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‘I’m Allergic to Seafood. How Else Can I Get Omega-3s?’ Health Advice for Women Over 40

Your top nutrition questions answered.

Most of us know how important omega-3s are for our health. Every cell in your body needs omega-3s, and they’re especially important for brain and eye health. But if you can’t get those fatty acids from seafood, what should you do? In this week’s edition of Ask the Experts, we cover the topic with help from Mira Calton, CN, and Jayson Calton, PhD.

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Q: I know omega-3 fats are good for my health for so many reasons, but I’m allergic to seafood. Is there another good source?

A: Fish and shellfish are a top dietary source of these heart and brain-healthy fats, but a new class of marine vegetables can help you reap the benefits without worrying about your allergy. Often called sea greens or sea vegetables, they include algae and kelp and contain comparable levels of omega-3s as fish. What’s more, a review of research on sea greens in the Journal of Applied Phycology touts their high levels of appetite-regulating fiber, bone-building calcium, and essential vitamins. Plus, sea vegetables are gluten-free and vegan.

You’re probably most familiar with nori, a type of seaweed used in sushi, but there are plenty of varieties, including spirulina, dulse, kombu, wakame, and sea purslane. You can find them at larger supermarkets, international grocery stores, and health-food stores. Try adding them to soups and salads or sprinkling over scrambled eggs. Or opt for a supplement, like Swanson Seaweed Vegetable Complex (Buy from Swanson Vitamins, $9.14).

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Nutrition experts Mira Calton, CN, and Jayson Calton, PhD, are leading authorities on nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies. They are also the bestselling authors of Rebuild Your Bones: The 12-Week Osteoporosis Protocol (available on Kindle, $8.99).

To ask them a question, send an email to health@firstforwomen.com.

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This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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