune system. Protein even makes up the foundation of the antibodies that remember and attack harmful bacteria and viruses. Therefore, you should include a variety of protein sources in your diet.
5. Incorporate Healthy Fats into Your Meals
Healthy fats are great for your gut health.
A great example of healthy fats is omega-3 fatty acids, which help build the foundation of many cells in the body. There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids: ALA, DHA, and EPA. ALA is easy to get through your diet, but DHA and EPA are typically only attainable through fish. Some circumstances, like following a plant-based diet, can make it difficult to receive all of the omega-3s you need.
If you have difficulty obtaining your recommended daily intake of these healthy fats through diet, consider taking an omega-3 supplement. Algae supplements provide two of the most necessary omega-3 nutrients, DHA and EPA, and one particular type of algae, Nannochloropsis, provides 50% better absorption than any other source of fatty acids.
How Long Does It Take To Replenish Gut Microbiota?
There is no set time limit for how long it will take to replenish the microbiota in your gut, but remaining mindful and taking consistent steps to support your gut health can put you on the right track. One bit of wisdom from health food store owners is to supplement with probiotics and beneficial fats for at least twice as long as your course of antibiotics. This gives your body plenty of nutrition to bring back balance.
When it comes to restoring the health of your gut microbiota, consistency is key. It is important to provide the necessary prebiotics for your gut health daily to support the growth of these vital bacteria. Taking a supplement can be a huge benefit, allowing you to receive a steady dose of the nutrients you and your gut need.
Your immune system is vital to helping you fight back against infection, so it is important that you give it the tools to do so. By combining a healthy diet with other positive lifestyle choices like regular exercise and healthy amounts of sleep, you can rebuild your gut and immune health in no time.
Rebuild Your Immune System With Key Nutrients
Your gut microbiota is a vital part of your immune system, but taking antibiotics can have a negative impact by reducing the diversity of beneficial bacteria species. Fortunately, by maintaining a diet that is rich in prebiotics, probiotics, and other nutrients, you can work to reverse the harmful effects of antibiotics.
At iwi, we are committed to supporting your overall health and wellness, which is why we create all-natural supplements to provide your body with the nutrients you may be missing out on.
iwi’s completely plant-based immunity supplement is the perfect way to support your gut health. This supplement is complete with crucial nutrients, like EPA omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6,-7, and -9 fatty acids, and antioxidant-rich chlorophyll. All of these ingredients combine to help maintain healthy immune function. Explore our complete family of iwi products to see all the powers of algae for yourself.
Antibiotics as Major Disruptors of Gut Microbiota | PubMed Central
Fatty acids are the foundations of fats, helping form the building blocks of many cells and systems in our bodies....
Fatty acids are the foundations of fats, helping form the building blocks of many cells and systems in our bodies. There are three abundant and beneficial types of fatty acids. These are omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9. Each of these fatty acid groups provides its own nutritional value, and they all play important roles in your health.
Some of these fats are essential, while others are non-essential but still beneficial. Either way, you should strive to obtain a balanced intake of all three types for their potential health benefits.
What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats, which means that chemically, they are made up of many double bonds. Your body cannot produce omega-3 on its own, so you must obtain these fats through your diet. Because the only way to get them is through food, they are considered “essential fats.”
Omega-3 fatty acids can have several different types of chemical makeup, but ultimately, there are three main types of omega-3 fatty acids. These are:
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a short-chain fatty acid precursor
Each of the three types of omega-3s has its own benefits, but your body must receive an adequate amount of each, either through dietary choices or supplementation. ALA omega-3s can be converted into EPA in the body and then into DHA, but this conversion only happens in small amounts, making it essential to get EPA and DHA directly.
What Are Sources of Omega-3?
The three different types of omega-3 fats are found separately in various foods. ALA is the most abundant omega-3 in the western diet, while DHA and EPA can be found paired together in many kinds of seafood. Some of the most significant sources of omega-3 are:
Fatty fish sources are abundant in both EPA and DHA omega-3s and are the main source of both types, giving the two acids the nickname marine omega-3s. All other sources of omega-3s, specifically plant-based sources, contain only ALA omega-3s. The only plant-based source of EPA and DHA omega-3 is algae.
What Are the Benefits of Omega-3?
Each type of omega-3 potentially offers its own specific benefits. In general, omega-3s can help support the body’s system in several significant ways. For example, omega-3s are well-known for supporting healthy cardiovascular function. Some people believe these fats help play a role in maintaining healthy blood pressure and healthy cholesterol levels. They are also known for supporting eye health.
DHA can be a great addition to your diet if you’re pregnant. More specifically, DHA can support healthy brain development and maintain nervous system function in a child. Even in adulthood, DHA omega-3s can support brain health by helping maintain normal cognitive function, positively impacting memory and motor skills.
EPA may help support a positive mood. During pregnancy, EPA also plays an important role by helping to support the healthy development of the fetus and can support feelings of mental wellness in the mother.
What Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids?
Omega-6 fatty acids are similar to omega-3s in that they are polyunsaturated fatty acids. However, they are slightly different chemically. These fats can be changed into longer omega-6 fats like arachidonic acid or ARA.
Like omega-3s, omega-6 fatty acids are essential and are not made by the body, though they are a bit more abundant in a standard diet.
What Are Sources of Omega-6?
Americans receive more omega-6 through their diets than they do omega-3s. It is recommended that individuals increase their intake of omega-3 compared to omega-6, but there do not seem to be any problems with taking in too many omega-6 fatty acids.
However, omega-6 is more common in refined vegetable oils, which are not always considered the healthiest source of nutrition.
If you want to add enough omega-6 servings to your diet, it can be found in the following sources:
- Soybean oil
- Safflower oil
- Sunflower oil
- Borage oil
- Evening primrose oil
- Sunflower seeds
What Are the Benefits of Omega-6?
Like omega-3s, omega-6s play an important role in the body. They are most beneficial for their ability to provide the body with improved feelings of energy and for maintaining the health of the skin. In combination with plenty of dietary omega-3s, omega-6 fats help the body manage the inflammatory response.
There is some debate about whether these fatty acids are harmful if consumed in high amounts, but when balanced with omega-3s as part of a complete diet, researchers typically see little reason for concern.
What Are Omega-9 Fatty Acids?
Omega-9 fatty acids are monounsaturated fats. On a chemical level, this means that they have one double bond.
The body can produce these fatty acids and, therefore, are not considered “essential” nutrients. However, they are still a positive nutrient to include in your diet.
There are many different types of omega-9s, including hypogeic acid, elaidic acid, erucic acid, gondoic acid, and nervonic acid. The most abundant form of omega-9 is oleic acid, which is found in cell membranes and plasma throughout the body. Oleic acid is also the greatest form of omega-9 in a standard diet.
What Are the Benefits of Omega-9?
Just like the other two forms of fatty acids, omega-9s can offer multiple benefits to the body. Foods rich in oleic acid and omega-9 fatty acids can support and maintain a healthy immune system, eye function, and heart health.
What Are Sources of Omega-9?
Omega-9 fats are commonly found in vegetables, seeds, and nuts. More specifically, they can be found in the following sources:
- Olive oil
- Peanut oil
- Avocado oil
Because omega-9s are considered non-essential, there is no set standard for what your daily intake of these fatty acids should be.
Should I Take an Omega-3, Omega-6, or Omega-9 Supplement?
Whenever possible, you should try to receive a significant amount of all three fatty acids from healthy sources in your diet. If you feel you are not getting enough fatty acids from your diet, you could consider taking a supplement. Because there are so many potential benefits associated with each of the three fatty acids, the most important question is what type of supplement you need.
Some supplements can balance all three fatty acids, offering various ratios of the three nutrients. For example, they may include the ingredients omega-3:6:9 at a ratio of 2:1:1. Some supplements may have a higher ratio of omega-3 than the other two types.
Typically the amount of omega-3 is higher in any supplement because it is an essential fatty acid. Since omega-6s are very abundant in a western diet and omega-9s can be produced by the body, the body typically has the largest need for omega-3s.
If you are on a plant-based diet, you may prioritize taking a supplement that is high in omega-3s since it is most abundant in fish and harder to obtain otherwise. Even plant-based supplements that prioritize omega-3 intake can contain a significant amount of the other two forms of fatty acids.
An iwi omega-3 supplement also contains a balanced amount of omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, allowing you to potentially obtain a significant amount of omega-3 while still maintaining a healthy balance of the other two fatty acids. Even more impressive, this supplement is made from algae, which directly provides DHA and EPA omega-3s, requiring no conversions in the body.
