Vegan Omega-3 Sources - The Pros and Cons of Leading Omega-3 Foods

Vegan Omega-3 Sources

Vegans should take note of vegan omega-3 sources to help meet their nutritional needs.

Would it surprise you to know that many vegans are lacking when it comes to the amount of omega-3 fatty acids found in their blood and possibly in tissues throughout their bodies? Many vegans are shocked to hear this, since there are some excellent plant sources that contain these essential fatty acids. Yet, some research has proven that most vegans are lacking when it comes to stores of beneficial omega-3 fats.

This may explain why some vegans have thicker blood that is faster to clot. A long-term deficiency may also put vegans at risk of cognitive disturbances and depression. If you or someone you love is a vegan, take a moment to learn the pros and cons of the leading plant-based omega-3 sources.

Flaxseeds & Flaxseed Oil

This is the go-to source for many vegans in need of more omega-3. These tiny seeds are also packed with fiber and are easy to add into smoothies, soups, salads and many other vegan-friendly dishes. High-quality flaxseed oil will deliver a more concentrated dose of fatty acids, but you can also buy ground flaxseeds for baking or other culinary applications.

Flaxseed oil supplements are becoming more readily available as people consider them a healthier alternative to fish oil supplements. This is the easiest way to make sure that you’re consuming adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids on a daily basis. If your concerned that supplements may contain ingredients that aren’t vegan, you can take high-quality flaxseed oil daily.

Pros:

  • Readily available in powder, seed, oil, or capsule form
  • You can add it into your daily menu easily
  • One of the best vegan source of omega-3 fatty acids

Cons:

  • The fatty acids found in flaxseed must be converted to a usable form once inside the body, so you don’t actually get the benefit of all the healthy fats that you consume. Compare that to fish oil, which is ready for use upon consumption.

Chia Seeds As Vegan Omega-3 Sources

These tiny seeds are becoming quite popular even with meat eaters, and there are thousands of ways to include them in your vegan meals. From adding them to smoothies to tossing them in the batter when you make vegan muffins, this is one of the easiest ways to get your omega-3s.

Pros:

  • Contains more omega-3 fatty acids than many other vegan foods
  • Easy to incorporate into foods you eat every day

Cons:

Leafy Green Vegetables as Vegan Omega-3 Sources

If you eat a lot of spinach, kale and salad greens, you’re giving your body a boost of omega-3 fatty acid with each bite. While the concentration of fatty acids in these foods is quite low, it’s worth noting that many vegans eat these foods in larger quantities than the average meat eater.

Pros:

  • You can use greens to make a variety of meals
  • It’s not difficult to eat these vegetables in bulk
  • Naturally low in calories and fat, so they’re healthy all around

Cons:

  • Small amount of omega-3 fatty acid in each serving

The vegan lifestyle is considered among the healthiest options available today, but you have to watch out for nutrients that you may miss when animal products are bypassed. Luckily, you can make up for your diet’s deficiencies with supplements or by consciously adding more of these omega-rich foods into your daily diet. In addition to those healthy fats, these foods deliver many other vitamins and minerals that your body needs to sustain a long, vibrant life.

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