As I eagerly approach the middle of my final year training as a nutritionist, and dive into clinics with my colleagues, one of the things we find ourselves prescribing most often to clients is a good omega 3 supplement. Like omega 6, omega 3 EFAs (essential fatty acids) are vital for optimal health and cannot be produced in the body. This means we have to obtain them both through our diet, and we really need to make sure we do, as many bodily systems are reliant on them: the ideal ratio of omega 6: omega 3 is 1.5-2:1 (as long as it’s anything less than 4:1 you’re doing ok) and we need to keep this balanced. The former is pro-inflammatory, and the latter, anti-inflammatory: excessive omega 6 (packed into in many constituents of the typical Western diet including vegetable oil, processed and fast foods) promotes inflammation and its associated disorders and diseases; while omega 3 counters this and is also plays important roles in cardiovascular health, cognitive function (memory, mental performance, mood) and skin integrity. Some of the best sources of omega 3 are oily coldwater fish, flax seed, chia and walnuts – however it is more difficult for humans to convert these fatty acids from plant sources. In an increasingly busy modern life, as well as cleaning up our diets, many of us turn to supplements to provide us with the right natural balance, in the most bioavailable form.
As you will know from previous recipes, I am a lifelong lover of wild salmon, and always ensure I get it into my diet most weeks. However, when looking at supplementation for omnivores or pescatarians who don’t love eating fish or are concerned about heavy metal contamination and the purity of the waters they live in, a high-quality, organic, ethical and reliable brand is vital and this is where Viridian comes in. With so many supplements on the market, how consciously they are created, and with what additional ingredients or processes, always comes into question. While many fish oil companies use a combination of refining, bleaching, deodorising, de-acidifying and distilling, Viridian avoids all of these and provide us instead with pure virgin Scandinavian Rainbow Trout Oil, extracted within hours from their Soil Association-certified organic and sustainable inland freshwater sources in Denmark, with zero impact on the environment as high on their list as the supplement itself. This is important as no ocean-derived oils can be certified organic due to the high levels of pollution and lack of control over contamination, and trout is becoming increasingly popular as it provides the same omegas as salmon but lives in cleaner waters. There are also other omegas which occur naturally in fish in the ideal balance – known as the “full spectrum” – and the Rainbow Trout Oil provides these in an ideal, naturally occuring balance between omega 3, 6, 7 and 9. The last ingredients are a little citrus essential oil for taste, and a natural antioxidant in the form of rosemary extract.
Viridian are a company that I am increasingly keen to work with – and it is a pleasure to do so – because their ethics lie at the heart of their business. They are UK based and family owned, and guarantee the consumer 100% non-GM, non-irradiated, 100% active ingredients with no nasty fillers or additives. Whatever your diet, in the least I hope that this post has encouraged you to learn more about your own omega intake and balance, and opened up your mind to the importance of digging a little deeper when choosing supplements, curiously tapping into the ethics, methods and ways of existing on the planet that the brand behind them employs.
Created in collaboration with Viridian Nutrition