It’s well-documented that many of us lack omega 3 in our diets, yet if you follow a vegan lifestyle this could complicate matters further.
The best plant-based omega 3 supplements could simplify this issue.
In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits, compare them to fish oil and take a look at the top five vegan omega 3 supplements.
The Best Vegan Omega 3 Supplements
Here is my selection of the five top vegan omega 3 products on the market.
1. Vegan Omega 3 by Nested Naturals
I believe this option could be for those who like to take an ethical approach to their supplementation.
Made from algal oil this product has a total serving of 700 mg. Out of the 400 mg omega 3 content, you receive 200 mg of DHA and 100 mg of EPA (75 percent of the product).
It also contains 100 mg of green tea extract, which works in two ways — helps you fight free radicals and also keeps the product fresh. At the recommended one capsule per day, you’ll get a 60 day supply.
Vegan Omega 3 is sustainably sourced, so marine life is not affected by its production. I like that it’s third-party tested, but even better is that you’ll receive lifetime money back guarantee.
Another nice touch is that with each purchase Nested Naturals make an effort to donate some of their proceeds to charity — great for those who like to give something back.
- Omega 3 is sourced from algae.
- Green tea extract offers extra health benefits.
- Lifetime guarantee upon purchase.
- Third-party tested.
- Nested Natural donate to charitable causes.
- The distinct capsule aroma and the taste were unpalatable for some users.
2. Ovega-3 Plant-Based Omega 3
In my opinion, this could be one of the best plant-based omega 3 supplements for those people with dietary intolerances — it’s free from soy, lactose, and gluten.
Each 500 mg softgel of algal oil contains 270 mg of DHA and 135 mg of EPA (81 percent of the product). Taking one capsule per day means it’s a 60 day supply.
The softgel capsules are not over-sized which should make them easier to swallow — could be ideal if you find taking pills an issue.
- Made from algal oil.
- Sugar, lactose, soy and gluten-free.
- A solid percentage of DHA and EPA.
- Made in the USA.
- Addition of caramel coloring feels unnecessary.
3. Potent Vegan Omega 3 by Amala Vegan
I feel this product could be for those who like to try something a little different to the norm.
The reason being, each softgel contains 360 mg of DHA, but only 5 mg of EPA. However, to compensate they’ve chosen to include 75 mg of the lesser known docosapentaenoic acid (DPA).
Emerging research indicates DPA is similar in structure to both DHA and EPA, therefore could be just as beneficial.
A total of 60 softgels are included (minimum 30-day supply).
For me, seeing the GMP stamp on the tub is a sign that good working practices are being followed — which could be important for some. You also have the added reassurance that if you aren’t totally satisfied there’s a full money back guarantee.
- Addition of DPA.
- Extracted from algae.
- Lifetime guarantee included.
- GMP certified.
- Some users report an aftertaste.
4. Super Primrose Vegan Omega 3 by Now Sports
As one of the safest and most concentrated forms of GLA (gamma linoleic acid), evening primrose oil remains one of the most admired sources of essential fatty acids in today’s market. Taken for centuries to promote natural health and healing, we now know that GLA encourages healthy cellular activity.
Once ingested, GLA is converted into prostaglandins. the formula contains 1300mg of solvent-free primrose oil, delivering over three times the GLA content of regular primrose oil.
- 1300 mg of Evening Primrose Oil
- Supports Healthy Prostaglandin Levels
- Balanced Immune Response
- Might take longer to digest.
5.NatureWise Organic Flaxseed Oil
This could be possibly be suited towards someone who feels they need more than just the best plant-based omega 3 supplements — it also contains omegas 6 and 9.
This product contains 1200 mg of organic flaxseed oil, which includes the following:
- Alpha-linolenic acid (n3-ALA)720 mg.
- Linolenic acid (n6-LA)120 mg.
- Oleic acid (n9-OA)140 mg.
I believe the generous 720 mg serving, may help achieve the higher levels of ALA omega 3s required for the vegan lifestyle.
This is a GMO-free product that also contains zero artificial ingredients, even the gelatin used is halal. It’s also backed by third-party testing.
- Contains omega 3, 6 and 9.
- Produced from organic ingredients.
- Independently tested for purity.
- A generous serving of ALAs.
- Some people experience digestive issues.
Informational guide to Vegan Omega-3 Supplements
Do Vegans Get Enough Omega 3?
Omega 3 fatty acids are considered essential because our bodies can’t produce them. They’re responsible for our cell health, and therefore fundamental to the well-being of our brain, heart and reproductive system.
The omegas of most importance are:
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
DHA and EPA are considered the most beneficial to health. Sources are customarily consumed from marine life — mainly fatty fish. Intake of ALA predominantly comes from plant-based origins — nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables.
ALA does convert into EPA and DHA, but our bodies are not effective catalysts for this process. Studies suggest the body can transform around 10 percent, although statistics lower than this have also been reported.
For someone who follows a plant-based diet, finding ways to consume enough EPA and DHA through food alone can prove a challenge. Experts theorize vegans severely lack intake because of these limitations.
However, there are solutions — increase intake of ALA-based foods and/or take the best plant-based omega 3 supplements.
Here’s a video explaining more about plant-based omega 3.
Plant-Based Omega 3 Oil vs Fish Oil
There is an ongoing debate in the plant-based omega 3 vs fish oil discussion: which one offers more benefits?
As both plant-based omega 3 and fish oil contain EPA and DHA you would think they are on par with each other. However, contrary to popular belief, plant-based omega 3 could be healthier for you than fish oil.
Algae contains plant-based omega 3 but doesn’t contain cholesterol, which is linked to cardiovascular issues. It’s also “cleaner” compared to fish oil which has a high risk of heavy metal pollution.
On an ethical note, plant-based omega is viewed as kinder to the environment. Both krill and fish oil are caught from the ocean — depleting already fragile numbers. Algae can be “farmed” and harvested in a sustainable manner, with very little impact on the planet.
The Benefits of vegan Omega 3
Consuming omega 3 has proven to enhance health and well-being, here’s how:
- Boosts heart health.
- Improves sleep.
- Strengthens bones.
- Reduces the risk of cognitive disorders.
- Supports healthy eyesight.
- Protects against liver disease.
Alongside these rewards, supplementing with vegan omega 3 supplements could boost your fitness returns.
By using anti-inflammatory properties omega 3 protects joints and muscles from injury. There’s also promising evidence that it promotes both muscle growth and preserves mass — which could also speed up recovery times.
Side Effects of vegan Omega 3
On the whole, plant-based omega 3 seems to be well tolerated, yet it’s important to remember, research on the long term effects is limited.
You could possibly experience:
- Gastric upset.
One point worth noting is that omega 3 has the ability to thin the blood. This means if you are planning to have any kind of surgery or are taking anticoagulant medication you should speak to your doctor for advice before supplementing.
How to Supplement Omega 3 to a vegan diet
The official line on dietary reference intakes (DRI) for omega 3 is only documented for the plant-based, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
- 1.6 grams for men.
- 1.1 grams for women.
Experts generally believe an adult’s daily intake for both EPA and DHA should be in the region of 250-500 mg. Although you should consume no more than a total of 3 grams per day (maximum 2 grams from supplementation).
Supplementing omega 3 when you’re vegan is important. Many of the best plant-based omega 3 supplements now contain DHA and EPA, thanks to alternatives such as marine algae.
That said, flaxseed is also a solid source of omegas for plant-based diets.
Out of my top five, I rate Vegan Omega 3 by Nested Naturals as my #1. It contains sufficient concentrations of omega 3, is sustainably sourced, and the social responsibility element is a nice touch.