Experience All the Benefits of Omega 3-6-9
Omega 3-6-9 nutrients are all beneficial, healthy fats that you should include in your diet whenever you can. At iwi, we want to help you get all of the important nutrients you need from trusted, natural sources. When you choose an iwi omega-3 supplement, you can find peace of mind that you will receive a sufficient amount of each of the three important fatty acids (without the “fish burps” or potential for rancidity of fish oil).
Since our omega-3 supplement is made from the power plant that is algae, you can trust that you are receiving true DHA and EPA omega-3s directly, and your body does not need to do any conversions.
We make our products with your health and the planet in mind. To support your overall health and wellness, explore our whole assortment of plant-based supplements.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids | National Institutes of Health
Algae just may be the food of the future. Full of vital nutrients, algae make a great supplement to one’s...
Algae just may be the food of the future. Full of vital nutrients, algae make a great supplement to one’s diet.
This source of vitamins and nutrients is highly underrated as its nutritional content is not widely known. However, there are a wide variety of species of algae, and each offers its own specific health benefits. If algae are not yet on your radar, then you just may be missing out on all that they have to offer.
At iwi, we are proud to embrace the many powers of algae and share the benefits that it can provide as part of our daily nutrition.
What Is Algae?
Algae is an aquatic plant that performs photosynthesis and contains chlorophyll and chloroplasts but does not have stems, true roots, or leaves like land plants. Algae can grow in both saltwater and freshwater.
The term “algae” is often used very generally as many different protists can be grouped under the name.
Forms of algae can be either single-celled organisms or multicellular, like seaweeds. Scientists estimate that there may be anywhere between 30,000 and one million species of algae. These widespread organisms produce around half of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere. Between its oxygen production and the ability to harness sunlight to photosynthesize, algae is an eco-friendly powerhouse. Altogether, this super plant has tons of potential.
What Are the Health Benefits of Algae?
These photosynthetic organisms are packed with nutrients and offer many great health benefits. Regular consumption of different groups of algae can help support various systems in the body, especially since algae has such a high nutrient density.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a form of polyunsaturated fats that exist in cells throughout the body. The three main types of omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). ALA exists in a wide variety of foods, making it easy to receive enough of the nutrient on a daily basis. However, DHA and EPA are harder to obtain, meaning that many individuals benefit from supplementing these two fatty acids in their diet.
The most abundant dietary source of omega-3s is fatty fish, like salmon, mackerel, and tuna. Until recently, the only available supplements for omega-3 were based on fish or krill oil, but with the rise in the availability of algae, this has all started to change.
Algae is the only plant-based source of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids, providing valuable nutrition for those on a plant-based diet or people who do not like fish.
Not only is algae the only plant-based source of the nutrient, but it also produces the most bioavailable form. This means that the omega-3 fatty acids available in algae are more easily absorbed by the body than any other source, even more so than the most common omega-3 supplements. The omega-3s in one type of algae, Nannochloropsis, are absorbed at least 50% better than those in krill or fish oil.
Algae is extremely protein-rich, and as a result, it also contains an impressive amino acid profile. Amino acids are most present in the cell walls of algae, and almost all edible algae contain the same forms of amino acids but in different amounts. Algal species contain over a dozen amino acids, including alanine, glutamic, and aspartic acids.
Amino acids are largely present in macroalgae, like seaweeds. Around 50% of the amino acids in seaweed are essential amino acids, meaning they cannot be produced by the body and must be consumed through diet or supplementation. Therefore, algae consumption is a great way to supplement amino acid intake and support the function of many important bodily systems.
Amino acids serve many important roles in the body, such as regulating food intake, supporting cell-to-cell communication through hormone production, and promoting the growth of bodily tissue. Other benefits of amino acids include supporting a healthy immune system, building muscle, and aiding digestion.
Antioxidants are crucial for their ability to target free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules in the body that can form as a result of cell waste or factors like inflammation, UV exposure, and pollution. Free radicals in the body cause oxidative stress, which can harm cells and speed aging.
Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals in the body, which prevents cell damage and promotes overall health and wellness. Great sources of antioxidants are fruits, vegetables, plant-based foods, and algae.
Although algae are not natural producers of B12, they absorb a considerable amount of the nutrient from their environment. As a result, algae are a great source of the essential vitamin for individuals on a plant-based diet.
Vitamin B12 is important for supporting healthy brain and nervous system function, boosting energy, and even helping to regulate the number of red blood cells in your bloodstream. Many people are deficient in this crucial vitamin, especially when approaching old age or on a plant-based diet, so algae can be very beneficial to help supplement the necessary intake of B12.
What Are the Most Common Types of Algae?
Despite the thousands of species of algae, a few types are most well-known to humans, as they provide many great health benefits. Some have even been used by humans for centuries. The following are the five most common, most nutritious types of algae.
Porphyra is a type of red algae that forms an edible seaweed. This form of algae also makes nori, which is most known for wrapping sushi. Nori is a dark green sheet that is made by taking edible seaweed and pressing it into very thin sheets.
Although originally from Japan, Nori has become very popular worldwide and can be found in many stores as an enjoyable snack. Nori is not only great for holding together your sushi roll, but it is also packed with proteins, carbohydrates, and micronutrients. Porphyra’s combination of nutrients gives it antioxidant properties as well as the potential to support immune health and maintain healthy blood pressure.
Porphyra is also rich in iron, containing about 88% of the recommended daily intake per 100 grams. This iron is also more easily absorbed by the body than other sources.
Laminaria is a kelp part of the brown algae family found along the coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This brown alga contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. Laminaria is used as food in many countries, especially in Japan, making a great addition to soups.
This type of kelp is highly nutritious, containing iodine, potassium, calcium, zinc, and iron. Laminaria has antioxidant properties and has also been used for centuries as a way to soothe intestinal discomfort. There is some science to back up this tradition as laminaria can help promote gut health by supporting gut barrier function.
Since it is so rich in iodine, Laminaria also helps to support healthy thyroid function. The kelp may also support immune function and act as a prebiotic.
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae, or a form of cyanobacteria. Spirulina has been used for centuries because of its health benefits, and it is still a common ingredient in many nutritious foods today.
Just one tablespoon of spirulina can provide four grams of protein, making it a worthy addition to your diet. This edible cyanobacteria also includes vitamin A, vitamin B, minerals like calcium and iron, carotenoids, antioxidants, and more. Spirulina is also the most abundant source of omega-6 fatty acids compared to all other algae forms.
Spirulina can be added to smoothies, energy bars, juices, and more, but it is often taken as a supplement in tablet, capsule, or powder form.
The health benefits of spirulina are plentiful, which is why many refer to this green stuff as a superfood. Research shows that spirulina's antioxidants and zinc content can help support your immune system. Regular intake of spirulina has the potential to support healthy cholesterol. Spirulina may also help boost your energy levels and potentially boost your mood.
Chlorella, another type of cyanobacteria, is also part of the blue-green algae family and grows in freshwater. This blue-green alga is produced on a large scale and used as a nutritional supplement.
Like spirulina, chlorella is also a great source of nutrients. Chlorella is packed with proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Chlorella can contain 70% dry weight protein and even has an amino acid content comparable to eggs, demonstrating just how highly nutritious this type of freshwater algae is.
Chlorella is rich in vitamin B12 and iron, making it a great supplement for anyone on a plant-based diet. Chlorella may just be one food of the future, providing such a high concentration of nutrients in such small amounts, but for now, this cyanobacterium makes for a great supplement. It is often found in liquid, powder, or tablet form and can be added to salad dressings, smoothies, baked goods, and more.
The nutrient density of chlorella means that it produces many health benefits. One of chlorella's most notable possible health benefits is its ability to support cognitive function during aging, including memory and motor skills. This is likely due to the large number of antioxidants that exist in chlorella. Since it is rich in a range of vitamins and nutrients, this futuristic superfood can also support a healthy immune system.
Nannochloropsis is a microalga that is related to brown algae. This microalga can be found in both freshwater and marine ecosystems. Nannochloropsis has been used for decades, in research into alternative energy. Today, the benefits of Nannochloropsis for human supplementation are more widely embraced.
Like other algae products, Nannochloropsis contains considerable amounts of amino acids and omega-6 fatty acids. Nannochloropsis is also the most abundant source of carotenoids amongst other forms of microalgae, providing it with strong antioxidant capabilities.
This species of algae contains some of the highest amounts of omega-3 out of any of the other species and is particularly rich in EPA. Nannochloropsis contains 100 times more EPA than other microalgae, making it a great supplement for this important fatty acid. With such high amounts of EPA omega-3 fatty acids, Nannochloropsis is highly beneficial in supporting heart health by helping to maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. EPA is also beneficial for supporting emotional wellness and an overall positive mood.
