Vegan Omega-3 Supplements: A Comprehensive Guide

Discover the best vegan omega-3 supplements with high DHA & EPA levels. Find top-rated algae oil capsules for your daily dose of essential fatty acids.

4/1/202411 min read

Vegan Omega-3 Supplements: A Comprehensive Guide
Vegan Omega-3 Supplements: A Comprehensive Guide

The Importance of Vegan Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for our physical and mental health. They benefit our brains, our eyes, and our hearts. These essential fatty acids can help reduce unwanted inflammation and fight off diseases, including cancer. Furthermore, studies have shown that increased omega-3 levels can help those suffering from conditions such as schizophrenia, ADHD, and depression.

Unlike other mammals, humans cannot produce omega-3s on their own. We need to get them from our diet, and luckily, it's easy to get all the omega-3s you need from vegan food.

The Different Types of Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

There are three important omega-3 fatty acids to know about when discussing human physiology: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linoleic acid (ALA). EPA and DHA are usually found in marine oils, while ALA is commonly found in plant oils.

ALA is the most common fatty acid found in food, but EPA and DHA are more difficult to find in plant sources. However, the body can use ALA to create the long-chain EPA, primarily in the liver. EPA can then be used to create DHA, which many consider to be the most important fatty acid.

It's important to note that approximately 80% or more of the essential fatty acids we consume are used for energy. Only a small amount will go on to form the longer metabolites such as EPA and DHA.

Vegan Omega-3 Supplements: A Comprehensive GuideVegan Omega-3 Supplements: A Comprehensive Guide

Plant-Based Alternatives for Omega-3:

Several plant-based ingredients can help boost your omega-3 intake while offering additional health benefits. Here are 11 examples:

  • Walnuts: Walnuts are an excellent source of ALA. An ounce of dried English walnuts provides 2.6 grams of ALA, while black walnuts offer 0.6 grams. Add some walnuts to your morning oats for a dose of omega-3s.

  • Chia Seeds: One tablespoon of chia seeds provides 1.6 grams of ALA, or 162% of the daily requirement. Sprinkle chia seeds on top of smoothies or cereal for a nutrient-packed boost.

  • Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds are a small but mighty source of omega-3s. Each tablespoon of flaxseed oil has 7.3 grams of ALA, more than four times the daily requirement for adult males. Ground flaxseeds are the best choice, as they are easier for the body to absorb.

  • Brussels Sprouts: In addition to omega-3s, brussels sprouts are also a good source of vitamin C and vitamin K. These nutrients are important for overall health, including bone health and wound healing.

  • Algae Oil: Marine algae oil is arguably the most effective source of omega-3 for those on a plant-based diet. It contains DHA, which is readily usable by the body. Algae oil supplements have been shown to result in significant increases in DHA levels in the blood.

  • Wild Rice: One cup of wild rice contains nearly 500 milligrams of omega-3. It is also rich in fiber, B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium, making it a nutritious addition to any meal.

  • Avocado Oil: Avocado oil is another plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids. It contains a high concentration of oleic acid, a heart-healthy omega-9 fatty acid.

  • Tofu: Firm tofu is a good plant-based source of omega-3s and protein. It also contains various vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, and magnesium.

  • Fortified Drinks: Vegan milk, such as hemp milk and flax milk, can be fortified with omega-3 fatty acids. Check the nutrition labels to ensure you are getting an adequate amount. Additionally, fortified breakfast cereals can be a convenient way to boost your omega-3 intake.

  • Kidney Beans: Half a cup of kidney beans contains 0.1 grams of ALA. These beans are also a good source of protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals.

  • Seaweed: Seaweed is a marine algae that is rich in omega-3s, as well as vitamins and minerals. It is also an excellent source of fiber.

These plant-based sources of omega-3s not only provide the essential fatty acids your body needs but also come with additional health benefits. For example, many of these foods are high in fiber, which improves bowel health and helps regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Fiber is only found in plant sources and cannot be obtained from animal products.

Understanding the Differences Between Omega-3 from Pants and Fish?

