Which is the best omega 3 supplement for vegans?
The amount of omega 3 that you can get from eating a vegan diet can vary significantly depending on many different factors. Omega 3 is not a vitamin, but an essential fatty acid which has to be obtained from the diet, usually from fish.
Since fish is typically not on the menu for vegans, it has to come from somewhere else.
So you might wonder: what are the best sources of omega 3 on a vegan diet?
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Chia seeds
- Hemp Seeds
If you don’t include any of these in your diet current, it might be a good idea to start adding them.
These foods contain alpha-linolenic acid, which is converted by your body into both EPA and DHA.
It’s EPA and DHA which make up what we know as Omega 3.
EPA stands for: eicosapentaenoic acid and has numerous benefits like improving psychological well-being, joint health, skin health and more.
DHA stands for: docosahexaenoic acid is critical for proper brain development, vision, heart function and protection from cardiovascular disease.
The conversion varies from person to person. For men, the conversion of ALA to DHA is more difficult than for women. The reason for this is because men lack a certain enzyme to perform the conversion. It’s simply more important that women can convert ALA to DHA better, because of child brain development.
Why take an omega 3 supplement?
Omega 3, although crucial for our development, health, and psychological well-being, it also has many potential benefits in protecting us from a wide range of diseases and health conditions.
I’ve always taken some form of omega 3 supplements since I was a kid. My dad used to give me “cod liver oil” every day (this was before I went vegan). And it was the original seven seas cod liver oil!
Not the nicest taste in the world. But you get used to it after a while.
So, naturally, I searched out for the best omega 3 supplements for vegans and also looked into where I could get it from my diet.
I’ve noticed some subtle but important beneficial effects of taking omega 3:
- It helped improve my concentration by a lot
- It helped give my skin a nice glow
- I had a dry eye problem (reaction from a medication) for a short while and omega 3 helped reverse the eye symptoms I had. As long as I was taking the supplement, the symptoms went away.
- It made hair feel softer and look shinier
These are just some of the most obvious benefits I’ve noticed from using omega 3 supplements.
Long-term benefits of taking an omega 3 supplement
The immediate and short-term benefits of taking omega can be clear for some people. But what are the main benefits of using an omega 3 over a period of years?
There have been many different studies conducted, especially of the last 20 or so on the use of omega 3 in preventing and even treating various health issues and diseases.
Below are just a few of the ones that omega 3 could help with:
- It can help reduce inflammation in the body
- It can help improve depression and anxiety
- Omega 3 may help prevent heart disease
- Omega 3 may help reduce the development of some types of cancer
- Improves skin conditions
- Omega 3 can improve eye health
- Reduces the risk of diabetes
- Omega 3 may help prevent and even treat autoimmune diseases such as Lupus
- May help improve allergies
That is just a very short list of the things which have been looked at by researchers in the last two decades and studies are still ongoing. The research is not conclusive on everything, but nonetheless, it’s clear that omega 3 can play a vital role in our health.
So now, what you came here for…
Best vegan omega 3 supplements with DHA + EPA
Below are three supplements which are all vegan and sourced from Algal oil – which is a vegan-friendly source of both EPA and DHA.
Testa GMO DHA + EPA
Throughout the whole process of getting the omega 3 from the plant, to putting it in a capsule, testa ensure that it goes through a strict quality control process in food and pharmaceutical facilities.
And what you’re left with is an omega 3 supplement which won’t give you fishy burps and is without any of the toxins you may get with fish such as dioxins, pcb’s and mercury.
Each testa omega 3 capsule contains these ingredients:
Algae oil: 834 mg
Omega 3: 450 mg (250 mg DHA and 125 mg EPA)
Vitamin E: 9 IU of d-alpha tocopherol
Antioxidants / Vitamins: Rosemary extract and ascorbyl palmitate.
OVEGA Omega 3 supplement for vegans
This one has a lot of great reviews and is only slightly different from the omega 3 supplement above.
It’s also sourced from Algal oil and so it’s suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.
The process which the supplement is cultivated and the processing is done in an FDA inspected facility. So you can expect a pure and safe product from OVEGA.
Each soft gel contains the following ingredients:
Total fat: less than 1 gram
Omega 3: 500 mg of Algal oil (270 mg DHA and 135 mg EPA).
Antioxidants / Vitamins: Rosemary extract, tocopherols, and ascorbyl palmitate. Also contains beta-carotene.
Garden of life DHA Omega 3 supplement for vegans
So, if want a bit extra EPA from a supplement (in addition to the foods above), then the first two products are for you.
But if you think you’re getting plenty, then a better route may be to just simply go for a DHA vegan supplement and so you’ll get a higher dose of this specific fatty acid and more bang for your buck.
Serving size is 2 soft gels and contains the following:
Contains 60 capsules, so you get 30 days of DHA.
Total Omega 3: 500 mg of DHA
Other ingredients: Garden of life supplement also contains many other ingredients such as Astaxanthin (which is great for the brain and eye health), as well as silica, rosemary extract, mixed tocopherols, sodium carbonate and soy.
My final thoughts
Choosing a vegan source of omega 3 is a fantastic way to support the environment and not pollute our water. So these supplements would not only be suitable for just vegans but even non-vegans also.
There are many people who would benefit from taking omega 3. This is especially true if you are at a higher risk of any of the conditions I mentioned above.
Adequate levels of omega 3 are only one aspect of nutrition for well-being. But it’s an important one which is very much overlooked, even by non-vegans.
Many people in the west today consume diets which are very low in this important fatty acid, and this could be one of the reasons why we see certain diseases in the west being so much more prevalent than in places like east-Asia where they eat a lot of fish.
Fortunately, vegans don’t have to go without omega 3, as there are plenty of high-quality vegan omega 3 supplements to choose from.