Nannochloropsis is the foundation for iwi’s omega-3 supplements. We produce this alga in desert habitats using sunlight, saltwater, and CO2. iwi produces this species of algae using highly sustainable methods, making it a great alternative to other less-sustainable forms of omega-3s like fish or krill.
See the Health Benefits of Algae for Yourself
Ultimately, with its high nutrient density, algae has a long list of health benefits. Containing large amounts of protein, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids, it is great for supporting multiple systems in your body. Discover just how much the different types of algae can benefit you and your overall health by including an algae supplement as part of your daily routine. iwi’s algae-based omega-3 supplement is a great place to start.
At iwi, we produce all-natural supplements that are specially formulated to provide you with the nutrients you need. Our omega-3 supplement harnesses the power of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6, -7, and -9 fatty acids to support healthy function in your brain, eyes, muscles, and heart. Explore our whole family of products to see how omega-3 can support your health.
Chlorella: Nutrition and possible health benefits | Medical News Today
Chronic pain can be debilitating and get in the way of your life, especially if it’s sacroiliac (SI) joint pain....
Chronic pain can be debilitating and get in the way of your life, especially if it’s sacroiliac (SI) joint pain. You may have explored many remedies to help you find relief.
At iwi, we are here to help you in all stages of your life. We made a commitment to help the global community, and we do that in two ways.
First, we provide you with the information you need to know to make the best choices for achieving your health goals. Secondly, we provide the information you need about algae omega-3 supplements, since our farm-grown algae is the single most sustainable source of omega-3 available.
We have your back if you want to maintain your heart health, immune function, or overall wellness.
Read below to learn about SI joint dysfunction, how it can affect your range of motion, and its common causes.
What Is SI Joint Pain?
SI joint dysfunction involves your sacroiliac joints, where your lower spine and pelvis meet.
The pain can start in your buttocks. You may have low back pain, which can extend down one or both legs. It may get worse when you’ve been sitting or standing for long periods of time.
You have two sacroiliac joints. These joints connect your spine to your hips on either side. These two joints are important because they provide support and stability.
With each step you take, your SI joints not only support your upper body, but also absorb the impact of each footfall. That’s why if you experience sacroiliac joint pain, it can have a significant impact on your daily life.
What Are the Symptoms of SI Joint Pain?
Are you experiencing pain in your lower back and glutes? Is it starting to radiate to either your lower hip, groin, or upper thigh? You may even experience lower back pain.
The pain could be one-sided or on both sides. If you’re experiencing numbness, tingling, or feel like your legs are about to buckle, this could be a sign of SI joint dysfunction.
Does your pain worsen when you sit, stand, sleep, walk, or even climb the stairs? Does it feel like there’s no relief?
These are all signs and symptoms of SI joint pain and can affect all areas of your life. Sometimes, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, and sacroiliitis or inflammation, is confused with sciatica or a lumbar disc herniation.
Your healthcare provider can help determine the source of your pain with a physical exam and x-ray. We are here to help with some tips and tricks to find comfort as you follow along with your healthcare provider’s guidance.
What Causes SI Pain?
There are several causes of sacroiliac pain:
- The ligaments are too tight or too loose from either a fall, injury, accident, or even pregnancy and childbirth
- The movement in your pelvis is not the same on both sides, so perhaps one of your legs is weaker than the other
- You have mis-alignment in one or both of your hips, or in your knees
How Do You Relieve SI Joint Pain?
Now that we have covered the basics of SI joint pain, it’s time to discuss how to find relief. If you are working with a chiropractor, physical therapist, or orthopedic surgeon, it can take time to find relief. But SI joint pain has different treatment options, and the solution may not look the same for everyone.
We hope to make it a little easier for you in the meantime and provide you with some possible help.
Back Exercises and Stretches
The good news is that moderate physical activity can help relieve SI joint pain. Always consult your healthcare provider for medical advice if you feel any worsening pain or discomfort from everyday activities.
Here are some ideas on exercises you can do to help:
- Hamstring stretches
- Hip abductor stretches
- Glute exercises
- Knee or both knees to chest stretch
- Quad stretches
We’ve all been there — life is busy and it feels impossible to hit the brakes, but all that go-go-go can impede your body’s ability to repair. What’s the best way to reset?
Slowing down and getting some rest can help your body reset and recharge so that you’re ready to take on your life again. Sometimes, when you're in pain, it’s best to take a much-deserved day off and rest for a few hours on the first day or two.
Place a pillow under your knees if you’re on your back, or between your legs if you’re on your side. Taking a day or two could help your SI joints and support your mental and physical wellness.
While it may not seem like it, light aerobic exercise can go a long way in helping SI joint pain. Speak with your chiropractic office or healthcare provider first to ensure you don’t overdo it.
Light exercise can help strengthen or loosen your SI joints, depending on their current state.
Doing some light yoga stretches can be a great way to strengthen your SI joints. It can help relieve those uncomfortable symptoms of SI joint pain and can help you get back to your day.
Some examples include:
- Child’s pose, which can help relieve stress on your lower back and hips
- Pigeon pose, which is great for stretching out your hip flexors and releasing tension in your lower back
- Cat-cow pose, which is a gentle and great way to stimulate blood flow to your back
- Bridge pose, which can help stretch your back muscles and relieve tension in your lower back
Another activity you can try is doing exercises in water. Since SI joints carry the brunt of your impact while walking, water exercises can be a great way to take off any extra pressure.
Doing a low-impact workout for your SI joints in the water can be therapeutic and relieve your SI joint pain. You can strengthen your joints gently without worrying about overdoing it.
Ice Packs, Heat Packs, and Nutritional Support
If you’re in pain and need immediate relief, one of the best things you can do is use ice, heat, or herbs that support blood flow, a balanced response to inflammation, and comfort.
If your joints are inflamed and swollen, especially in the days following an injury, ice can help soothe the area that’s troubling you.
If you have stiff joints and tight muscles or SI joints, you can use heat to help relax those areas for temporary soothing relief.
Herbal allies like turmeric (and its most famous active compound, curcumin), white willow bark, and gotu kola are a great over-the-counter option to help reduce your discomfort. Always consult a pharmacist to ensure that any new herb won’t conflict with any medication you’re currently taking.
Maintaining Joint Health With Omega-3s
We discussed several different ways to help ease your discomfort. These tips and tricks can be great to implement in your daily routine — but omega-3s can help even further.
Omega-3s are an important group of healthy fats your body needs to be able to do its job. Omega-3s play an important role in helping key functions, whether it’s supporting your brain function, heart health, immune function, or bodily wellness as a whole.
One of the main functions of omega-3s is to maintain joint function, especially when it comes to supporting healthy blood flow and an overall healthy inflammatory response. These are two integral parts of your joint health, so omega-3s can work to help maintain healthy and strong joints.
Two of the omega-3s, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are often associated with overall joint health, and can help support joint and muscle function and mobility.
Omega-3 Supplements To Support Healthy Joints
So, how do you add omega-3s into your daily routine, especially since your body can’t produce it on its own? There are two main ways: diet and supplement.
DHA and EPA are often found in fatty fish. If you’re willing to up your intake of fish, that can be a good way of incorporating more DHA and EPA into your diet.
Some people choose fish oil supplements, which contain the same nutrients the fatty fish does, but only require half as much work.
Other people reach for fish-free omega-3 supplements. It can be a great alternative for those who don’t want to incorporate more fish into their diet but still want to add more omega-3s. Certain fish-free omega-3 supplements like those derived from nannochloropsis algae have the added bonus of being the most sustainable choice for the planet, and providing omega-3 in an ideal form for the human body.
Better Living Starts Now: iwi Can Help You Meet Your Goals
SI joint pain may be a roadblock to your wellness goals, but once you know how it happens and what you can do to help soothe your symptoms, you’ll be back on the road to meeting your health goals in no time.
However, we wanted to make it a little easier for you, and to provide you with the information you need to help support your joint health and share our vegan joint supplement with you.
Whether it’s our omega-3 supplements or our blog, we want to help you take back better living. It starts now, with iwi.
One of the biggest challenges during pregnancy is trying to do everything right for the baby. Many parents worry about...
One of the biggest challenges during pregnancy is trying to do everything right for the baby. Many parents worry about their child’s development and what steps should be taken to support it. Fortunately, there is a source for some peace of mind! One of the most important steps you can take during pregnancy is to provide your baby with the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy. A prenatal vitamin may be the best way to do that.
Supporting your health and the growing baby is no light task. We here at iwi understand that and want to make sure you know everything you should look out for as you consider taking a prenatal vitamin.
What Are the Benefits of Prenatal Vitamins?
Prenatal vitamins provide several benefits during pregnancy. Pregnant women should obtain even higher amounts of regular daily nutrients when supporting a growing baby. However, this can be hard to do on your regular diet alone. Prenatal vitamins provide the support you need to reach your recommended daily amounts. Consider taking a prenatal multivitamin during pregnancy as they allow you to do the following:
- Obtain your daily requirements of vital nutrients
- Support the healthy development of your baby.