The key difference between omega-3s from plants and fish lies in the type of omega-3 fatty acid they contain and how your body uses them:

Types of Omega-3s:

  • Fish (including krill oil): Rich in EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These are the most well-researched and readily usable forms by your body.

  • Plants: Primarily contain ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). ALA needs to be converted by your body into EPA and DHA, but this conversion rate is often low (around 5%).

Here's a table summarizing the key points:

Vegan Omega-3 fatty acids intake calculator:

In order to achieve your Omega-3 Index goal, the Omega-3 Supplement Calculator builds on the results from the Omega-3 Index Calculator. Omega-3 supplements can be very confusing. Omega-3 supplements are most effective when they contain EPA and DHA. In contrast to the general term "omega-3s," these values should appear on the Supplement Facts panel on the back of the bottle. When it comes to changing your Omega-3 Index, dose is more important than price, source, vegetarian, fatty acid form, etc.

Supplements without EPA and DHA values should not be purchased! Information is essential for making informed decisions. Without that information, the calculator won't work. Compare omega-3 supplements using the Omega-3 Supplement Calculator. Most omega-3 supplements have Supplement Facts panels online so you can compare how many capsules you'll have to take.

Additional Considerations:

  • Plant sources are rich in ALA: Flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, soybeans and leafy green vegetables.

  • Algae oil: A special case, some algae species are naturally high in EPA and DHA, similar to fish oil which makes them a good alternative for vegans and vegetarians seeking a direct source.

Choosing the right option depends on your needs:

  • If you prioritize readily available EPA and DHA or have concerns about conversion: Fish oil or algae oil might be a better choice.

  • If you're vegan, vegetarian, or environmentally conscious: Plant-based sources and algae oil are good options. You can also discuss strategies with your doctor to maximize ALA conversion in your body.

Regardless the matter of the source, omega-3s offer potential health benefits for heart, brain and eye health. Consult a healthcare professional for personalised advice on incorporating omega-3s into your diet.

Key Benefits of DHA and EPA in Vegan Supplements:

The omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) play a critical role in maintaining the health of the body. Although these fatty acids are commonly found in fish oil, they can also be found in algae, making them suitable for vegan supplements. In vegan supplements, DHA and EPA offer the following benefits:

  1. Brain Health: Throughout life, DHA is essential for brain development and function, especially in the brain. EPA may also protect us against cognitive decline as we age as it supports cognitive function.

  2. Heart Health: DHA and EPA reduce triglyceride levels, lower blood pressure, and decrease inflammation in the body, supporting heart health. Heart disease risk may be reduced and cardiovascular health may be improved by consuming DHA and EPA.

  3. Eye Health: DHA plays a crucial role in maintaining eye health and vision as a major component of the retina. Taking adequate amounts of DHA has been shown to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other eye diseases.

  4. Inflammatory Response: Inflammation in the body can be reduced with the help of EPA and DHA, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is linked to a variety of health conditions, such as arthritis, autoimmune diseases, and metabolic syndrome. The consumption of DHA and EPA may support overall health and alleviate inflammation.

  5. Mood and Mental Well-being: EPA, in particular, has antidepressant and mood-stabilizing effects. In addition to helping regulate mood and reducing depression and anxiety symptoms, DHA and EPA also contribute to the function of neurotransmitters.

  6. Pregnancy and Infant Development: During pregnancy, DHA is crucial to the development of the fetal brain and eyes. Those following a vegan diet or having dietary restrictions should consider vegan supplements that contain DHA derived from algae. Additionally, infants fed formula containing algae-derived DHA and EPA developed cognitively better.

  7. Joint Health: In conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce joint stiffness and pain. EPA and DHA may help reduce inflammation and improve joint mobility, as well as slow the progression of joint degeneration.

  8. Skin Health: As skin hydrators, DHA and EPA reduce inflammation and protect against sun damage, they play an important role in maintaining skin health. Vegan supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids may improve skin elasticity, texture, and appearance.

