Thursday, December 30, 2010

Alpha and Omega-3

Every morning for years, I've taken a tablespoon of ground flax seed stirred into a cup of water, along with my other supplements. Gotta get those omega-3's if I want to slow the onset of Alzheimer's. It runs in my family, and I'm already forgetful enough as it is. When the folks from Ascenta, a natural health products company, contacted me about reviewing their NutraVege omega-3 supplement, I jumped at the chance.

NutraVege comes in oil form, and it derives its omega-3 source from the echium plant. According the company, echium oil contains the omega-3 Stearidonic acid (SDA), which readily converts to EPA. EPA is what alpha-linolenic acid must be converted into in order to play a biological role in the body. Echium oil converts to EPA at a rate of approximately 20 percent compared to 3.28 percent for flax.

In other words, echium oil provides a better source of essential omega-3's. And that sounds pretty good to me.

The recommended dose of NutraVege is two teaspoons daily, which equals about 80 calories. I only take in 30 calories from my tablespoon of ground flax seed. So that's one downside to the product. I'm short and tiny, and if I want to stay this size, my daily calorie intake isn't supposed to exceed 1697 calories per day. And I'm a girl who likes to eat. I prefer my precious calories in food form, but I realize the importance of taking in a good source of omega-3's.

The oil is citrus flavored and pretty darn tasty. But it does feel a little strange drinking a shot of straight-up oil. However, I'd buy more if I could afford it. Unfortunately, the list price for NutraVege is $34.99 for a 6.8-ounce bottle. That's a little steep on a newspaper reporter's budget. But you have some extra money to spend on supplements, NutraVege seems to be a better option than flax oil or seed.

17 comments:

Daniel said...

If you're worried about the extra 50 calories, you can inject a daily walk into your routine. Althought it depends on your current weight, a brisk 15 minute walk should more than take care of those extra 50 calories.

Desiree Diaz said...

wish I could try it too!!!

aimee said...

Hmmmm. Looks good. Thanks for sharing.
Happy New Year!
Aimee

Rick said...

and you always tell me you're "semi-healthy"...you then end up letting everyone know you take monthly B-12 shots, as well as taking flaxseed oil each morning...you take care of yourself much better than you let on, while having lots of fun with vegan cooking at the same time! kudos to you bianca! here's to 2011!

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said...

Hmmm..... I think I'll stick to my flax meal, walnuts and chia seeds!

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said...

My last comment may have sounded really negative about the product.. I don't meant it to. I'm sure it would be very useful for people in certain situation or ( you could stir it into ice creams and things like that too.).. !

Kristyna Chantel said...

What other sorts of vitamin supplements do you usually take??

Kristine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristine said...

Hey Bianca!!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this product. I would strongly hesitate to suggest that you should count your NutraVege supplements into your calorie count, however; as it is more of a supplemental oil than a food oil, and the consumption of omega-3 oils can promote weight loss by stimulating metabolism and the burning of stored fat.

The omega-3 fatty acids work at the cellular level and do not become fat stores. The body uses essential fatty acids as building blocks to repair damaged cells and counter inflammation.

My daily caloric intake should be around 1600, too (though lets be honest it's usually more than that!). But I have been taking NutraVege for more than a year, and usually about a Tablespoon..I have experienced nothing but positive things!

And you'd have to take about 10 Tablespoons of flax to get the same payload from two teaspoons of NutraVege.

:)

YUM!

Full Disclosure: I think you know I've read your blog for ages, but I also work with Ascenta. I didn't know they were sending some to you. So exciting!

PaganAngel said...

I was going to ask about the point Kristine made--I'm not sure you're comparing apples here.

If 1 T. flax seeds is equal to one serving of the oil, then you have a point. But it sounds like 1 T. of flax seeds gives much less benefit than one serving of the oil, so you'd be better off reducing your oil serving to reduce calories, if that's the real problem. This will effect the total cost, as well, although I'd bet the oil still comes out a bit pricier.

Still, a good review! Taking pure oil does sound a bit disturbing.

Kristine said...

Heya Pagan Angel!

I know, it's confusing...again, in full disclosure, I work with Ascenta, so I talk about this everyday. I find this fact sheet is SUPER helpful for explaining.

http://ascentahealth.com/files/PDF/NutraVeg_%20vs_Flax_FactSheet.pdf

Kristine said...

http://ascentahealth.com/files/PDF/
NutraVeg_%20vs_Flax_FactSheet.pdf

Oops, I don't know if the whole thing was pasted there. Here is the address in two parts, just makes sure you eliminate the space in your address bar

:)

VeganLinda said...

How does it taste?

flamencokitty said...

Oh, it's been awhile since I had some flax. Forgot about those Omega-3's. I've been focused on keeping my iron intake high lately.

Ricki said...

It does sound great but yep, a little steep at $34. And you could always use it in salad dressings/smoothies as part of your daily food rather than adding it as an extra. :)

LauraJayne said...

I'm always trying to find a way to get Omega-3 in my diet - but I don't usually like to use supplements, especially those with calories, to my diet. I did find a new peanut butter (Naturally More) that has flax seeds in it, which I love - I don't eat peanut butter every day though (more like once a week) so I would love to find a way to get Omega-3's integrated into my diet!

Anonymous said...

You are super hot and i would love to stick my D*** in ur mouth. Go Vegan Crunk.