- Provide extra support to your body while you work to support your new little one
- Allow you to provide nutrients to the baby even during breastfeeding
What Nutrients Should You Take During Pregnancy?
A wide range of nutrients support fetal development, each offering its own benefits and influencing the growth and development of different systems in the body. The following are some of the most important nutrients you should receive during pregnancy.
Vitamins A Through D
There is a long list of vitamins that prove to be beneficial for your baby’s development during pregnancy. Vitamin A is important for aiding the formation of healthy skin and eyes, as well as aiding in bone growth. Vitamins B6 and B12 help form red blood cells and support the nervous system. Folate, another B vitamin, is also crucial for proper cell growth and function. Vitamin C promotes healthy teeth and gum development as well as immune function, and vitamin D promotes healthy bones, teeth, eyesight, and skin.
This essential nutrient is crucial for developing a baby’s bones and teeth while in the womb. It also has a role in supporting muscle, heart, and nerve development. If you do not take in enough calcium, your body will start to take what you have and give it to the baby, which can negatively impact your bone mass. During pregnancy, you should receive at least 1,000 mg of calcium daily.
Iron is one of the most important nutrients during pregnancy. A developing baby will receive all their nutrients through the blood. Iron supports the development of both the placenta and the fetus by contributing largely to the body’s blood production. The vital mineral helps produce myoglobin and hemoglobin, which are two proteins that allow red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body and to the baby.
Since blood volume doubles during pregnancy, women should receive at least 27mg of iron a day while pregnant. It helps to note that this number is 33% higher than necessary when not pregnant, a significantly higher amount that requires a large uptick in iron intake. A prenatal vitamin helps support this steep increase in daily need.
Folic acid is critical to developing the most important system in a baby, and you should start taking it as soon as possible. It is so important that some experts recommend taking folic acid up to three months before becoming pregnant in an ideal situation.
Folic acid is a critical component of the development of the neural tube, which eventually becomes the baby’s brain and spinal cord. This nutrient also helps minimize the risk of abnormalities in the brain or spinal cord. It is generally recommended that you take at least 400 micrograms of a folic acid supplement daily with the approval of your OB/GYN or healthcare provider.
Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids that make up the building blocks of many cells in the body. Two of the most important forms of omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are extremely important factors in the growth and development of your baby. It is recommended that pregnant women receive at least 200 milligrams of DHA per day for a healthy pregnancy.
DHA fatty acids are a critical component of the eyes and brain and are necessary to support the development of these two important systems. Meanwhile, EPA helps to support cognitive development in the baby. EPA is also a great addition to your nutrient intake during pregnancy because it can help to support positive emotional support for the mother, even after pregnancy.
Not all prenatal vitamins consider the importance of omega-3s in their formula. Fortunately, iwi’s prenatal vitamins are made with 25mg of EPA and 200mg of DHA fatty acids, making it much easier to get your recommended daily intake.
When Should You Take Prenatal Vitamins?
Prenatal vitamin supplements help support your baby’s development and are important to take throughout pregnancy. However, it is best to start taking prenatal vitamins before conception since nutrient levels often take time to rise, especially if you currently have any nutrient deficiencies.
Not everyone anticipates pregnancy, so if this is not possible, you should start taking the vitamins as soon as you find out you are pregnant to give your baby that extra support of key nutrients. A fetus undergoes significant development in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. During the first part of pregnancy, the baby’s spinal cord and brain are already developing, so taking these vitamins as soon as possible to provide extra support is very helpful.
It is even a good idea to take prenatal vitamins after the baby is born and throughout the breastfeeding process while maintaining a healthy diet. This way, you can continue providing your baby with essential nutrients to promote their healthy development.
While breastfeeding, women continue to benefit from a surplus of essential vitamins and nutrients. Prenatal vitamins are a great way to keep those nutrient levels high as you support your baby during their first part of life.
See the Powers of Prenatal Vitamins for Yourself
To support healthy fetal and early childhood development, you should be sure to get several important vitamins and nutrients from both a balanced diet and supplementation. Finding a vitamin that meets all your needs during pregnancy can be challenging. Fortunately, iwi’s prenatal supplement combines many of the nutrients that support the health and wellness of you and your baby during pregnancy.
With just two softgels a day, iwi’s prenatal supplements provide you with all the above nutrients and more. At iwi, we believe it should be easy for you to get the nutrients you need, especially when you need to support yourself and your developing baby. Try our supplements for yourself and experience the benefits of getting your necessary nutrients all from one place.
When Should You Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins? | Cleveland Clinic
Calcium - Consumer | National Institute for Health
Between TV commercials and self-promoting food labels, we are constantly told about many of the essential vitamins and nutrients we...
Between TV commercials and self-promoting food labels, we are constantly told about many of the essential vitamins and nutrients we should receive daily. However, there are various nutrients that we hear about less but are still very important for our general health.
Omega-3 is one example of a nutrient that is more important for your health than you might realize, and it is important that you are mindful about receiving enough of it before your body starts to tell you what you’re missing. If you are concerned that you do not receive enough omega-3 fatty acids in your daily diet, you should look out for a few signs.
What Is Omega-3?
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that make up the foundations of many cells in our bodies.
The body uses three main types of omega-3 fatty acids: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an omega-3 precursor, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The two most important of the three, EPA and DHA, are both long-chain fatty acids that offer the most benefits for systems in the body.
ALA acts as a precursor to DHA and EPA, as it is used by the body to create these two fatty acids. Although, the body does not create large amounts of DHA and EPA from ALA alone since it has very low conversion rates. In men, only about 8% of ALA is converted into EPA, while between just 0 and 4% is converted to DHA. In women, these rates are a bit higher, as about 21% of ALA is converted to EPA and approximately 9% to DHA.
Although there are many more dietary sources of ALA, the intake of ALA through diet is rarely enough to provide your body with the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids it needs. Therefore, it is vital that DHA and EPA omega-3s are a key part of your daily intake, either through diet or supplementation, to avoid a deficiency.
What Are the Benefits of Omega-3?
Omega-3s are present throughout the body and are important in many bodily functions. For example, DHA is found in the brain and eyes as it makes the foundation of many cells. EPA, on the other hand, plays a different role, as it produces eicosanoids, which serve a regulatory function in the body and help provide balance for many bodily systems. These two vital fatty acids provide the following benefits:
- Support heart health
- Support healthy fetal development
- Support brain development during childhood
- Maintain healthy cholesterol levels
- Support emotional wellness
- Aid in circulation
- Support joint health
- Maintain eye health
- Support energy levels
How Can I Tell If I Might Have an Omega-3 Deficiency?
Despite the importance that omega-3 fatty acids have in the body, not everyone obtains the necessary amounts through their diet. Research has shown that over 60% of adults and 95% of children may not consume enough omega-3s in their diet.
The recommended daily intake for omega-3 is 1.6g for men over 14 and 1.1g for women over 14. Because omega-3 is such a vital nutrient for fetal and childhood development, it is recommended that women receive at least 1.4g during pregnancy and lactation.
If you do not receive enough omega-3 fatty acids, you may see the effects through any of the following signs and symptoms.
Omega-3s are a vital source of energy in the body; without them, the effects are noticeable. These fatty acids help provide calories for energy which support general bodily function. They may also help support better sleep, and inadequate levels of omega-3s can lead to feelings of tiredness and fatigue.
2. Poor Memory
DHA has a strong presence in the brain, while EPA plays a vital role in supporting cognitive functions, like motor skills and memory. They also help support concentration and attentiveness. Low levels of omega-3 have also been associated with lower rates of success on visual memory tests. If you find yourself struggling to remember little things throughout the day, it is possible that you are not receiving enough of these important fatty acids.
3. Dry Skin
Your skin largely benefits from omega-3 fatty acids, as they help support the strength of the skin barrier and prevent moisture loss. Omega-3s can also help provide relief for a range of skin conditions. Therefore, a deficiency in omega-3s can result in dry or rough skin.
Dry or irritated skin can lead to various additional symptoms like blemishes, itchiness, redness, and flaking. You may want to talk to your healthcare provider if you experience any of these symptoms regularly or if you have noticed an unusual change in the health of your skin.
4. Mood Swings
Omega-3 fatty acids are helpful for their ability to support a positive mental outlook. DHA is highly concentrated in the brain, while EPA omega-3s can permeate through brain cell membranes and affect molecules in the brain.
As a result, both of these nutrients work together in order to support a healthy, positive mood. With a deficiency in omega-3s, this process may be unstable or imbalanced, leading to unsuspected shifts in your mood.
