Plants – The Best Source of Essential Fatty Acids

Plants – The Best Source of Essential Fatty Acids

Biologically, humans are designed to consume food for nutritional purposes. Plants should be the first choice because they are the best sources of essential fatty acids.


Essential fatty acids are important for human health. They are molecules that cannot be synthesized by the body but are vital for normal metabolism.

When essential fatty acids were first discovered in 1923, they were classified as a vitamin, more specifically, Vitamin F. It wasn’t until 1930 that essential fatty acids were classified and designated as fats instead of vitamins.

In order to differentiate the fatty acids, those that derive from plant sources are considered “essential”. Essential fatty acids are required for biological processes, not fuel processes. Essential fatty acids are fatty acids that human beings must ingest because the body requires these substances for optimal health and wellbeing.

Essential fatty acids include, but are not limited to:

  • Alpha-Linolenic Acid, an Omega-3 fatty acid
  • Linolenic Acid, an Omega-6 fatty acid
  • Gamma-Linolenic Acid, an Omega-6 fatty acid
  • Lauric Acid, a saturated fatty acid
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)
  • Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
  • Palmitoleic Acid, a mono-saturated fatty acid

Omega 3

Omega 3 essential fatty acids are considered unsaturated fatty acids. These kinds of acids are double-bonded.

Many people believe that the best source of Omega 3 derives from fish. This may be true for animals, but not for humans. Humans can get all the Omega 3 they need from a plant called Flax. The oil from the Flax plant is called Flax Oil or Flax Seed Oil. It is easily accessible in health food stores around the country.

Instead of obtaining Omega 3 oil from fish, why not obtain it from the source whereby many fish obtain if from? A great natural source of Omega 3 oil is Alga oil, oil from algae.

Alga is a Latin term for seaweed. Algae is a large and diverse group or classification of simple, typically autotrophic organisms. They range from multicellular to unicellular forms.

Algae are photosynthetic-like land plants, and are simple because their tissues are not organized into the numerous distinct organs that found in land plants.

The largest and most complex marine forms are called seaweeds. Seaweed is the most nutritionally abundant food on the planet. The Moringa plant is its land equivalent.

Wheat Germ oil is another good source of Omega-3 essential fatty acid. Omega-3 essential fatty acids can be found in the following forms:

  • Plants
  • Green and Romaine lettuce
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Purslane
  • Broccoli
  • Legumes
  • Kidney beans
  • Navy beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Lima beans
  • Peas
  • Split peas
  • Fruits
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Grapefruit
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Crenshaw
  • Honey Dew

Please note that when Omega 3s are cooked, oxidation occurs and they become damaged

Omega 6

Omega 6 essential fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids. Omega 6 essential fatty acids include, but are not limited to:

  • Linoleic Acid
  • Gamma-Linoleic Acid
  • Arachidonic Acid

Even though Omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids are plant-derived, some of its vegetable sources are highly suspect and cannot be absorbed by the human body. This includes:

  • Soybean
  • Cotton
  • Palm
  • Rapeseed

A high consumption of Omega 6 polyunsaturated-fatty acids (have been implicated in certain diseases, including various cancers. Omega 6 is commonly found in vegetable oils.

Omega 9

Omega-9 is a family of fatty acids and includes Stearic acid and Oleic acid, two major fatty acids. Stearic acid is a saturated fat that can be converted to Oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fat.

Naturally produced by the human body, Omega 9 is considered a nonessential fatty acid and does not need to be supplemented.

When there is lack or insufficiency of Omega 3 and Omega 6, the body uses Omega 9. The body produces Omega 9 to compensate for Omega 3 and Omega 6.

The best source for all three essential fatty acids, Omega 3, 6, and 9, is Black Currant Seed oil, followed by Hemp Seed oil.

A few other good sources of Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids include:

  • Flax Seed oil
  • Wheat Germ oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Evening Primrose oil

Thank you for reading!