The 4 Best Vegan Omega-3 Supplements
Whether you're vegan or vegetarian, the best vegan omega-3 supplements can help you get all the fatty acids your body needs from plant sources. Bustle spoke with plant-based dietician 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 included the supplement she personally recommends, plus three more picks that meet her dosing criteria.
While microalgae-based omega-3 products seem to be trending these days, Hever says there are really just two things to look for in a vegan omega-3 supplement. “What matters most is that the supplement contains both EPA and DHA,” Hever advises. The omega-3 fatty acids, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), work together to help reduce inflammation and risk of developing certain chronic diseases. Individually, DHA works to protect brain function and eye health.
Sources for DHA & EPA
Algae-based supplements are created when nutrient-rich algae, like chlorella and spirulina, are harvested from fresh-water lakes and algae farms. Both DHA and EPA can be found in this algae, as well as in nori.
While taking a vegan omega-3 supplement is a good idea, Hever also recommends adding some plant foods like chia seeds and walnuts to help increase your omega-3 levels. These foods contain ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), which, in addition to being an omega-3-rich fatty acid, can also be converted into EPA and DHA. “Because the guidelines are not set quite yet for optimal omega-3 intake for vegans, I would recommend aiming to consume double the recommended ALA from flax, chia, hemp seeds, walnuts, and soy foods, as well as considering a supplement that contains 200-300 milligrams per day of both DHA and EPA,” Hever says. Regarding daily ALA intake, the National Institutes of Health recommend 1.6 grams for men and 1.1 grams for women (ages 14 and older).
So here are the best vegan omega-3 supplements around.
1. The Best Vegan Omega-3 Supplement Overall: A Dietician-Approved Pick
Backed by more than 700 Amazon reviews and Hever's personal pick, 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 is EPA and DHA. Sourced from algal oil, this vitamin contains 270 milligrams of DHA and 135 milligrams of EPA.
What fans are saying: “I searched for so long to find a vegetarian omega-3 supplement and this one is the best! I love it and I keep ordering more when I am close to running out. It is 100% algae-based, tastes great (does not have much of a taste at all) and I highly recommend it.”
2. A Liquid Vegan Omega-3 Supplement For Adults & Kids
NuTru O-Mega-Zen3 DHA+EPA Liquid is free from artificial sweeteners, preservatives, fats, and additives, and it’s vegan action-certified. It’s sourced from marine microalgae oil, sweetened with organic cherry, and some lime is added to maintain freshness. At the recommended adult dose, this pick contains 300 milligrams of DHA and EPA. For the recommended kid's dose, it contains 150 milligrams of DHA and EPA.
What fans are saying: “This stuff is great. You can feel it working. I feel more clear-headed and focused and happy. This O3 rocks!”
3. A Gummie Omega-3 Supplement That Actually Tastes Good
Mary Ruth’s Omega 3-6-7-9 Gummies are sugar-free, gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and vegan. They’re sourced from flaxseed oil and seaberry, and they're flavored to taste like peaches, mangos, and apricots. Amazon shoppers give them an impressive 4.6-star rating as well. This pick contains 253 milligrams of Omega-3 from ALA, as well as omega fatty acids 6, 7, and 9.
What fans are saying: “Mary Ruth's never fails to impress me with the great flavor and obvious care and concern for producing a top-of-the-line product! I am a vegetarian and so having a plant-based omega supplement is a great find. These are tasty and easy to chew, with no stickiness lasting on my teeth. A quality product!”
4. An Organic Hemp Seed Oil That's Packed With Omega-3
Since one ounce of hemp seeds contains about 6,000 milligrams of ALA, hemp seed oil can be an excellent plant-based source source for omega-3. Nutiva Organic Hemp Seed Oil is cold-pressed, unrefined, and you can easily add it to smoothies, salad dressings, or dips. Plus, this bottle boasts a 4.1-star rating after more than 4,000 reviews on Amazon.
What fans are saying: 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 tasty plant-based omegas!
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Companies Using Our Logo. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://vegan.org/companies-using-our-logo/.
Link, R. (2017, July 17). The 7 Best Plant Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-plant-sources-of-omega-3s#section4.
McCulloch, M. (2018, September 23). 12 Health Benefits of DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/dha-benefits#section10.
Office of Dietary Supplements - Omega-3 Fatty Acids. (2019, July 9). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/.
Juliana Heever, Plant-based dietician and author. https://plantbaseddietitian.com/.