If you feel that your mood has been unpredictable or that it is less positive than usual, then you may not be receiving adequate amounts of omega-3s. Many factors may influence mental health, so talk to your healthcare provider if you notice any sudden shifts, but omega-3 intake may be a helpful start.
5. Poor Circulation
EPA and DHA omega-3s have a significant influence on circulatory health. Since EPA acts as a regulatory force in the body, it helps support healthy circulation. It also helps maintain a healthy balance of triglyceride levels in the blood, which are types of fat that can be harmful in excessive amounts. The eicosanoids that help regulate triglyceride levels also help maintain healthy blood pressure and support a regular heartbeat. All of these factors are vital for healthy blood flow.
Without this regulation in the body, your circulation may not be as strong as it could be, which can lead to weak or numb hands and feet. If you notice any of the above symptoms, you should talk to your doctor and consider increasing your omega-3 intake.
6. Joint Discomfort
One of the biggest benefits of consuming omega-3 fatty acids is support for joint health. Joint discomfort is more common as you age, but omega-3s can help support the flexibility of your joints while reducing stiffness, swelling, and discomfort. For those with joint discomfort, omega-3s can even provide some relief. However, when the body does not receive enough omega-3s, you are less likely to see these benefits.
How Can I Get More Omega-3s?
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or think you have an omega-3 deficiency, you should start by consulting your doctor about the steps you should take to support your overall health. A simple step you can take to improve your omega-3 levels is to increase your daily intake of omega-3s. You can maintain some peace of mind by including any of the following sources of these fatty acids in your daily diet.
Fish is the main and most popular source of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon, mackerel, trout, tuna, and other fatty, oily fish are all great sources of the two fatty acids. However, some fish may have higher levels of mercury or other contaminants than others, which may cause concern for some people. These fish include mackerel, swordfish, and bigeye tuna.
Fish and krill oil are two additional sources of omega-3 that are often sought for their convenience. These oils are directly extracted from fish and often taken by a supplement or a spoonful.
For those on a plant-based diet or those who dislike the taste of fish, obtaining the daily recommended intake of omega-3s through fish alone is unrealistic. Fortunately, there is an option available to suit any lifestyle! Algae is a rich source of omega-3 and one of the only plant-based sources you can find. In fact, fish contain so many omega-3s because their diet contains such large amounts of algae.
iwi provides an algae supplement from the species Nannochloropsis, which has the highest omega-3 content of any species. This form of algae, in combination with polar lipids included in iwi’s supplements, allows omega-3s to be absorbed by the body 50% better than from other sources, like krill or fish oil. Plus, because it is grown in saltwater pools in the desert, it is completely free of the harmful contaminants and toxins that cause concern in seafood.
One of the best parts is that you can avoid those uncomfortable fishy burps. Algae supplements have no taste or scent, so you can focus completely on getting the nutrients you need instead of taking another breath mint.
How Long Does It Take To Correct Omega-3 Deficiency?
If you experience a deficiency of omega-3, you should start including the nutrient into your diet daily, whether through food or supplementation. Through the help of supplements, omega-3s can start being absorbed by the body in just a matter of hours.
However, it may take some time for your omega-3 levels to restore to normal amounts and reverse the signs of deficiency, which is why it is crucial to supplement the nutrient routinely. With a consistent intake, you may start to see a relief of deficiency symptoms within six weeks to six months.
Start Boosting Your Omega-3 Intake
Omega-3s are crucial nutrients that support several functions in the body, but not everyone receives as many of these nutrients as they should.
At iwi, we make omega-3 intake easy. Our omega-3 supplement contains 150mg of EPA and 100mg of DHA, so you receive an appropriate amount of both essential fatty acids.
If you are concerned about not receiving enough omega-3s through your current diet, try iwi today. Just taking one of these softgels per day can help you maintain healthy omega-3 levels and enjoy peace of mind. Explore our complete family of omega-3 supplements to see thevariety of benefits that these fatty acids can have for your overall health and wellness.
Study finds most Americans low in omega-3 fatty acids, could impact mood | Nutra Ingredients
Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Health Professional Fact Sheet | National Institute for Health
Our immune systems are made up of an expansive network of cells that function throughout the body to protect us...
Our immune systems are made up of an expansive network of cells that function throughout the body to protect us from disease and harmful pathogens. Despite the role cells and systems play inside the body, the first line of defense is on the outside. Our skin is one of the most important parts of our immune systems, working to keep out bacteria and keep us healthy before they ever have the chance to make us sick.
Ultimately, the skin is a deeply intricate system that protects us from outside invaders. iwi is here to help provide some insight into how the skin plays a key role in your immune system — and how you can help it function.
What Is the Skin?
Skin is the largest organ in the body, serving as a protective barrier against germs and the outside elements. Although we may often consider the skin to be everything we can see covering the outside of our body, it is a bit more complex.
The skin is made up of three different layers that each serve their own detailed functions. These are the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis. Your skin is made up of approximately 19 million cellswhile serving as a home for nerve endings, blood vessels, and hair follicles. Altogether, the skin is anything but simple.
What Functions Does the Skin Serve?
The skin serves many functions, from regulating your body temperature to protecting your body from bacteria and other germs. Each of the following layers serves its own important functions:
The epidermis is the top layer of skin we can easily see and touch. The epidermis does the following:
- Protects against outside bacteria, germs, sun, and heat.
- Constantly creates new skin cells to replenish old skin cells shed daily.
- Contains important immune cells that fight off potential infection
- Provides skin color based on the amount of melanin in the body.
Underneath the epidermis, the dermis makes up the middle layer of the skin. The dermis serves even more functions than the layer above it, and it makes up 90% of the skin’s thickness. The following are key functions that the dermis handles:
- Contains collagen and elastin, which are proteins that help make the skin strong and flexible.
- Holds the roots of the hair follicles and grows hair.
- Maintains nerve receptors that support your sense of touch, allowing you to feel temperature and texture, as well as pain.
- Produces oil through oil glands that reside in the dermis.
- Houses sweat glands that release sweat through pores in the skin to help regulate body temperature.
- Transfers nutrients from blood vessels to the dermis to promote healthy skin.
The hypodermis is the fatty bottom layer of skin. The fat in the hypodermis is vital for supporting several of the body’s functions and is responsible for doing the following:
- Provides a layer of cushion that protects muscles and bones from potential injury in a fall or accident.
- Serves as a pathway for nerves and blood vessels reaching into the dermis.
- Regulates body temperature in hot or cold environments.
- Contains connective tissue that attaches the skin to the muscles and bones.
What Is the Immune System?
The immune system is a comprehensive network of cells, organs, and tissues that defends your body against potential infection by protecting against bacteria, viruses, and other invaders. The immune system is made up of white blood cells, lymph nodes, the spleen, the tonsils, the thymus, bone marrow, the stomach, and the skin. These components work together to prevent pathogens from entering the body and attacking them with immune cells if they do.
How Does the Skin Play a Role in the Immune System?
Altogether, the skin is a complicated, necessary organ. The biggest role that the skin plays for the body is acting as a shield against outside threats. However, this shield has a lot more going on underneath the surface, as the ways that the skin keeps out invaders involve some very complex processes.
Both the epidermis and dermis play a role in regulating immune function and preventing outside pathogens from entering the body. Each layer has its own types of cells that fight off potential infection.
Langerhans cells act as some of the first responders to pathogens that reach the body by approaching the skin. The epidermis contains high levels of these cells, which activate in response to potential threats. Langerhans cells are a type of dendritic cell, which are immune cells that alert the immune system of the presence of harmful pathogens.
When a threat is detected, the immune system ignites cells like T cells and B cells which jump into action to stop and fight bacteria or viruses. Langerhans cells play a constant role in the body, consistently monitoring for threats and signaling to the body to produce an immune response if they arrive.
These cells help prevent infection and play a key role in beginning the overall immune response. Unlike other dendritic cells, Langerhans cells do not move to the lymph nodes, instead signaling to other cells which make the journey.
Langerhans cells are just part of the expansive range of cells in the skin. Both the dermis and the epidermis support all kinds of immune cells that work to fight off viruses and bacteria. Some of the most important cells that exist in the epidermis are the aforementioned Langerhans cells and T cells, which respond first to potential infection.
Keratinocytes and melanocytes are other, more abundant cells on the outermost portion of the skin. Melanocytes primarily produce melanin that influences skin color, while keratinocytes are crucial for maintaining the skin's strength, protecting against ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, and catalyzing skin repair. Underneath the epidermis are even more vital immune cells.