The health benefits of DHA and EPA found in algae-based vegan supplements include supporting brain and heart function, maintaining joint health, and promoting mental well-being. By incorporating these essential fatty acids into a vegan diet, individuals can meet their nutritional needs and maintain optimal health.

Choosing the Right Vegan Omega-3 Capsules: Factors to Consider:

Omvits Vegan Omega 3: DHA from Algae Oil 1000mg:

60 Softgel Capsules with Vitamin E - Sustainable Algal Alternative to Fish Oil - Vegetarian Essential Fatty Acids - Supports Heart, Brain & Eyes

Factors to consider when buying Vegan omega 3:

About this item:

  • ✔ 100% VEGAN & VEGETARIAN CAPSULES - Get your Omega-3 from nature's pure and original source: Algae — it's got all the benefits of Omega-3 fish oils without the fish and is completely plant-based. We're Vegan Society registered, so you can be sure there are no hidden animal products in your supplements.

  • ✔ 400MG OMEGA-3 DHA PER SERVING - The European Food Safety Authority recommends a minimum daily intake of 250 mg. Get your daily dose easily and conveniently with two high strength capsules, which will provide at least 400 mg of bioavailable DHA.

  • ✔ MANY HEALTH BENEFITS - Omega-3 supports heart, brain & eye health, battles inflammation and supports a healthy pregnancy. Enjoy these benefits without the worry of harmful ingredients as our manufacturing is compliant with GMP, HACCP, ISO 9001 & Global Food Safety standards. Our algae is grown in purified water, so you won't have the heavy metals, dioxins, PCBs and other toxins often found in fish oil!

  • ✔ EASY TO SWALLOW - Small, easy-to-swallow softgel capsules with no taste. Great for anyone who has trouble swallowing large capsules and perfect for pregnant and breastfeeding women looking for a source of prenatal or postnatal DHA. They don't cause embarrassing fishy burps and are free of the most common allergens, including gluten, dairy, nuts and soya.

  • ✔ A BRAND WITH REAL VALUES - We believe that being healthy shouldn't cost the Earth. A single bottle packs in the same Omega-3 content as approximately 20 fish. We use fully recyclable packaging and don't take our algae from the sea, leaving the food chain completely undisrupted. Help us stop the unnecessary overfishing of our oceans, by opting for a sustainable alternative for your omegas.

How to Incorporate Vegan Omega-3 into Your Diet?

Vegan omega-3s can be incorporated into your diet in the following ways:

Powerhouse Plant-Based Foods:

  • Flaxseeds: can be ground or crushed and sprinkled on oatmeal, porridge, yogurt alternatives, or baked goods. Their content is championed by ALA!

  • Chia seeds: A second ALA star, chia seeds offer a wide range of health benefits. Bake muffins, smoothies, pudding, or overnight oats with them.

  • Walnut: The crunchy and delicious texture of walnuts makes them an excellent addition to salads, yogurt bowls, or for snacking.

  • Hemp Seeds: The mild, nutty flavor of hemp seeds makes them a good source of ALA and healthy fats. You can eat them by themselves, sprinkle them over salads, or blend them into smoothies.

  • Edamame and Beans: The ALA content of edamame and beans is lower than that of seeds, but these foods are still good sources of ALA and contribute to a well-rounded vegan diet.

  • Leafy Greens: Veggies are powerful! Don't underestimate them! ALA is found in small amounts in spinach, kale, and other leafy greens, so they contribute to your omega-3 intake.

Get Creative in the Kitchen:

  • Oils: Use canola oil (rapeseed oil in some regions) for cooking as it's a plant-based source of ALA.

  • Seaweed and Algae: Explore incorporating seaweed (like nori) or algae like spirulina and chlorella into your diet. They are an excellent source of EPA and DHA for vegans. Consider adding them to soups, stews, or smoothies.

Consider Vegan Supplements:

  • Algae Oil Supplements: If you're looking for a more concentrated source of EPA and DHA directly from a plant source, algae oil supplements can be an excellent option.

