Whether you are a vegan or a vegetarian, the best vegan omega-3 supplements can help you get all of the fatty acids your body needs from plant sources. Bustle spoke to herbal nutritionist and co-author of The Healthspan Solution, Julieanna Hever, to learn more about what to look for in a vegan omega-3 supplement. Below, I’ve listed the supplement she personally recommends, plus three other picks that meet her dosage criteria.
While microalgae-based omega-3 products seem trending these days, there are only two things to consider in a vegan omega-3 supplement, according to Hever. “Most importantly, the supplement contains both EPA and DHA,” advises Hever. The omega-3 fatty acids DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) work together to reduce inflammation and the risk of developing certain chronic diseases. DHA individually protects brain function and eye health.
Sources for DHA & EPA
Algae-based dietary supplements are created when nutrient-rich algae such as chlorella and spirulina are harvested from freshwater lakes and algae farms. Both DHA and EPA can be found in these algae as well as in nori.
While taking a vegan omega-3 supplement is a good idea, Hever also recommends adding some plant-based foods like chia seeds and walnuts to increase your omega-3 levels. These foods contain ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid), which is not only an omega-3 rich fatty acid but can also be converted to EPA and DHA. “Since the guidelines for optimal omega-3 intake for vegans are not fully established, I would recommend consuming twice the recommended ALA from flax, chia, hemp seeds, walnuts, and soy foods and considering a supplement that contains 200 to 300 milligrams of DHA and EPA per day, ”says Hever. In terms of daily ALA intake, the National Institutes of Health recommend 1.6 grams for men and 1.1 grams for women (ages 14+).
So here are the best vegan omega-3 supplements.
The Best Vegan Omega-3 Supplement Overall: A Nutritionist Approved Choice
With over 700 Amazon reviews and Hever’s personal choice, Ovega-3 packs 500 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids into an easy-to-swallow, soft gel capsule, and more than 80% of that omega-3 fat is EPA and DHA. This vitamin, obtained from algae oil, contains 270 milligrams of DHA and 135 milligrams of EPA.
What the fans say: “I’ve looked for so long to find an omega-3 vegetarian supplement and this one is the best! I love it and always order more when I’m about to run out. It’s 100% seaweed based, tastes good (doesn’t taste good at all) and I highly recommend it. “
A liquid vegan omega-3 supplement for adults and children
NuTru O-Mega-Zen3 DHA + EPA liquid is free from artificial sweeteners, preservatives, fats and additives and certified for vegan measures. It’s made from marine microalgae oil, sweetened with organic cherries, and a little lime is added to maintain freshness. In the recommended adult dose, this pick contains 300 milligrams of DHA and EPA. For the recommended child dose, it contains 150 milligrams of DHA and EPA.
What the fans say: “That stuff is great. You can feel it work. I feel clearer and more focused and happier. This O3 rocks! “
A gummy omega-3 supplement that tastes really good
Mary Ruth’s Omega 3-6-7-9 gummies are sugar-free, gluten-free, soy-free, GMO-free and vegan. They are made from linseed oil and sea berries and taste like peaches, mangoes and apricots. Amazon buyers also give them an impressive 4.6-star rating. This pick contains 253 milligrams of omega-3s from ALA as well as the omega fatty acids 6, 7 and 9.
What the fans say: “Mary Ruth always impresses me with the great taste and the obvious care and concern to make a top product! I’m a vegetarian so having an omega herbal supplement is a great find. These are tasty and easy to chew without leaving my teeth sticky. A quality product! “
An organic hemp seed oil that is filled with omega-3
Since one ounce of hemp seeds contains approximately 6,000 milligrams of ALA, hemp seed oil can be an excellent source of plant-based omega-3s. Nutiva organic hemp seed oil is cold pressed, unrefined and can easily be added to smoothies, salad dressings or dips. Plus, after more than 4,000 reviews on Amazon, this bottle has a 4.1 star rating.
What the fans say: This hemp oil is so good! We use it for so many things, but mostly in the kitchen – baking, salad dressing, marinades, raw desserts. Really delicious plant-based omegas!
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Studies to which reference is made:
Companies that use our logo. (nd). Retrieved from https://vegan.org/companies-using-our-logo/.
Link, R. (2017, July 17). The 7 Best Plant-Based Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-plant-sources-of-omega-3s#section4.
McCulloch, M. (2018-09-23). 12 Health Benefits Of DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/dha-benefits#section10.
Dietary Supplements Office – Omega-3 Fatty Acids. (2019, July 9th). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/.
Juliana Heever, nutritionist and plant-based author. https://plantbaseddietitian.com/.