The dermis contains a significantly larger number of immune cells, which include the following:
- Dendritic cells
- Mast cells
- Natural killer (NK) cells
- B cells
Dendritic cells initiate the immune response by sharing information about the invading pathogen, specifically antigens, to other cells in the immune system so they can respond by producing antibodies. Basophils, eosinophils, and neutrophils are all white blood cells called granulocytes that are among the first cells to respond to an infection.
Mast cells are also blood cells, but they remain in tissues in the body rather than spending most of their time in the circulatory system. B cells are white blood cells that are responsible for producing antibodies. Natural killer cells start to kill unrecognizable cells even before the production of antibodies. Once the immune system recognizes a pathogen, macrophages act to destroy the threat. Macrophages surround, or “eat,” foreign cells and pathogens as part of the immune response.
Wound healing is a crucial function of the skin’s immune system and is a strong example of the skin’s immune response capabilities. Since wounds allow easy entry for bacteria and pathogens, the skin and its cells rush to close and heal the wound as quickly as possible.The wound healing process involves four phases: hemostasis, inflammation, and remodeling. During these phases, the cells in the skin tissue work to close the wound and repair the skin barrier.
Immune cells are involved throughout the entire wound healing process to compensate for the breach in the barrier and quickly respond to threats. Blood clots around the wound to close the opening during the first phase. The second phase involves introducing immune cells to the area to defend against pathogens and prevent infection. These cells all function together to protect the entrance to the skin.
In the third stage, skin cells start to replace the clot along with key members of the skin immune system, like keratinocytes. Lastly, in the remodeling phase, many immune cells begin to exit the wound while macrophages help to remove scar tissue and Langerhans cells begin to take their place in the epidermis.
How Can You Support the Skin’s Immune System?
Your skin is a resilient and regenerative organ, able to withstand cuts, burns, and other damage while defending your body’s other organs against external threats. Despite the skin’s resilience, you should still take the proper steps to take care of it and maintain its strength.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun damage your skin, especially during prolonged exposure. Radiation from the sun can cause keratinocytes to work overtime, alter immune cell response, and even suppress the production of important immune cells, like T cells. As a result, you should protect yourself against the sun to protect your system.
Any time you plan to spend an extended period of time in the sun, you should be sure to apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. When spending several hours outside, you should reapply sunscreen every two hours for the most effective support.
Hydration is very important to the health of your skin. Dehydrated skin is not as resilient as moisturized skin, as dry skin is less flexible and can crack and allow pathogens to enter the body. These pathogens can lead to infection, which may show in redness or inflamed areas on the skin. Prevention is the best method for treating dry skin.
Consider applying a lotion after you shower to trap in hydration and rejuvenate your skin, at least daily. It is harder to maintain hydrated skin in dry climates and during the winter, so you should work extra hard to stay moisturized whenever you are up against these conditions and add to your moisturizing routine.
Obtain Crucial Nutrients
To support the skin’s function in the immune system, it is essential to receive a range of nutrients that strengthen the skin barrier and promote the development of necessary immune cells. Vitamins A, B3, C, and E are all vital for your skin. Vitamins A and C help support collagen production in your skin for strength and flexibility. Vitamin A is found in foods like carrots and squash, while vitamin C is found in green leafy vegetables, peppers, and citrus fruits.
Vitamin B3 is great for supporting hydrated skin, while vitamin E promotes hydrated skin and produces antioxidants that support healthy aging. Vitamin B3 is found in many plants and animal-based foods like red meat, poultry, brown rice, and nuts. Vitamin E is found in some plant-based oils, nuts, and seeds.
Other important nutrients for your skin are omega-3 fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated fats that help create the foundations of many cells in our body. These healthy fats can support hydrated skin and healthy skin cells, thus working to maintain a strong skin barrier.
The most popular source of omega-3 fatty acids is fatty fish, like salmon, trout, and tuna, but they can also be found abundantly in algae, the richest plant-based source. Algae may even provide the most efficient source of omega-3s. For example, iwi’s algae-based Omega-3 supplement, with the addition of polar lipids, allows omega-3s to be absorbed by the body at a rate 50% better than omega-3s from other sources.
Support Your Skin’s Function
The skin is a crucial part of your immune system but also has many other vital functions, so you should push to support it at every level. If you have any concerns about the health of your skin, you should talk to your healthcare provider about seeing a dermatologist. At the same time, it always helps to get the vitamins and nutrients you need to help your body maintain strong and healthy skin.
At iwi, we help you obtain vital nutrients to support the health of your body’s important systems, including your skin, all with the help of our algae-based supplements. Our omega-3 supplement is rich with nutrients that can help support the strength of your skin and promote healthy immune functioning. To provide even more support for your body, try our self-care bundle and experience all the benefits you can gain from the power of algae.
Skin: Layers, Structure and Function | Cleveland Clinic
How Langerhans Cells Protect You From Harm | VeryWell Health
When you take an oral supplement, you may not think too deeply about the construction of the pill itself —...
When you take an oral supplement, you may not think too deeply about the construction of the pill itself — but it can make a difference.
Oral supplements usually come in the form of a tablet or softgel capsule; surprisingly enough, each offers its own benefits. Although it may seem like an insignificant decision or a simple preference from an outside perspective, several factors determine how a supplement is created.
Between tablets, hard-shell capsules, and softgels, each has its pros and cons. At iwi, all our softgel capsules are thoughtfully made. We choose to provide our formula through softgel pills for several reasons — read on as we explain them.
What Are Softgels?
Softgels are a type of supplement coated with either gelatin or soft plant-based material. They differ from other pills in that they provide nutrients in a liquid form. These pills are soft to the touch and have a small degree of flexibility, especially when squeezed.
Softgels come in various shapes and sizes depending on the nutrient and the recommended dosage. The coating of the pills has no taste or odor, save for any smell that may come from the active ingredients inside. Many softgels can be made without sugar, animal products, GMOs, and gluten, making them suitable for various lifestyles.
Take softgels the same way you would take any capsule or tablet — swallowing the capsule with a few ounces of water or juice. As with any supplement, follow the instructions on the label and do not take more than the recommended dosage.
How Do Softgel Capsules Work?
Since softgels are made from a soft material, they are easier to swallow than other supplements. The soft coating is made with either gelatin or plant material that contains a protein that is easily digestible by the stomach.
Once they reach the stomach, the outer coating of softgels quickly dissolves and begins releasing nutrients into the bloodstream.
These nutrients are released in just a few minutes. Softgels provide easier access to the nutrients than other oral supplements since the fill material is already in liquid form and does not need to be broken down further by the stomach. The coating is the only part of the capsule that needs to be dissolved by the stomach and has no aftertaste.
Softgel pills only work if they are swallowed whole. Do not bite, chew, or crush the softgel capsules. Otherwise, your body may not absorb the nutrients properly.
What Are the Benefits of Softgel Pills?
Because softgel pills break down so easily in the stomach, they offer many benefits. The coating also provides additional benefits before the supplement reaches the stomach and allows for easier ingestion and dosage measurement.
The material used to make softgel capsules is typically antioxidant, meaning that the contents inside are protected from factors like oxidation and UV rays. As a result, softgel capsules protect the nutrients inside from light, air, and even humidity.
When you take a nutritional supplement, you expect your body to receive the dosage of nutrients listed on the label. However, due to the varying bioavailability of some supplement ingredients, your body may not absorb all of the nutrients you ingest. On the bright side, softgels increase the bioavailability of nutrients inside, more so than other pills like capsules and tablets.
At iwi, our softgel capsules allow us to provide a nutrient-rich omega-3 supplement while ensuring maximum nutrient absorption. Since our algae-based omega-3 formulation provides at least 50% better absorption of omega-3s than other sources, we do not want these benefits to go to waste, which is why our supplements consist of easily digestible plant-based gel capsules.
Oils and Fat-Soluble Supplements
Softgels are the only form of oral supplement conducive to holding a liquid substance. This makes softgels the best choice for taking oils and fat-soluble supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids. Placing these supplements in a digestible coating allows the nutrients in the inner fill to be easily delivered to the stomach, where they are absorbed.
This provides a great alternative to taking oil supplements by the spoonful because no measuring is involved. Every capsule is pre-measured for the right dosage. Your only concern is to follow the instructions for daily dosage amounts accordingly.
What Are the Drawbacks of Softgel Pills?
Softgels have very few drawbacks, but depending on the type of pill, they may pose a problem for some lifestyles. Fortunately, the drawbacks are not unavoidable — they just require a bit more vigilance.
It is crucial to note that this is not the case for all softgel pills, but most softgel pills are made from gelatin, which is derived from animals. This dosage form can be a drawback for many, like vegans and vegetarians. If you follow a plant-based lifestyle, double-check the softgel supplement's construction before you take it.
