Cod liver oil is widely accepted to be the best source of omega-3 fatty acids (particularly EPA and DHA), vitamin D and vitamin A. However the taste is too strong for some people, or dietary habits don’t allow fish products.
Cod liver oil is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, so if the taste is the issue, it might not be time to change from cod liver oil just yet. There are things you can do:
- Use capsules (if you have been using oil).
- Change brand (some repeat on you/ have stronger flavours than others). For example, many people find that Dropi capsules give no flavour, and don’t repeat on you.
- Drink an acidic drink. Drinks like orange juice or grapefruit juice cut through the taste and help prevent the flavours repeating on you.
If none of the above are an option/ don’t work, or you can’t eat fish products, then the next best thing are seed oils. Flaxseed oil for example is extremely popular. Flaxseed oil doesn’t contain EPA or DHA, but does contain ALA, which can (not very efficiently) be converted into EPA and DHA. For more information on how these compare, read this article.
Like cod liver oils, flaxseed oil products can vary greatly in quality. Ideally, you want an oil that has been cold-pressed, as it minimises the risk of damage to the important nutrients.
Aside from flaxseed oil, there isn’t a good alternative to cod liver oil in the supplement world. If you don’t want flaxseed oil, you should consider adding nuts and seeds to your diet. Nuts and seeds have a similar fatty acid profile to flaxseeds, and so contain plenty of ALA. They also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals, and make a very healthy snack! If you can’t take cod liver oil or flaxseed oil, a handful of nuts/ seeds a day will certainly get some essential fats into you.