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Best Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids for Vegans
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Best Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids for Vegans

The importance of Omega 3 Fatty Acids.

Our body does not produce Omega 3 fats, yet they are essential for survival. This is the importance of including Omega 3 fats in our diet especially for a healthy heart, to keep inflammation in check and in preventing arteries from hardening. The daily recommended dose is a minimum of 500 mg. of DHA and EPA, two of the main types of omega 3 fatty acids. In those with heart disease, the daily recommendation is even higher at 800-1000 mg. a day. In an omnivorous diet, fish is the principal source of Omega 3 fats. 

Including Omega 3 fats in a vegan diet might require more effort as Omega 3 fats are less abundant in plant sources. This particular type of Omega 3 fat is known as ALA. The body converts ALA to DHA and EPA. ALA is thus a less efficient source of Omega 3 fats. This is why it is essential to know about the best sources of Omega 3 fats in a vegan diet so that you include adequate quantities to meet the daily requirements. The following are some of the best sources of Omega 3 fats in a vegan diet.


They are the most concentrated source of ALA available. One tablespoon of flaxseeds can provide the daily recommended dose. This illustrates the need for consciously including items with Omega 3 fats in a vegan diet. You can include it in smoothies and crackers.


An excellent source of Omega 3 fats, an ounce can provide more than twice the daily requirements. Walnuts are much easier to incorporate in recipes such as in bakes and salads.

Seaweed and Algae: 

These are among the only plant sources of DHA and EPA type of Omega 3 fatty acids (as opposed to ALA variety in most plant sources). Nori can be a part of various recipes. Spirulina and chlorella powders are available in the market and you can add them to smoothies, pancakes and other recipes without altering their flavor.

Canola Oil:

This is higher in the Omega 3 fat ALA in comparison to all other oils, with the exception of flaxseed oil.


These are immature whole soybeans and you can incorporate them into a diet with some amount of effort. They may cause a bit of bloating though.

Kidney Beans: 

Though Omega 3 fats are not abundant in kidney beans, they need to be mentioned because they are a versatile food item and can be included in many recipes. Also, the quantity consumed can be higher.

Chia Seeds: 

A good source that can again be incorporated into many recipes including jams because they can work like pectin

Hemp Seeds:

It is of great benefit that most of the foods mentioned, other than providing Omega 3 fats, add multiple nutritional value to a vegan diet. Armed with this knowledge and with a bit of imagination, incorporating adequate quantities of Omega 3 fats in a vegan diet is within easy reach.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: What They Are & Why You Need Them | National Geographic
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