Fortunately, individuals who avoid animal products still have the option to take softgel capsules that are made from plant-based ingredients. All iwi softgel supplements are made without gelatin and are 100% plant-based. Non-gelatin capsules are typically made with some form of starch derived from plants.
Although softgel pills can withstand environmental factors like UV rays and humidity, the substances themselves may not allow for as long a shelf-life as other supplement forms. Because softgel pills contain nutrients in a liquid form instead of powder or dried botanicals, they often lose potency and expire sooner than the other supplements.
Which Are Better, Softgels, Tablets, or Hard-Shell Capsules?
Softgels, tablets, and hard-shell capsules are the three main oral dosage forms of supplements. Now that we’ve talked about the pros and cons of softgels, let’s do a quick review of other types of supplements for a more complete understanding.
Tablets provide multiple benefits, as they have the longest shelf-life of any of the three forms and the highest nutrient density. Tablets are made from tightly compacted granulated or powder ingredients and may be chewable or non-chewable.
Because they are so tightly compact, they can pack more nutrients in a smaller pill than the other forms. On the other hand, because tablets are for dried powders, the types of nutrients that can be taken and absorbed in tablet form are limited.
These supplements can be either coated or uncoated. They can sometimes be coated for improved taste or easier ingestion. Coated supplements can also protect the active ingredients in the pill from stomach acid so that they are not released until it reaches the small intestine.
Although they are more shelf-stable, the hard compacted powder of tablets allows them to break more easily than other supplements.
These capsules are used for medications and supplements that can be delivered in dry forms like a powder. Capsules consist of two halves bonded together in the middle to hold the proper dosage. Although these capsules are generally durable, they can be easily pulled apart if tampered with.
Encapsulation is great for medications or supplements that benefit from time-release or are formulated with two different compounds.
As for drawbacks, hard-shell capsules may have a shorter shelf-life and respond poorly to environmental factors, like humidity. Additionally, they are often larger than other oral supplements, which can make for an unpleasant experience trying to swallow them, even with plenty of water.
Each of the three offers its own benefits and drawbacks. In most cases, the type of pill you use will depend on the nutrient you take and which form provides the most reasonable delivery method. For example, a tablet or hard-shell capsule is generally not a good option for an oil or liquid supplement. Similarly, although softgel pills provide the most effective delivery systems for nutrients, they are not ideal for every dietary supplement.
Take Out the Guesswork from Your Supplement
Softgel pills offer multiple benefits over tablets and capsules, including easier ingestion and increased bioavailability, allowing you to get the most out of your supplement. Softgel encapsulation may cause problems for some lifestyles as some pills are coated with gelatin or other animal products, but fortunately, there are alternatives. With iwi, you do not have to worry.
When you take any iwi supplement, you can trust that the supplement is entirely plant-based, from the ingredients to the softgel capsules, and you never have to guess whether there are animal derivatives. Ouromega-3 supplement is no different.
The softgel capsule provides the best delivery method for the nutrients within this formula of omega-3, -6,-7, and -9 fatty acids. Rich in these vital nutrients, this supplement is an excellent choice to support your brain, heart, eye, and joint health. To learn more about the benefits of iwi products, explore our collection.
High Quality Softgel Products | Captek Softgel
What Are Softgels? Tips on how to take Softgel Capsules | World Healthcare Pharma
There is no more crucial time to receive the right nutrition than when you are supporting two people at once....
There is no more crucial time to receive the right nutrition than when you are supporting two people at once. Taking a prenatal vitamin is a great choice for providing health benefits for you and your baby. Pregnancy can provide a lot of stress, as you want to be sure you are doing the best you can to support the health and development of your baby.
Choosing the right prenatal vitamin can go a long way toward offering some peace of mind. If you are looking for a vegan prenatal vitamin, it may be tough to find one that has all of the nutrients you are looking for — without animal products.
Fortunately, there are still great options available. By keeping an eye out for a few critical ingredients, you can be on your way to choosing a vegan prenatal vitamin that will provide you and your baby with the nutrients you need.
What Nutrient Is Most Common in Prenatal Vitamins?
When comparing options for prenatal vitamins, you are likely to repeatedly come across omega-3 fatty acids as a common, significant nutrient on the ingredient labels. Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fats that make up cell membranes and tissues throughout the body.
Because they are so abundant in the body, it is important to receive a healthy amount of fatty acids through diet or supplementation, especially during pregnancy. A sufficient intake of omega-3 fatty acids helps maintain the health of many systems in the body.
There are three main types of omega-3 fatty acids:
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is technically an omega-3 precursor
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
All three of these nutrients are necessary for your body, but they are not equally simple to obtain. ALA is considered an essential fat because your body is not able to produce the nutrient on its own. ALA is the most abundant omega-3 fat in a standard western diet since it is found in many foods, like nuts, seeds, and plant oils. Because of this, ALA does not require supplementation.
EPA and DHA are less common but are easily found in fish, fish oil, and other types of seafood. The body can produce EPA using ALA and can then use EPA to produce DHA, but only a very small percentage of ALA can be converted into EPA. Since your body is not able to produce large amounts of EPA or DHA, it is crucial to incorporate sources of these two fatty acids into your diet or supplement routine.
What Should I Look for in a Vegan Prenatal Vitamin?
When looking for a prenatal vitamin, there is a lot to consider, from the nutrients it contains to how well your body will be able to access those nutrients. It may take a bit of additional research, but with the right amount of effort, you can find a vitamin that will provide you with all the nutrients you and your baby need. The following are the five things you should look for in a vegan prenatal vitamin.
1. Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
DHA is one of the three most common omega-3 fatty acids. This fatty acid is one of the most vital nutrients for supporting a healthy pregnancy, as DHA can help support healthy brain development in the baby.
Omega-3s are the building blocks of many cells in the body, and DHA is found abundantly in the eyes. As a result, including DHA as part of a supplement during pregnancy can also help support the healthy development of a baby’s eyes. Because of its many benefits during fetal development, you should make sure to incorporate this nutrient during your pregnancy.
The body can convert this fatty acid from EPA, but not in large amounts. As a result, you need to obtain DHA from either supplementation or directly from your diet to maintain recommended levels of the nutrient. Unfortunately, DHA is most often found in fish, so you should look out for fish products in any prenatal vitamin you consider to ensure that you choose a vitamin that is vegan.
2. Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)
During pregnancy, DHA offers several benefits for supporting the health and development of the baby. However, the health of the mother is just as important. A prenatal vitamin should also include a healthy amount of EPA omega-3s, thanks to their long list of potential benefits for one’s health and well-being.
EPA is associated with several health benefits. Most notably, it can help support healthy blood pressure and an overall healthy heart. Pregnancy can also be a stressful time for a variety of reasons. Although it cannot provide a cure for your stress, EPA has been shown to support a positive mood.
3. Zero Fish
This point deserves plenty of emphasis — and its own section!
It is well-accepted that omega-3s make a significant and beneficial addition to any prenatal vitamin, but most sources of omega-3s are not plant-based. Although many plant-based sources of omega-3 are rich in ALA, there are few that provide both DHA and EPA.
DHA and EPA are most often found together in fish, and in few other sources, so a prenatal vitamin should contain adequate amounts of both. The most common fish sources of fatty acids include anchovies, mackerel, and salmon. A common ingredient in supplements is fish oil. Look out for all of these names and products as you start the vitamin shopping process.
If you are on the hunt for a vegan prenatal vitamin, you should check labels twice to make sure they do not contain any fish or fish oils. Fish are often seen as the best source for omega-3s, but there are other options. If you are looking for a plant-based supplement that avoids fish altogether, then consider an algae-based supplement.
Algae is rich in both DHA and EPA omega-3s. Fish maintain their high omega-3 levels through algae intake — you can do the same.
4. Absorption Capability
Your prenatal vitamin can be packed with great omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, but it will not matter at all if your body does not actually absorb any of the nutrients. You are missing out on a large portion of the potential benefits when you take a vitamin that does not have bioavailable nutrients (meaning nutrients that your body can easily access and absorb).
Therefore, when choosing a supplement, you should consider whether the nutrients are easily absorbed by the body for maximum potential. For example, omega-3s make an excellent addition to a prenatal supplement, but some are more easily absorbed than others.
Omega-3 fatty acids from algae-based supplements are absorbed by the body more quickly than those from fish sources. When choosing an algae-based supplement, you can trust that you are maximizing the number of nutrients that you receive and that the ingredients on the label are not just for show.
5. Included Nutrients
Omega-3s are an undoubtedly important ingredient in any prenatal vitamin, but a wide variety of other nutrients support a healthy pregnancy. During pregnancy, the body undergoes many changes, providing a new baby with nutrients and supporting growth.
All of this change and effort can take its toll, so it is important to receive a diverse set of nutrients to support the health of the mother and the child. As you search for a vitamin, be sure to choose one that includes many important vitamins and minerals you will need.
