Vegan Guide to Omega-3s

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Omega-3 fatty acids are important healthy fats that are necessary for maintaining heart, brain, skin, and joint health. Our bodies don’t naturally create them, so we have to get them from food. Luckily, there are plenty of vegan sources. We can get omega-3s from flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, and leafy greens as well as from vegan supplements.


We need different types of fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, which is found in many vegetables), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, which is found in fatty fish and algae oil). Vegan algae oil supplements, which are widely available, are free of the dangerous levels of mercury and PCBs that are found in fish. In addition, our bodies have the ability to convert ALA to EPA and DHA, so there’s no reason to eat intelligent fish, who have complex social lives and simply want to live in peace, in order to get all the omega-3 fatty acids that our bodies need.

To help you find the right omega-3 sources for you, here’s a list of vegan supplements and recipes packed with these essential fatty acids:

Vegan Omega-3 Supplements

Garden of Life Minami Algae Omega-3 Vegan DHA

These orange-flavored vegan softgels are packed with 500 mg of vegan DHA derived from algae oil.

NuTru O-Mega-Zen3 DHA + EPA Liquid

With 300 mg of DHA and EPA, NuTru’s liquid formula can be taken by itself or added to your favorite drink.

Solgar Omega-3 Vegetarian DHA 200 MG Vegetarian Softgels

This vegan DHA comes in easy-to-swallow softgels made from cornstarch, not gelatin.

Recipes Packed With Omega-3s

Try making some of these recipes to ensure that you’re getting enough of the fatty acids that your body needs:

1. Tofu-Spinach Lasagna

Spinach, tofu, and pasta are the key ingredients in this delicious dish.Spinach Tofu Lasagna

2. Lightened-Up Banana Bread

Canola oil and walnuts both contain omega-3s. Banana bread just got that much healthier!Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

3. Pesto Raw-sta Pasta

Basil and pumpkin seeds pack an omega-3 wallop in this dish.Raw Vegan Pesto

4. Spicy Sesame Noodles

Peanut butter and sesame seeds pack a protein punch to this dish.Japanese Noodles

5. Brussels Sprout Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts

Oh, Brussels sprouts, we love you because you’re so good to

6. Kale Protein Smoothie

This smoothie makes for the perfect breakfast, with kale, soy milk, flaxseed oil, and peanut butter starting your day the omega-3 way.433x650_2D00_kale_2D00_smoothies.jpg

7. Chia Seed Pudding

Foods that are both delectable and healthful make us swoon. (It’s all in the chia seeds and soy milk.)chia_2D00_seed_2D00_pudding.JPG

8. Chickpea-Parsley Dip

The parsley and canola oil provide the omega-3s, while the chickpeas round out this awesome appetizer.chickpea_parsley_dip_3

9. Sumptuous Spinach Salad with Orange-Sesame Dressing

Spinach is so healthy in so many ways. Get some!PETA-Salad-637x320-1411590314

10. Roasted Cinnamon-Sugar Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are delicious all year long!Unroasted pumpkin seeds

11. Maple-Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Cranberry Wild Rice

You don’t want to miss out on this recipe—it tastes divine, while the Brussels sprouts give you that omega-3 kick that you need.Brussels Sprouts Holiday Dinner Plate

12. Raw Oatmeal

Oatmeal is already packed with omega-3s, but if you add soy milk, walnuts, and chia seeds to your bowl, your breakfast is that much healthier.Raw-Oatmeal-pic.jpg

13. Baked Bruschetta Bites

Basil gives these cute bruschetta bites that omega edge.583_2D00_Baked-Bruschetta-Bites.JPG

14. All-Purpose Baked Tofu

This recipe is a simple and delicious way to prepare tofu.VegCooking Perfect Tofu

15. Kimbap (Korean Sushi Roll)

Seaweed is rich in this fantastic fatty acid.Vegan Kimbap

16. Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower ‘Wings’

Cauliflower is the omega-3 star of this recipe.buffalo_2D00_cauliflower_2D00_wings.JPG

17. Dynamite Tofu with Rice and Broccoli

Tofu and broccoli makes for an explosion of health.General Tso's Tofu

18. Hemp Hummus

Hemp seeds are one of the best sources of omega-3s, although they are still unfamiliar to most people.Hemp Hummus

List of Vegan Omega-3 Sources

The following is a list of good sources of vegan omega-3 fatty acids, ranked by value, that we found at The World’s Healthiest Foods website:

Food Serving Size Cals Amount (g) DRI/DV (%) Nutrient Density World’s Healthiest Foods Rating
Flaxseeds 2 Tbsp 74.8 3.19 133 32.0 excellent
Walnuts 0.25 cup 196.2 2.72 113 10.4 excellent
Brussels Sprouts 1 cup 56.2 0.27 11 3.6 very good
Cauliflower 1 cup 28.5 0.21 9 5.5 very good
Mustard Seeds 2 tsp 20.3 0.15 6 5.5 very good
Soybeans 1 cup 297.6 1.03 43 2.6 good
Tofu 4 oz 164.4 0.66 28 3.0 good
Winter Squash 1 cup 75.8 0.19 8 1.9 good
Broccoli 1 cup 54.6 0.19 8 2.6 good
Collard Greens 1 cup 62.7 0.18 8 2.2 good
Spinach 1 cup 41.4 0.17 7 3.1 good
Summer Squash 1 cup 36.0 0.15 6 3.1 good
Raspberries 1 cup 64.0 0.15 6 1.8 good
Kale 1 cup 36.4 0.13 5 2.7 good
Romaine Lettuce 2 cups 16.0 0.11 5 5.2 good
Green Beans 1 cup 43.8 0.11 5 1.9 good
Strawberries 1 cup 46.1 0.09 4 1.5 good
Turnip Greens 1 cup 28.8 0.09 4 2.3 good
Miso 1 Tbsp 34.2 0.08 3 1.8 good
Bok Choy 1 cup 20.4 0.07 3 2.6 good
Leeks 1 cup 32.2 0.07 3 1.6 good
Basil 0.5 cup 4.9 0.07 3 10.8 good

Of course, if you’d prefer to take an omega-3 supplement, there are plenty of vegan-friendly options— try this one by Spectrum Organics, or Fysh Oil.

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