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  • Writer's pictureBryan

Omega-3's on A Plant-Based Diet


If you follow a plant-based diet, a common remark you probably get is “Well, where do you get your omega 3’s if you don't eat fish”? There seems to be a common misconception that seafood is the only way to obtain optimal omega three status, and this simply NOT true! While it is true that Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important for our health, the idea that we can only be obtained from fish is not. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that the body cannot produce on its own, so they must be obtained from food. There are three main types of omega-3 fatty acids: ALA, EPA, and DHA. ALA is found in plant-based foods like flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts. EPA and DHA are found in animal-based foods like fish, seafood, and algae.


Vegans can get omega-3 fatty acids from ALA-rich plant-based foods, but it is important to note that ALA is not as easily absorbed by the body as EPA and DHA. Therefore, vegans may need to take a supplement that contains EPA and DHA. Most DHA/EPA supplements are made from fish oil, however it turns out that fish don’t actually produce DHA and EPA on their own. They get it from algae, either by eating it directly or by eating other marine life that have consumed algae. There are several vegan brands of DHA/EPA that are algae-derived. These algae-based products typically come in vegan capsules, whereas fish-based brands usually come in gelatin capsules.


Omega-3 fatty acids are important for many aspects of health, including heart health, brain health, and eye health. They may also help to reduce inflammation and improve mood. Omega-3 fatty acids help all the cells in your body function as they should. They’re a vital part of your cell membranes, helping to provide structure and supporting interactions between cells. While they’re important to all your cells, omega-3s are concentrated in high levels in cells in your eyes and brain, hence why they are braised for their brain-boosting benefits. In addition, omega-3s provide your body with energy and support the health of many body systems. These include your cardiovascular system and endocrine system.


Here are some vegan sources of omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Flaxseeds

  • Chia seeds

  • Walnuts

  • Hemp seeds

  • Soybeans

  • Edamame

  • Tempeh

  • Tofu

  • Algae

  • Seaweed

  • Nutritional yeast


If you are a vegan, it is important to make sure that you are getting enough omega-3 fatty acids. You can do this by eating a variety of ALA-rich plant-based foods and/or taking a supplement that contains EPA and DHA. We recommended a high quality algae based supplement that provides at least 250 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids per serving.


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