At iwi, our prenatal multivitamin incorporates many excellent nutrients to support the healthy development of your baby. These vitamins include methyl folate, vitamin D3, iron, and vitamin K2 among many others. Each of these vitamins also provides its own list of benefits during pregnancy.
Methyl folate helps support the normal development of the fetus throughout pregnancy. Vitamin D helps support the mother’s immune health and bone strength and can play a key role in supporting healthy bone development in the child. Iron helps support healthy levels of the mineral in the blood and promotes healthy production of extra blood for the baby. A woman’s blood volume nearly doubles during pregnancy, so iron is an obvious choice to support all those additional red blood cells. Similarly, vitamin K supports healthy blood flow. Of course, these nutrients are just part of the many that support a healthy pregnancy.
Other vital nutrients in our prenatal vitamin are:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B12
- Omega-6 fatty acids
End Your Search for a Vegan Prenatal Vitamin
Choosing the right prenatal vitamin can be stressful, and it is entirely understandable. You want to do all you can to ensure that you and your baby remain healthy during this crucial time. Thankfully, by knowing what to look for and keeping an eye out for a few key ingredients, you can find a vitamin that will give you and your baby what you need. If you want to avoid the stress of finding a vegan supplement that packs in a ton of nutrients, look no further than iwi’s Prenatal multivitamin.
iwi makes a variety of entirely plant-based, sustainably sourced omega-3 supplements, including ones that can help support a healthy pregnancy. Try our Prenatal multivitamin complete with omega-3 fatty acids and other great nutrients that support your health and the healthy development of your baby.
Omega-3 is one of the most foundational nutrients in your body and can be found in cell membranes. When consumed...
Omega-3 is one of the most foundational nutrients in your body and can be found in cell membranes. When consumed through diet or supplementation, these nutrients can start to absorb into your bloodstream within just a few hours, but they can stay in your system for much longer. Varying sources of omega-3 can also interact with your body differently.
Omega-3 nutrients are very effective in supporting many bodily systems, like the heart, brain, joints, and eyes. By keeping in mind how omega-3 works and what the best sources are, you can stay a step ahead in maintaining healthy levels of this nutrient.
What Is Omega-3?
Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fats that support the development of cells in our body and promote multiple health benefits. These polyunsaturated fats have an important role in several bodily systems and are an essential part of our diet or supplement intake. The three most common omega-3 fatty acids are:
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- Omega-3 precursor, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
All three of these fatty acids should be a part of your daily diet. Of the above omega-3s, ALA is the only essential fatty acid, meaning that it cannot be made by the body and must be obtained through one’s diet. Fortunately, ALA is the most abundant form of omega-3s since it exists in many foods, including nuts, seeds, and oils. As a result, ALA does not require supplementation.
The other two forms of omega-3, DHA and EPA, are considered non-essential since the body can produce them on its own. The body converts ALA into EPA and then converts the EPA into DHA. However, the body can only convert a small percentage of ALA into EPA and DHA. Because the body can only create small amounts of these two important nutrients, you should prioritize incorporating your omega-3 fatty acids into your daily nutrient intake either through diet or supplementation.
What Are the Main Sources of Omega-3?
A variety of foods contain either ALA or DHA or EPA. ALA is the most abundant form of omega-3 in a standard diet. Some of the best sources of ALA are:
- Chia seeds
- Olive oil
Although these sources are rich in ALA, none contain DHA or EPA, which are important to receive through your diet. Most sources of EPA and DHA are seafood. Some of the best sources of these two fatty acids are:
There are very few plant-based sources of DHA and EPA omega-3s, but algae is a great option for those on a plant-based diet because they are rich in both nutrients.
Altogether, regardless of the source, experts recommend that adults obtain 1.1 g of omega-3s daily for women and 1.6 g for men. You may benefit from additional support if you find it hard to obtain this recommended amount through the above sources alone.
How Long Does Omega-3 Stay in Your System?
Once taken in through food or supplement, omega-3s enter your bloodstream within about 4 hours. After 24 hours, the nutrients penetrate red blood cell membranes to be carried to parts of the body where they are needed most.
Omega-3s and omega-6s are incorporated in cell membranes and can last inside these cells for quite some time. Omega-3s stay in your system anywhere from about six weeks to six months. The amount of omega-3s that stay in your system also depends on the amount you receive through diet or supplementation.
If your body is in strong need of omega-3s, it will use the nutrients more quickly, and fewer fatty acids will remain in the body. However, if you maintain a consistent intake of omega-3 fatty acids, your body will be able to replace the omega-3s used for everyday functions. Your levels of omega-3 nutrients in the body will also depend on how much your body can convert from ALA sources.
Therefore, it is important to keep a steady diet or supplement routine that includes an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids so that your body is never running in a deficit and using more of the nutrients than it is taking in.
Another key factor that affects the omega-3 in your system is the bioavailability and absorption rates of the nutrients in the foods you consume. For example, omega-3s from algae can take different amounts of time to start to work, be carried through the body, and leave the body compared to omega-3s from fish oil. Omega-3s that come from algae are absorbed at least 50% more efficiently than omega-3s from fish, which means that the same amount of omega-3s would be absorbed more quickly and enter the bloodstream sooner.
Altogether, the amount of time that omega-3 stays in your system can vary widely. Regardless, it is a good idea to maintain a daily intake of omega-3s to constantly replenish the nutrients in your body as they are used to support your body’s everyday functions.
Is Omega-3 Effective?
The short answer to this is yes, omega-3 has been shown to be effective in supporting several bodily processes. A steady intake of omega-3s can have a strong impact throughout the body. Although ALA is found abundantly in many foods and is important for the body, most of the positive health effects of omega-3 fatty acids come from EPA and DHA.
With the help of consistent dietary intake of omega-3s or the use of a supplement, omega-3s can start to build up in the body relatively quickly. However, it may still take some time for the fatty acids to start providing their full benefits. It can take anywhere from six weeks to six months for the nutrients to build to the point where they will start to influence your mood or other bodily functions.
Once the body obtains a sufficient amount of omega-3s, you may start to see several benefits. Omega-3s are considered effective for supporting the health of your heart, brain, joints, and eyes.
Omega-3 fatty acids are relatively well-known for their ability to support heart health. Omega-3s promote heart health in multiple ways. A regular intake of all three fatty acids can support healthy levels of cholesterol. At the same time, a diet rich in omega-3s can support healthy blood pressure. EPA serves a regulatory role in the body and helps systems maintain consistent, healthy operating procedures.
A steady intake of omega-3s, specifically EPA and DHA, can support your brain function. These fatty acids can support both cognitive function and mental wellness. DHA and EPA can maintain proper cognitive functioning, including factors like motor skills and memory. EPA has also been known to support a positive mood and overall emotional wellness.
Because of its important role in brain health, DHA is also an important nutrient to include in your diet during pregnancy, as it works to support healthy brain development and overall fetal growth in children before birth.
Although omega-3s are not said to cure any condition, they can help support the health of the joints by soothing any tightness or tension. As a result, omega-3 fatty acids are great for promoting improved mobility and can provide some relief for individuals even as they age.
DHA is one of the many fats that can be found in the eye. Including DHA into your diet on a regular basis provides additional support to the eye and helps maintain healthy eye function, supporting both one’s vision and the physical health of the eye. Again, DHA is an effective nutrient during pregnancy because it can promote the healthy development of the child’s eyes.
If you feel that you do not see the benefits of omega-3s in your daily routine, it is possible you are still not receiving large enough amounts of DHA and EPA in your diet. Fortunately, there is a proper solution for not receiving enough of these crucial nutrients.
Support Your Body with Omega-3s
Omega-3s are highly-effective nutrients that support the healthy function of many processes throughout the body, and it is only right that you provide your body with the nutrients it needs.
Omega-3s can last in the body for a considerable amount of time, but if you do not maintain a consistent intake of the vital nutrients, then the omega-3 levels in your body may start to decrease, reducing the number of benefits you may see. However, with iwi’s omega-3 supplement, it is easy to maintain a healthy, daily dosage of omega-3s and other beneficial nutrients, like omega-6s, omega-7s, and omega-9s.
At iwi, our goal is to provide easy access to vital nutrients through effective but sustainable supplements. The incredible natural benefits of algae power our omega-3 supplement. Algae is the best plant-based source of EPA and DHA omega-3s, providing a source that is both easily absorbable by the body and good for the environment. At iwi, we are proud to produce a wide range of all-natural, algae-based supplements that support your overall health and well-being. Explore iwi’s complete family of products to see the full potential of plants.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Health Professional Fact Sheet | National Institutes of Health
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Some FAQs | University of Wisconsin School of Medicine