Are vegan Omega-3 supplements necessary?
Omega 3 plays an essential role in your body. It makes up cell membranes, keeps the nervous system functioning, keeps cholesterol levels in check, and even staves off inflammation. The three critical Omega-3 fatty acids are ALA, EPA, DHA.
- ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is found in a wide range of foods
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) found mainly in fish
- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) found mainly in fish and seaweed
Unfortunately, Omega-3 is most commonly found in fish, making fish oil a popular option for supplementation. Of course, that’s not suitable for vegans. But there are several great vegan Omega 3 supplements available as well.
Not all of the vegan Omega 3 supplements are worthwhile – some are simply money pits. We’ve worked with our experts to test many brands, and have narrowed our recommendation to the following list of five supplements. Since EPA and DHA are most difficult to find in vegan sources, we’ve concentrated on products that outperform in these areas.
Dr. Fuhrmann’s is a healthy vegan source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, that have proven performance. The brand originated in 2004, and have been improving their products ever since. Dr. Fuhrman’s DHA+EPA Purity is produced in the United States from lab-grown algae. It is a clean, safe, and environmentally sound source of vegan omega-3 fatty acids. It comes in a liquid form, which has a great citrus flavor. It’s easily added to food, juices, or smoothies. A few drops deliver over 250 mg of omega-3 fatty acids (175 mg DHA, 88 mg EPA) .
Ovega 3 is one of the highest consumer rated vegan omega-3 supplements. It’s an excellent value compared to other similar brands. Each softgel provides a minimum of 500 mg of heart healthy omega-3s DHA & EPA derived from algae, including at least 320 mg of DHA and at least 130 mg of EPA. It’s also free of PCBs and mercury because it is sourced from plants that are grown outside of the ocean. This also means that it comes from a sustainable source that does not deplete the ocean’s supply of fish or other sea life.
Deva Nutrition specializes in vegan supplements of al kinds. They have 3 different types of vegan omega-3 supplements: Vegan Liquid DHA-EPA, Vegan Liquid Omega-3 DHA, and Vegan Omega-3 DHA Softgels. I prefer the softgels, as I find that easiest to take, but they also make a great lemon flavored liquid. From start to finish, the product is produced in an FDA-inspected facility, with no risk of ocean borne contaminants such as PCBs or dioxins.
Nothing Fishy sells just one single product, and that is Algae Omega 3 DHA. These folks are completely dedicated to producing this great vegan omega-3 supplement. The product is 100% plant based. It’s considered safe for kids, adults and everyone in between. They even grow their own algae cultures and make their own seawater in a controlled environment, so nothing is left to chance. They claim to be one of the cleanest sources of Omega 3 available.
Nordic Naturals is another popular vegan option for Omega-3. It’s packed with over 700mg of DHA and EPA. It’s plant-based, sourced from algae, and both GMO and hexane-free. It comes in easy to take capsules and is another brand that is highly rated by consumers.