Omega 3 fatty acids are predominately found in fish such as salmon, cod, and mackerel. This becomes a challenge for vegans and vegetarians when trying to reach their daily goal.
Of the three main types of omega-3 fatty acids, plant foods typically only contain alpha-linolenic acid. ALA is not as active in the body and must be converted to two other forms of omega-3 fatty acids — eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — to bestow the same health benefits.
Here are 7 of the best plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Chia seeds are known for their many health benefits, bringing a large dose of fiber and protein with each serving. Thanks to their omega-3, fiber, and protein, studies have found chia seeds could decrease the risk of chronic disease when consumed as part of a healthy diet.
In addition to their high content of vitamin K, vitamin C and fiber, Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Algal oil, a type of oil derived from algae, stands out as one of the few vegan sources of both EPA and DHA.
In addition to protein, magnesium, iron, and zinc, hemp seeds are comprised of about 30% oil and contain a good amount of omega-3s.
One ounce (28 grams) of walnuts contains 2,542 mg of ALA omega-3 fatty acids, or 159–231% of the daily recommended intake.
Flaxseeds are nutritional powerhouses, providing a good amount of fiber, protein, magnesium, and manganese in each serving. They’re also an excellent source of omega-3s. Several studies have demonstrated the heart-healthy benefits of flaxseeds, largely thanks to their omega-3 fatty acid content.
This oil, derived from perilla seeds, is often used in Korean cuisine as a condiment and cooking oil. In addition to being a versatile and flavorful ingredient, it’s also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are an important part of the diet and essential to your health. If you don’t eat fish because of dietary reasons or personal preference, you can still reap the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.