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As someone who has been vegan for nearly 5 years, it took me way too long to realize that I wasn’t getting my optimal omega-3 fatty acid intake. I knew omega-3 was important for our health, but I definitely wasn’t aware that there are 11 different types of omega-3, and we need to be getting enough of at least three of them regularly. These three Omega-3 fatty acids are ALA, EPA, and DHA.

What are the health benefits of omega-3?

Omega-3 fatty acids benefit our health in many ways. They’re important for our heart heath, our joints, our vision, and even our mood. Here are some key health benefits of omega-3.

  • Healthy arteries: Protects our arteries and maintains cardiovascular health
  • Healthy hair: ALA nourishes our hair follicles and promotes growth
  • Enhances mood: Helps reduces symptoms of depression, specifically when EPA is taken daily
  • Improves vision: DHA helps improve eye health since DHA is a major structural component of our retina
  • Healthy nails: Strengthens our nails and improves their glossiness

The 5 Best Vegan Omega-3 Supplements Without Fish

Not all plant-based omega-3 supplements out there will contain both DHA and EPA. Pay attention to the ingredients and nutrition labels of each supplement brand to know what the product contains. You’ll notice that some omega-3 supplements contain DHA but lack EPA. While others contain less than adequate amounts of each. I like to stick with a supplement that contains around 500 mg of both EPA and DHA, as per my daily omega-3 requirements.


$ 0.51

per serving

  • Format: Liquid
  • Total Servings: 40
  • 1000 mg of EPA/DHA per serving

See price


$ 0.47

per serving

  • Format: Capsules
  • Total Servings: 60
  • 240 mg DHA + 25 mg DPA per serving

See price


$ 0.71

per serving

  • Format: Softgels
  • Total Servings: 30
  • 500 mg DHA/EPA per serving

See price


$ 0.36

per serving

  • Format: Gummies
  • Total Servings: 45
  • 29.7 mg ALA per serving

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Natural Factors

$ 0.99

per serving

  • Format: Softgels
  • Total Servings: 60
  • 300 mg DHA + 9 mg EPA per serving

See price

Which Omega-3 Fatty Acids do I need?

The three omega-3 fatty acids to look out for in your diet are ALA, DHA, and EPA. Your daily ALA requirements can easily be met on a standard vegan diet. ALA is found in soy, flax, chia seeds, walnuts, and many more vegan staples. DHA, on the other hand, is harder to scope out if you’re eating a plant-based diet.

Our bodies are designed to convert ALA to EPA and then convert that EPA to DHA. The problem is that many of us are not so great at doing it. It’s found that only about 3.8% of DHA and 6% of EPA gets metabolized or “converted”. This means that the tablespoon of flax you’re adding to your smoothie every morning isn’t necessarily getting converted into the levels of EPA and DHA that your body needs to thrive. Without actually measuring omega-3 levels in your blood, it’s hard to tell how your individual body is handling that conversion process.

Bottom line: don’t rely on ALA alone as an omega-3 source. As a vegan you need to be consuming an omega-3 supplement that contains all three essential omega-3s.

What are the best vegan sources of omega-3 fatty acids?

There are many fish-free sources of ALA out there, however, EPA and DHA are only found in algae or fortified foods.

  • Plant-based sources of ALA: flax seeds, chia seeds, brussel sprouts, hemp seeds, walnuts, certain canola/rapeseed oils (check label), soybeans, pumpkin seeds
  • Plant-based sources of EPA and DHA: algae and seaweed products, such as algae oil supplements, seaweed, spirulina, and chlorella.

I seriously wish I learned about omega-3 before shifting to a vegan diet. sooner because I deprived myself of adequate DHA intake for so many years. And prior to becoming vegan, I had to endure the unpleasant fishiness of fish oil supplements. I will never forget that after-taste!

How can I get enough omega-3 on a vegan diet?

Getting your daily dose of omega-3 on a plant-based diet isn’t as simple as adding a couple of teaspoons of chia seeds or flax seeds to your meals throughout the day. Chia seeds and flax seeds are great vegan sources of ALA, but they don’t contain any EPA or DHA.

The only way to get enough EPA and DHA on a plant-based diet is through algae. This explains why non-vegans rely on salmon or fish oil supplements for their omega-3 intake. Fish oil contains both EPA and DHA since algae is a staple in our little fish friends’ diets.

Why is fish oil not the best omega-3 source?

Most people don’t realize that by getting their omega-3 from a fish source, they’re basically consuming second-hand omega-3. Not only is this an inefficient way to feed your brain with the omega-3 it needs, it also comes with some consequences.

According to the 2015 study Plastic Waste Inputs from Land into the Ocean, 8 million metric tons of plastic are thrown into the ocean every year. That’s a lot of plastic. By relying on fish-sourced omega-3, you’re inevitably consuming plastic particles along with that second-hand omega-3.

Since the algae used in algae-based omega-3 supplements is grown in tanks, you won’t have to worry about the same contaminants fish are exposed to.

Bottom line: always opt for an algae-based omega-3 supplement. Otherwise, you’ll have to eat a whole lot of sea vegetables to obtain adequate omega-3 levels. Luckily, plant-based algae supplements are easy to find in health food stores or online — and are surprisingly tasty!


Whether it's vegan cooking or nutrition, I'm passionate about veganism and the wealth of benefits that come with the lifestyle. Since going vegan in 2017, I made it my life's mission to educate people about veganism and reshape the common perception that vegan food is boring.