Tips to Maximize ALA Conversion:

  • Pair with ALA-enhancing nutrients: Citrus fruits and bell peppers are excellent sources of vitamin C, which can enhance the conversion of ALA.

  • Grind or crush flaxseeds: This helps your body absorb ALA more effectively.

  • Variety is key: Make sure you consume a variety of these ALA-rich plant sources throughout the week to ensure that your intake is well-rounded.

If you are concerned about incorporating vegan omega-3s into your diet, consult with a registered dietitian or healthcare professional.

Vegan Omega-3 vs. Traditional Fish Oil: Which Is Better for You?

There are different pros and cons to vegan omega-3 versus traditional fish oil:

Fish Oil Omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Pros:

    • Provides readily absorbable EPA and DHA, the most researched omega-3s for heart, brain, and eye health.

    • When you need a more concentrated source of ALA or are concerned about ALA conversion, this may be a better choice.

  • Cons:

    • Potential overfishing poses sustainability concerns.

    • Based on the source and processing, there may be traces of mercury or other contaminants.

    • Burping may occur as a result of the fishy taste.

    • Vegetarians and vegans should not consume this product.

Vegan Omega-3 (Plant-Based Sources & Algae Oil):

  • Pros:

    • Sustainably produced.

    • Contamination risk is lower.

    • There are no fishy tastes or digestive issues like burping.

    • Vegetarian and vegan friendly.

    • A healthy diet can include plant-based sources (flaxseeds, chia seeds, etc.).

    • Vegans can get EPA and DHA from algae oil.

  • Cons:

    • In your body, ALA is converted into EPA and DHA at a low rate (around 5%) from plant-based sources.

    • Fish oil supplements are usually cheaper than algae oil supplements.

What's the better option?

Your priorities and needs will determine what you choose:

  • Choose fish oil if: You prioritize readily available EPA and DHA or have concerns about ALA conversion.

  • Choose vegan omega-3 if: You're vegan, vegetarian, or environmentally conscious. You can incorporate plant-based sources and consider algae oil for a more effective vegan EPA and DHA source.

Additional factors to consider:

  • Talk to your doctor: Share your individual needs and preferences to determine the best option for you.

  • Maximize ALA conversion: If opting for plant-based sources, explore strategies to improve ALA conversion in your body, like consuming ALA with vitamin C-rich foods.

Benefits of vegan omega-3 are similar to those of fish oil, Hence your dietary preferences and specific needs will determine what's best for you.

Infuse Omega 3 supplement into Your Diet:

There are countless ways to incorporate omega-3s into your diet, whether you prefer snacks, meals, or beverages. Some ideas include:

  • Adding walnuts or chia seeds to your morning oats.

  • Sprinkling ground flaxseeds on top of smoothies or cereal.

  • Roasting brussels sprouts as a tasty side dish.

  • Using avocado oil in salad dressings or for cooking.

  • Experimenting with tofu in stir-fries or scrambles.

  • Enjoying fortified drinks like hemp milk or flax milk.

  • Trying out new recipes with kidney beans or wild rice.

  • Incorporating seaweed into your sushi or salads.

Remember, it's important to consume a variety of omega-3-rich foods to ensure you are getting a well-rounded nutrient intake. By incorporating these plant-based sources into your diet, you can easily meet your omega-3 needs without relying on fish or other animal products.


Vegan omega-3 supplements play a crucial role in maintaining our overall health and well-being. By choosing plant-based sources of omega-3s, we can reap the benefits of these essential fatty acids without the negative health and environmental impacts associated with fish consumption.

Whether you opt for walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, or other plant-based ingredients, there are numerous delicious and nutritious ways to incorporate omega-3s into your diet. Plus, these foods offer additional health benefits like fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

So, next time you're planning your meals, consider adding some vegan omega-3 sources to ensure you're getting all the nutrients your body needs for optimal health.

How do you get omega-3s into your diet? What's your favourite plant-based source? Let us know in the comments below.

Vegan Omega-3 Supplements: A Comprehensive Guide
Vegan Omega-3 Supplements: A Comprehensive Guide