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Omega 3 Foods | Vegan Sources

Omega 3s are excellent and beneficial for the body in many ways.  These fatty acids are present in high amounts in fish, but other foods contain them as well.  We explore below the vegan food sources that have the highest amount of these nutrients to ensure your body gets the nutrition necessary for your best state of health.

Omega 3 foods vegan

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Our family adds some of these sources to our diet as needed.  Several of the foods may be problematic for some health issues, so be cautious.  There are many on the list to choose from however.

Among being high in these healthy fatty acids, other health benefits are received from these foods as well. All of the details and health benefits are provided for you in order for you to be best informed about what is the right choice for you.

Although these foods sources are great ways to get omega 3s into your diet, supplementing with a vegan sourced omega 3 supplement is an option as well.  A high quality supplement is recommended later in the post if you choose to add one to your diet.

This post is about the best omega 3 foods and vegan sources that are safe.

Disclaimer:  No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor, a qualified clinician or other qualified health care professional.

Best Omega 3 Vegan Sources

Flax Seeds

The latin name for flaxseed is Linum usitatissimum  which refers to "very useful".  And indeed flaxseeds are useful in many ways.  They are a great source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, also known as PUFAs or Omega 3s.

A current focus of flax seeds  is their powerful benefits for health. However, they were first used in the processing of cloth and paper.  They are commonly used in cooking, baking, as add-ins in smoothies and smoothie bowls as well as macaronis and pastas.

Some of the benefits one can get from the omega 3s when incorporating flax seeds into their diet are antimicrobial, autoinflammatory, antiaging, anticancer and antidiabetic effects.  

Canada, the United States, and China are among some of the largest flaxseed producers, with Canada leading.  These seeds come in 2 varieties, which are both similar in their omega 3 count- golden and brown.  

Flaxseed oil is also a fantastic source of omega 3s..  We will occasionally use it in cooking, but it has a distinct flavor, so keep that in mind when choosing when to cook with it.  


Walnuts contain a high amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is one of the fatty acids elements in omega 3s.  This antioxidant is needed for the longer-chained fatty acids known as PUFAs to carry out their functions.  These PUFAs are other essential fatty acids to the body known as the elements docosahexaenoic (DHA) and eicosatetraenoic (EPA).

These 3 essential nutrient components are all vitally important in brain development.  These fatty elements are obtained through diet, which makes walnuts a valuable food to consume.  Controlled trial studies among adolescents have shown the importance of these polyunsaturated fats on neurological functioning.

The benefits of including walnuts in the diet for cognitive performance are there.  However, ALA is not easily converted into EPA.  Therefore, looking at all aspects of health are important to make sure conversion takes place.

Buy High Quality Walnuts Here!

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are the richest food in omega 3s.  They also contain all 9 important amino acids that the body does not make on its own.  

The oil of the chia seed contains 60 percent of the nutrient component ALA, which is the fatty acid precursor to EPA and DHA.  ALA can be difficult though to convert to EPA and DHA which are the usable forms of fatty acids by the body.  Either way, chia seeds are still a great vegan omega 3 option.

Chia seeds are able to be used as an egg replacer or simply added to hot or cold foods.  You often times can find chia seed and flax seed mixes as well.

Chia seeds are also high in fiber which can help regulate your blood sugar.  Energy is sustained for longer as well because these seeds will keep the body fuller longer.

Another benefit to chia seeds is that they are antioxidants.  This means that they help keep the cells healthy and working properly.

Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are an important food rich in both omega 3s and Omega 6s.  The ratio of this fatty acid count is between the ratio of 1:2-1:3 (omega 3:omega 6) in hemp seeds.  This count is ideal for a healthy body.  We LOVE this brand in particular and go through it quickly.

It is important, however, to keep in mind that most people in the United States have a higher count of omega 6s than average.  This means that the ratio of omega 3s to omega 6s are off for optimal health. In turn, health problems are able to arise due to this.  The average ratio of omega 3s to omega 6 in the United States is 1:15, which is extremely high.

Although hemp seeds are very beneficial to the body another form of food higher in omega 3s will want to be consumed to get the proper balance of these polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Hemp seeds are also made up of 25% of easily digestible protein and are high in essential amino acids that are also important for body health.  Although the name contains the word seed, this food is technically categorized as a nut.

Hemp oil is another form of this nutrient. This oil and its fatty acid has been found to be helpful as a dietary supplement.  However, dosing is an important factor.  More studies are continually being done pertaining to dosing amounts and health benefits. 


Algae contain the fatty acids EPA and DHA, but the amount you get is dependent on the type of algae or seaweed you eat.  The great thing about getting omega 3s from algae is that the body is able to directly get the fatty acids into the body without having to convert any nutrients.

The best types of algae to consume are nori, seaweed, chlorella and spirulina.  

These foods can be easily obtained through supplements or by adding them to smoothies, cereal mixes, granolas and many other dishes.  My son has been known to pick these out as a snack choice often.  

Picking a trusted sources is a must.  Some trusted alga snacks that we enjoy are these snacks here.

The best supplement and powder for chlorella and spirulina are below:

Trusted Chlorella Supplement

Trusted Spirulina Powder

Best Vegan Omega 3 Supplements to take

Some people may want to supplement with omega 3s to make sure they are getting enough of the fatty acids.  This may especially be the case for someone with memory problems, heart issues, mood swings, ADHD symptoms (see a related post here to see how omega 3s can help ADHD symptoms), or autistic or sensory symptoms.

Here is a great Omega 3 Vegan Supplement!

This post is about the best omega 3 foods and vegan sources that are safe.


  1. Callaway, J.C. Hempseed as a nutritional resource: An overview. Euphytica 140, 65–72 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10681-004-4811-6
  2. Julvez, J., Gignac, F., Fernández-Barrés, S., Romaguera, D., Sala-Vila, A., Ranzani, O. T., Persavento, C., Delgado, A., Carol, A., Torrent, J., Gonzalez, J., Roso, E., Barrera-Gómez, J., López-Vicente, M., Garcia-Esteban, R., Boucher, O., Forns, J., Burgaleta, M., Sebastián, N., Canals, J., … Sunyer, J. (2021). Walnuts, Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, and Adolescent Brain Development: Protocol for the Walnuts Smart Snack Dietary Intervention Trial. Frontiers in pediatrics9, 593847. https://doi.org/10.3389/fped.2021.593847

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