Omega 3’s are a group of fatty acids, necessary for the healthy functionality of the human body and are essential to bringing optimal nutritional balance to a vegan diet. 

best vega sources of omega 3

Benefits of omega 3 fatty acids

Most people only associate omega-3’s with fish, so there tends to be a lack of general knowledge about alternative ways to get these essential fatty acids into your diet. 

Fortunately, there are a multitude of superb plant-based sources of omega-3 that both vegans and vegetarians can use to reach their daily omega-3 requirements with ease.

Best vegan sources of omega 3

Nuts & Seeds High in omega-3

Flax seeds

Nutrition per 1 oz (28g):

Macronutrients: Fat 12g, Carbohydrates 8.2g, Protein 5.2g
Vitamins: Vitamin B9 (folate)24.7mcg – 6% DV, Vitamin E 0.1mg – 2% DV
Minerals: Magnesium 111.3mg- 27% DV, Calcium 72.4mg – 6% DV, Iron 1.6mg – 9% DV

Health benefits and uses of flax seeds

  • No doubt everyone has heard of flax seeds by now as they sit firmly in the list of the top superfoods around and rightly so. They are packed with a tremendous amount of nutrients from vitamin B9 and vitamin E to calcium iron and protein. The nutrient flax seeds should be very well known for is omega 3’s. Flax seeds are one of the best sources of plant-based omega 3, providing 6480mg of Alpha-linolenic acid with each 1oz serving. 15% of ALA is converted into the essential fatty acids EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid). So for every 1 oz serving of flax seeds, you will receive about 970mg of combined EPA and DHA, which is nearly 200% of the RDA for essential omega 3’s.
  • Flax seeds are also very high in dietary fiber, providing you with 31% of your daily needs with every ounce of flax.
  • Flax seeds have a multitude of uses in the kitchen, from flax bread and vegan cookie recipes through to adding flax seeds to fruit smoothies and oat bowls. 
  • Try out some of our favorite vegan flax seed recipes to start reaping all the benefits of this super seed.
Chia seeds

Nutrition per 1 oz (28g):

Macronutrients: Fat 8.7g, Carbohydrates 12g, Protein 4.7g
Vitamins: Vitamin B9 (folate)13.9mcg – 3% DV, Vitamin E 0.1mg – 1% DV
Minerals: Magnesium 198.8mg – 47% DV, Zinc 2.8mg – 26% DV, Iron 2.3mg – 13% DV

Health benefits and uses of chia seeds

  • Chia seeds are another superfood topping everyone’s list thanks to being such a compact seed packed with beneficial vitamins minerals and antioxidants.
  • A 1oz serving of chia seeds provides 5064mg of ALA and around 760mg of EPA and DHA combined, which is 151.9% of the recommended daily amount! 
  • These beneficial seeds not only have a comprehensive nutritional profile but also have many benefits from helping to lower blood pressure and risk of heart disease through to helping to maintain healthy bones.
  • They also provide a whopping 39% of your recommended daily amount of fiber, which is great for a healthy digestive system.
  • Chia seeds have a wide range of uses for vegans, from chia puddings with fruit through to being a magnificent addition to fruit smoothies in the morning. 
  • Want to get the most out of this phenomenal omega-3 seed? Try out some of our top chia seed recipes.
Hemp seeds

Nutrition per 1 oz (28g):

Macronutrients: Fat 13.8g, Carbohydrates 2.5g, Protein 9g
Vitamins: Vitamin B9 (folate)31.2mcg – 8% DV, Vitamin E 0.2mg – 2% DV
Minerals: Magnesium 198.8mg – 47% DV, Zinc 2.8mg – 26% DV, Iron 2.3mg – 13% DV

Health benefits and uses of hemp seeds

  • Hemp seeds are one of the most nutritious seeds on the planet. They are the seeds of the Cannabis Sativa plant but are not able to cause psychoactive effects due to extremely low amounts of THC.
  • Hemp seeds are very high in omega-3 fatty acids providing 2466mg of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and around 74% of your EPA and DHA daily needs with just 1 ounce making this one of the best vegan omega-3 sources available. 
  • They are also very high in protein, providing 18% of your recommended daily amount with just 1oz, making it the number 1 seed for high protein and omega 3’s combined. 
  • Studies have shown that hemp seeds have many benefits, from decreasing the risk of heart disease and lowering blood pressure through to reducing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and contributing to healthier skin.
  • Hemp seeds can be used in a protein shake to boost recovery or in a fresh green smoothie to increase nutrient properties and nutritional balance to your diet.

