Plant-based Nutrition

Top 7 Vegan Sources of Omega 3


Are you a vegetarian or someone who follows a vegan diet? If yes, then this one’s for you!

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for maintaining overall health, but finding vegan sources of omega 3 can be challenging. Many omega 3 sources come from fish, which doesn’t suit a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

However, there are plenty of vegetarian omega 3 options available to incorporate into your diet. In this blog, we’ll explore the top 7 vegan sources of omega 3, so you can enjoy the benefits of these healthy fats without compromising your dietary choices.

The Importance of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

There are three types of Omega-3 fatty acids. 

  1. EPA, which is eicosapentaenoic acid and 
  2. DHA is docosahexaenoic acid, which is abundant in fish and marine algae. 
  3. The third one is ALA, alpha-linolenic acid, which is widely obtainable from various plant sources. 

Not only does your body need these fatty acids to perform various functions, but they have a ton of fitness perks too.

Some of the widely acknowledged health benefits of adding Omega -3 fatty acids to the diet include lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, combating depression and anxiety, improving vision and eye health. In addition, in infants, the fatty acids promote brain growth and development. It also reduces the risk of metabolic syndromes and helps fight inflammation. 

Your Vegetarian / Vegan Omega-3 Fatty acids

Marine food or supplements are the popularly known sources of fulfilling one’s daily requirement of omega fatty acids. However, the most easily obtained sources of Omega-3 fatty acids comprise fish oil and fatty fishes like salmons, trouts, and tunas.

But did you know there are a ton of vegetarian foods that contain these beneficial fats? One does not need to turn to fish—or fish oil supplements—to get your daily dose of Omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids are easily obtainable in a wide variety of plant-based foods as well. 

The Nation Institute of Health recommends a daily intake of 1,100 milligrams of Omega-3 for women and 1,600 milligrams for men. 

If you are a vegetarian, vegan, hate the aftertaste of fish oil supplements or simply someone looking for environmentally friendly or vegan alternatives about your Omega-3 intake, here are some foods that you can start incorporating into your diet right away.

Here are the 7 Best Sources Vegan Omega-3 Fatty Acids

1. Flax Seeds

This emerging “superfood” loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fibre is a nutritional powerhouse. An excellent vegan source of omega 3, flaxseeds can be ground and added to various recipes, including smoothies and baked goods.

With over 6 grams of vegetarian omega 3 per tablespoon, they’re a fantastic addition to your diet. Each serving adds fibre, protein, magnesium, manganese, and of course, vegan Omega-3. 

Studies show that flax seeds or the oil extracted from them both have the power to reduce cholesterol. They can also help significantly lower blood pressure levels, particularly in those with high blood pressure problems.

2. Algal Oil (Seaweed Oil)

Derived from microalgae, algal oil is one of the best vegan sources of omega 3, containing both EPA and DHA.  It stands out as one of the few vegan and vegetarian sources of DHA. 

This makes it a powerful vegetarian omega 3 supplement for those seeking a plant-based alternative to fish oil.

Though research is limited, studies prove that the DHA from algal oil is particularly advantageous as it may also contain crucial minerals like iodine. Furthermore, algal oil is also environmentally friendly. The best way to consume Algal Omega-3s is through plant-based vitamins and supplements.

3. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a highly nutritious food that offer numerous benefits to the body and brain.

They are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically ALA, making them an excellent option for vegans and vegetarians.

Just two tablespoons of chia seeds contain almost 5 grams of vegetarian omega-3.

Chia seeds are versatile and easy to incorporate into meals. They also contain fiber and protein, making them a healthy addition to any diet.

Studies suggest that consuming chia seeds as part of a balanced diet may reduce the risk of chronic disease.

4. Walnuts

Walnuts are a delicious and convenient vegan source of omega 3. Loaded with almost 65% of healthy fats and essential vegan omega-3 (ALA), they work on maintaining your brain health and help enhance memory. 

According to recent studies, just one serving of walnuts can fulfil an entire day’s demands of Omega-3 fatty acids.  A one-ounce serving contains 2.5 grams of vegetarian omega 3, making them an ideal snack or ingredient for salads and desserts.

So adding some walnuts to your cereals, also as a garnish over your delicious yoghurt, or just a handful of nuts as a simple snack will do wonders to your vegan Omega-3 requirements.

5. Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds have a strong nutrition outline for vegan Omega 3. They are said to contain high levels of antioxidants, fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins. 

Hemp seeds are an excellent vegan source of omega 3, boasting 2.5 grams of vegetarian omega 3 per tablespoon. Enjoy them in smoothies, salads, or as a topping for your favorite dishes.

Think of vegetarian Omega-3 sources; hemp seeds are one of the best for the job. These seeds are technically nuts used as eatables. The shells of these seeds add fibre to the diet. Grind the seeds to help the body absorb more of the other nutrients.

6. Spinach

So, all this while when Popeye sang-

“I’m Popeye the Sailor Man

I’m Popeye the Sailor Man

I’m strong to the finish

Cause I eats me spinach”

What he wanted to say was get your Omega-3!

Not only is Spinach rich in Omega-3 but it is also a great source of Vitamin E. Plus, it is low in calories- 40 calories per cup of cooked Spinach. Spinach is also known to be an appetite suppressor, which can aid in weight loss

7. Mustard Seeds

Mustard seeds are effective metabolism boosters with a rich reserve of Omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants. A single spoon of mustard is said to have around 100mg of Omega 3. In addition, the high amount of ALA makes it an effective anti-inflammatory remedy. 

They are often consumed in the form of sprinklers like pepper or even widely in oil. The other notable boon is the balanced ratio of Omega 3 and Omega 6, making it a better choice than even olive oil.

The Bottom Line

Omega-3 fatty acids are a requisite component of the diet as they can cut down the rate of inflammation and keep the body healthy.

Incorporating vegan sources of omega 3 into your diet is crucial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. By exploring these top 7 vegetarian omega 3 options, you can ensure you’re getting the necessary nutrients while adhering to a plant-based diet.

So, start adding these ingredients to your meals and enjoy the benefits of vegan sources of omega 3 today!