The vegan diet is known for lacking many vital nutrients like Iron, Protein and calcium to name a few. This makes many vegans constantly look for ways to consume these nutrients from their vegan lifestyles.
The great thing about the vegan diet is that there is a variety of foods to choose from. It is not too difficult to meet your nutrient requirements.
Before I was a vegan I was so in love with fish because it was the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids which helped with improving my heart health. So that is why I became very concerned with getting omega 3 when I changed to this plant based diet.
Overtime I have been able to find ways to get my omega 3s with different vegan foods. So in this article I am going to answer this question ” how do vegans get omega 3?”
Below are some basics and reasons why you need omega 3 fatty acids.
I hope you will enjoy this article and be sure to leave a comment telling me if you enjoyed this article.
1. Hemp seeds
When it comes to the question of “how do vegans get omega 3” hemp seed is one of the top foods due to its versatility for food preparation ways.
Hemp seeds are from a hemp plant that is called cannabis sativa which is a species of marijuana
Hemp seeds are great sources of many other vitamins like Iron, magnesium, protein and zinc which are normally lacking in a vegan diet.
Studies suggest that Hemp seeds are great for heart health and skin improvements. You can have hemp seeds in many dishes so that you can obtain your daily requirements.
Hemp seeds have an advantage that they can be eaten raw or cooked and they can also be used as a cooking oil for those who prefer to cook with healthy fats.
Here are other benefits for hemp seeds as well:
- May reduce the symptoms of menopause
- Aid in digestion
- May reduce the risk of heart disease
- Protect the brain
- Reduce inflammation
I find that hemp seed is best for me when I use it in my cooking as I can be able to get all the nutrition from it.
2. Flaxseeds oils
Flaxseeds are a super food which has many benefits for your overall health. This is in fact my number one food source even before I was vegan. I supplement on them daily.
This is because flaxseeds oils can be used by anyone(whether vegan or not), whether healthy or sick and they will be very beneficial.
The great thing about flaxseeds is that they can be consumed as a supplement form by capsules and if you do not prefer that then you can use it in oil form.
Flaxseeds also have the following nutrients in addition to omega 3 fatty acids:
Even though flaxseeds seeds have been around from ancient times only a few people know the benefits this super food has.
The plant it comes from called the flax plant which is know to come originally from Egypt is now starting to gain more popularity.
Although the plant itself is not used for medical purposes its seeds and oils are extensively used for variety of health benefits especially the chronic one.
Are you a fan of nuts? and still asking this question even now: How do vegans get omega 3?
Well you will be happy to know that certain nuts have omega 3 fatty acids in high amounts especially walnuts.
Walnuts are loaded with the good and healthy fats called ALA omega 3 fatty acids.
One serving of walnuts can be enough for your daily requirements i.e 28 grams of walnuts can give you about 2,500 mg of omega 3.
Related: How do vegans obtain protein?
Just like hemp and chia seeds walnuts are versatile meaning they can be put at different food preparations like breakfast with yogurt or just on their own.
Nuts like walnuts have many health benefits such as being great source of protein.
More than this there are other benefits for nuts such as:
- Great source of iron
- improves brain health
- improves heart health
4. Soybean oil
If you are a new vegan I am sure that you are well aware of soy or soybeans. This is because soy is a source from where most vegan and vegetarian meat substitutes are made.
Soybean oil is predominantly used for cooking applications and is considered one of the healthiest oils along with olive oil.
The soybean oil can also be used for other applications such as salad dressings and meals.
This oil has many other nutrients like:
- Vitamin K
Although soybean or soy has a bad reputation of tempering with hormones it is still good to have it in proper moderation.
5. Algal oil
Algal oil is a very different type vegan omega 3 fatty acids and it is best since it has EPA and DHA as suggested by research.
Algal oil has the same amount of omega 3 absorption as seafood like salmon.
You see fish oils have eicosepentenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid ( DHA). The fish obtain these acids from eating algae in the ocean.
Upon eating the algae plants the fish have a concentrated omega 3s in the body tissues which is what we get when we eat fish.
Below are the benefits of eating algae:
- Supports healthy pregnancy
- Boosts eye health
- Reduce inflammation
- Boost heart health
Brussels sprouts are another unique vegan source for omega 3 fatty acids.
Most vegans do not know this food because it is not common and in fact vegan’s grocery list of foods ,that vegans buy it, rarely has Brussels sprouts on it.
This goes to show how unknown this food is and you at least know that it is great for getting omega 3 fatty acids.
According to Healthline Brussels sprout is the best source of plant omega 3 and having several servings of Brussels sprout (78 gram/half a cup) will give you 12% of your daily requirements.
The best way to prepare Brussels sprouts is through steaming as it the bile acid produced helps lower bad cholesterol in the body.
Besides having the omega 3 fatty acid the Brussels sprouts have a range of other benefits:
- Great for DNA protection
- Protects against cancer
- Thyroid function boost
Most people ask themselves if they should even be taking omega 3 fatty acids supplements.
The answer is yes you can take supplements and they are actually recommended by Medical News Today for people who specifically cannot meet the recommended daily intake and also those who have high levels of inflammation.
There are many types of supplements, however I will only mention those which can be consumed by vegans:
- Algae oil
These oils contain omega 3s for vegans and although it has the lowest dosages than most omega 3 fatty acids.
- ALA supplements
These ALA supplements have been used normally for preventing nerve damage especially in Europe since it has a lot of anti-oxidants.
Omega 3 fatty acids are a big concern to all vegans and all it takes is a person to know which are the right foods to eat.
It is vital to focus on foods which not only have omega 3 fatty acids but also to have other vitamins that are needed and are often left out in a vegan diet like protein, iron, calcium and Vitamin B12.
These vegan foods include walnuts, Brussel sprouts, hemp seeds, chai seeds and algal oil.
The best thing about the foods is that they can be eaten in combination to help increase the omega 3 fatty acids in the body
However it is still vital to ensure you do not overeat omega 3 just like any other food (remember eating in moderation is key).
I hope you enjoyed this article and I hope it helped give you the help you need and I hope I answered this question: How do vegans get omega 3?.
If you have any questions or any comments to add you are more than welcome to leave them below on the comment section.