Beans and lentils high in omega-3

Soybeans – boiled

Nutrition per 1 cup:

Macronutrients: Fat 15.4g, Carbohydrates 14.4g, Protein 31.3g
Vitamins: Vitamin C 2.9mg – 3% DV, Vitamin K 33mcg – 28% DV
Minerals: Magnesium 147.9mg – 35% DV, Iron 8.8mg – 49% DV, Zinc 2mg – 18% DV

Health benefits and uses for soybeans

  • This extremely versatile bean is used in so many delicious and creative ways, from firm tofu for stir fry dishes to soy milk, tempeh, and miso paste. 
  • Soybeans are significantly high in a wide range of essential minerals, especially magnesium, iron, and zinc, which are all vital to a plant-based diet.
  • Soybeans are also one of the best beans for omega-3 fatty acids. For every 1 cup serving, they provide 1029mg of ALA and around 154.3mg of combined EPA and DHA, which fulfills 30% of your daily needs. 
  • Soybeans are low on the glycemic index, which means they help to maintain balanced blood sugar levels while also being high in fiber, helping to foster a healthy digestive system.
  • The high protein content makes them one of the best plant-based protein sources on the planet with a 1 cup serving able to provide over 60% of your recommended daily needs. 
  • Try out some of our favorite soybean recipes to boost your intake of essential omega 3 fatty acids while also getting a healthy dose of vegan protein.
Mung beans

Nutrition per 1 cup:

Macronutrients: Fat 1g, Carbohydrates 33g, Protein 13.6g
Vitamins: Vitamin C 1.8mg – 2% DV, Vitamin K 4.9mcg – 4% DV, Vitamin E 0.3mg – 2% DV
Minerals: Magnesium 113.4MG – 27% DV, Calcium 95.4mg – 7% DV, Iron 3.2mg – 18% DV

Health benefits and uses for mung beans

  • Mung beans are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids in the bean and legume category of vegan foods. 
  • Every single cup of mung beans provides 603mg of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). This provides you with around 90.45mg combined of the essential fatty acids EPA and DHA, which is approximately 18% of your essential omega-3 daily needs.
  • Mung beans are also a wonderful source of vegan protein, providing you with around 25% of your minimum daily needs for protein. It’s especially great for those trying to build lean muscle since this protein source has minimal fat content and is low on the glycemic index.
  • Mung beans are not only packed with essential nutrients but are also filled with beneficial antioxidants and flavonoids, helping to reduce inflammation and risk of heart disease
  • Mung beans can be a great addition to cooked wild rice or can work fantastically in vegetarian soups.

Navy beans

Nutrition per 1 cup:

Macronutrients: Fat 1.1g, Carbohydrates 47.4g, Protein 15g
Vitamins: Vitamin C 1.6mg – 2% DV, Vitamin B9 (folate) 254.8mcg – 64% DV
Minerals: Magnesium 96.5mg – 23% DV, Iron 4.3mg – 24% DV, Calcium 125.6mg – 10% DV

Health benefits and uses for navy beans

  • Beans are known to be a fantastic source of beneficial minerals and vitamins, and navy beans are no exception. They are high in plant-based protein, as well as a range of essential nutrients needed on a plant-based diet such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. 
  • They are also relatively high in omega 3’s, providing 322mg of ALA and 48.3mg of combined EPA and DHA with every 1 cup serving of navy beans.
  • Navy beans are significantly high in dietary fiber, providing 76% of your daily fiber needs with just one cup of navy beans! Fiber is an excellent way to support a healthy digestive system and optimal bowel movements.
  • Studies have shown navy beans to be an excellent aid for supporting healthy weight loss and lowering blood pressure, as well as maintaining healthy cholesterol levels
  • A great way to incorporate navy beans into your diet is a plant based vegan bean stew or mixed into a healthy high protein vegan salad.

Vegetables high in omega 3

Soybean sprouts

Nutrition per 1 cup:

Macronutrients: Fat 4.7g, Carbohydrates 6.7g, Protein 9.2g
Vitamins: Vitamin C 10.7mg – 12% DV, Vitamin B9 (folate) 120.4mcg – 30% DV
Minerals: Magnesium 50.4mg 0 12% DV, Zinc 0.8mg – 7% DV, Calcium 46.9mg – 4% DV

Health Benefits of soybean sprouts

  • Soybean sprouts are one of the most popular bean sprouts around, most commonly used in Korea. They are extremely high in protein as well as vitamin C, folate, and iron. 
  • A nutrient they are less known for is their omega 3 fatty acids. Each cup of soybeans provides 312mg of alpha-linolenic acid per cup and around 46.8mg of combined EPA and DHA. This provides around 10% of your daily omega-3 essential fatty acid needs.
  • The lower phytic acid levels and high heme-iron per cup serving have been shown to help reduce symptoms of iron deficiency
  • In the vegan kitchen, soybean sprouts are predominantly used in stir fry dishes and work fantastically in tofu vegetable stir fry.
  • Try out our favorite plant-based stir fry recipes today and add in some soybean sprouts for their protein and omega-3 benefits.
Kale – cooked

Nutrition per 1 cup:

Macronutrients: Fat 0.5g, Carbohydrates 7.3g, Protein 2.5g
Vitamins: Vitamin C 53.3mg- 89% DV, Vitamin E 1.1mg- 6% DV
Minerals: Calcium 195mg – 15% DV, Magnesium 32.5mg – 8% DV, Iron 1.1mg – 6% DV

Health Benefits of kale

  • Kale is one of the most popular cruciferous vegetables and terrific for use in a wide range of recipes thanks to its tasty flavors and super nutrient profile. Not only does it pack a large helping of vitamins A, B, and C, but it’s jam-packed with antioxidants that help to protect your body from free radicals.
  • Although vegetables are not typically high in omega 3 fatty acids, kale is one of the few that provides a reasonable amount to aid you in meeting your daily needs. 
  • Each 1 cup serving of cooked kale provides 134mg of alpha-linolenic acid per cup and 20.1mg of combined EPA and DHA.
  • Kale is also high in vitamin K, with each 1 cup serving providing over 50% of your daily needs. Studies have shown that vitamin K is great for building strong bones, so adding kale to your diet will not only provide you with a large boost of essential nutrients but has the benefit of helping to prevent bone issues like osteoporosis
  • Kale is one of the best leafy greens to juice, so why not try out some of our top kale juice recipes to help boost your omega-3 intake while bringing a comprehensive range of nutrients into your diet.
Chinese broccoli

Nutrition per 100g:

Macronutrients: Fat 0.8g, Carbohydrates 4.7g, Protein 1.2g
Vitamins: Vitamin C 29.6mg – 33% DV, Vitamin K 89.1mcg – 74% DV, Vitamin A 86mcg – 10% DV
Minerals: Calcium 105mg – 8% DV, Potassium 274mg – 6% DV, Iron 0.6mg – 3% DV

Health Benefits of Chinese broccoli

  • Chinese broccoli is one of our favorite green vegetables thanks to its tasty flavor, high nutrient content, and versatile uses.
  • It works excellent in vegetable stir-fries and plant-based salads.
  • It’s also one of the best green vegetables for omega-3 content providing 271mg of alpha-linolenic acid and around 9% of your EPA and DHA daily needs.
  • Each 100g serving of Chinese broccoli has enough fiber to fulfill over 10% of your daily needs, which will aid in digestive health as well as providing up to 33% of vitamin C, which supports a strong immune system.
  • Chinese broccoli is also high in beta-carotene, making this green vegetable great for eye health and healthy skin.

Grains high in omega 3

Oats

Nutrition per 1 cup:

Macronutrients: Fat 10.8g, Carbohydrates 103.4g, Protein 26.3g
Vitamins: Vitamin B9 (folate) 87.4mcg – 22%, Vitamin B1 (thiamin) 0.2mg – 14% DV
Minerals: Magnesium 276.1mg – 66% DV, Zinc 6.2mg – 56% DV, Calcium 84.2mg – 6% DV

Health benefits and uses for oats

  • In our opinion, oats deserve to be in the superfood category along with plant-based foods like kale and wheatgrass. The uses and nutritional profile of oats are simply amazing. 
  • Not only are oats high in complex carbs and healthy plant based protein but each single cup of oats is able to provide over 60% of your daily fiber needs. 
  • This makes oats wonderful for the health-conscious vegan trying to stay fit and lean while maintaining optimal digestive health.
  • When it comes to omega-3 fatty acids, oats have the highest content out of all grains. Each cup provides 173mg of alpha-linolenic acid per cup, which provides around 5% of the essential fatty acids EPA and DHA.
  • The uses for oats, especially on a vegan diet are endless. They are the base of the popular oat bowls you see everywhere, they can be used in breads, biscuits, as flour and can even be added to vegan protein shakes to boost the nutritional content. Try to incorporate oats into your diet to reap all the wonderful benefits of this amazing grain.
Buckwheat

Nutrition per 1 cup:

Macronutrients: Fat 5.8g, Carbohydrates 121.6g, Protein 22.5g
Vitamins: Vitamin B9 (folate) 51mcg, Vitamin B1 (thiamin) 0.2mg – 14% DV
Minerals: Zinc 4.1mg – 37% DV, Iron 3.7mg – 21% DV, Magnesium 392.7mg – 94% DV

Health Benefits of buckwheat

  • Buckwheat, despite its name, is a gluten-free grain that contains the highest magnesium content levels out of all grains. Each cup serving provides 133mg of alpha-linolenic acid per cup and around 19.95mg of combined EPA and DHA.
  • It boasts the best magnesium content out of all grains but is also high in zinc and iron, two minerals that are vital to a healthy plant based diet. 
  • Buckwheat also has one of the best amino acid profiles for a plant based food helping to dispel the myth that you cant get good protein without meat. For every cup of buckwheat, you’ll get around 22.5 grams of protein, making this a great plant-based protein source for after a workout, aiding in muscle recovery and repair.
  • Studies on buckwheat have shown that its benefits are vast, from helping to lower blood sugar levels, through to decreasing blood pressure and supporting a healthy heart.
  • Some of the best vegan uses of buckwheat are in plant-based porridge and vegan pancakes. It can also be used as a replacement for rice to go along with a vegan bean curry or vegetable stew.
Wild rice – cooked

Nutrition per 1 cup:

Macronutrients: Fat 5.8g, Carbohydrates 121.6g, Protein 22.5g
Vitamins: Vitamin B9 (folate) 51mcg, Vitamin B1 (thiamin) 0.2mg – 14% DV
Minerals: Zinc 4.1mg – 37% DV, Iron 3.7mg – 21% DV, Magnesium 392.7mg – 94% DV

Health Benefits of wild rice

  • Wild rice (although not an actual rice grain) is a seed that is very nutritious and surpasses typical rice thanks to its comprehensive range of minerals and vitamins.
  • It contains a large amount of zinc, iron, magnesium, and b vitamins, which are all nutrients essential to a vegan diet making this grain great for maintaining nutritional balance.
  • It also contains a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids for a grain, delivering 271mg of alpha-linolenic acid and around 40.65mg of combined EPA and DHA with every cup.
  • Although not a rice grain, wild rice can be used just like rice. It can be used in vegan salads, in plant based stir fry dishes, and in vegan casseroles. 
  • Try out some of our favorite wild rice recipes to find creative ways to add this food to your diet.

Fruits high in omega 3

Cherimoya

Nutrition per 1 cup:

Macronutrients: Fat 1.6g, Carbohydrates 23.6g, Protein 4.2g
Vitamins: Vitamin C 376.7mg – 419% DV, Vitamin E 1.2mg – 8% DV
Minerals: Potassium 688.1mg – 15% DV, Magnesium 36.3mg – 9% DV, Zinc 0.4mg – 3% DV

Health Benefits of cherimoya

  • Cherimoya, also known as a custard apple, is a South American tropical fruit known for its unique acorn shape and delightfully sweet flavor. Although not known by many in the west, cherimoya is one of the best fruits for omega-3 content and is a great way to get your essential fatty acids with a fruit that’s pleasant to the tastebuds. 
  • Every cup of cherimoya provides 254mg of alpha-linolenic acid and around 7% of your daily essential fatty acid needs.
  • Cherimoya is also rich in vitamins C and E while also boasting a significant supply of antioxidants, especially lutein. 
  • Studies have shown that lutein is great for eye health and lowering the risk of cataracts.
  • Cherimoya works beautifully in a fruit smoothie combined with other tropical fruits like pineapple, guava or papaya. 
Guavas

Nutrition per 1 cup:

Macronutrients: Fat 1.6g, Carbohydrates 23.6g, Protein 4.2g
Vitamins: Vitamin C 376.7mg – 419% DV, Vitamin E 1.2mg – 8% DV
Minerals: Potassium 688.1mg – 15% DV, Magnesium 36.3mg – 9% DV, Zinc 0.4mg – 3% DV

Health Benefits of Guavas

  • Guavas are a fantastic tropical fruit known for their vibrant color, delicious flavor, and multiple health benefits. 
  • Guavas are extremely high in vitamin C, which is great for the immune system, they are also high in vitamin E, making them a brilliant fruit for healthy skin hair and nails.
  • The high antioxidant content can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, while the wide range of nutrients in guava has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels
  • Surprisingly guavas are one of the best sources of omega-3 in the fruit category, providing 185mg of alpha-linolenic acid per cup and around 5% of your essential fatty acid needs in the form of EPA and DHA.
  • Guavas also provide 8% of your minimum protein needs with every cup serving, making them a terrific fruit to add to your morning smoothie or your post-workout protein shake.
Avocados

Nutrition per 1 avocado (average):

Macronutrients: Fat 29.5g, Carbohydrates 17.1g, Protein 4g
Vitamins: Vitamin K 42.4mcg – 35% DV, Vitamin E 4.2mg – 28% DV, Vitamin C 20.1mg – 22% DV
Minerals: Potassium 688.1mg – 15% DV, Magnesium 36.3mg – 9% DV, Zinc 0.4mg – 3% DV

Health Benefits of avocados

  • Avocados are probably one of the top foods on every vegan’s top 10 list thanks to their creamy texture and palatable flavor.
  • They are also one of the best source of vitamin K (great for bone health) and E (good for healthy hair) while also being high in both omega-3 (223mg) and omega-6 (34mg)
  • An average-sized avocado can provide around 223mg of ALA and 33.45mg of combined EPA and DHA.
  • Although avocados are high in healthy fats, the high level of soluble fiber is excellent for weight loss, weight maintenance, and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. 
  • The high monounsaturated fat content is great for heart health, reducing inflammation, and lowering the risk of cancer.
  • 1 avocado provides 8% of your recommended protein amount, making fresh avocado a brilliant addition to a homemade plant based protein shake. The avocado turns the protein shake into a deliciously creamy smoothie while adding a helpful protein boost to aid in muscle recovery.

Plant based omega 3 supplementation

Vegan omega-3 supplements are an excellent alternative way to meet your daily essential fatty needs. A quality plant-based omega-3 supplement can help to bring balance to your diet in a simple to consume oil or capsule. The best vegan omega-3 supplements will be algae-based and contain predominantly EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), which are the two essential fatty acids that vegans need the most. Most plant based foods are high in ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) but low in DHA and EPA, so a supplement helps to cover all bases. Check out our top recommended vegan omega-3 supplements to help maintain balance to your plant-based diet.

Want to find out how to make the most of omega-3 on a plant-based diet? Check out our in-depth omega 3 guide that breaks it all down.

Feeling inspired?

Why not try some of our fantastic vegan recipes high Omega 3 to bring optimal nutritional balance to your vegan diet. 

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