How Do Vegans Get Omega-3s?
Vegans can get Omega-3 fatty acids in a few different ways. First, vegans can consume ALA omega-3 fatty acids in plant-based foods like chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts. All of these ALA omega-3 fatty acids need to be converted into EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids to be used in the body and the rate of that conversion can vary. Most of the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown with DHA and EPA Omega-3 fatty acids and the only vegan source of EPA and DHA comes from the algae that the fish eat. Most of the traditional Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplements source their Omega-3 oils from the fish but you can find vegan Omega-3 fatty acid supplements that use marine algae. If you’re looking for an Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplement, you can find some HERE but we also did a write up about our favorite Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements.
Below you’ll find our favorite vegan omega-3 fatty acid supplement with both DHA and EPA. The current recommendation is that Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women consume at least 300mg of DHA (according to the American Pregnancy Organization).
Although, most sources will tell you that DHA and EPA are recommended and it’s recommended to supplement combined at least 200-500mg DHA and EPA with at least 300mg coming from DHA. The below recommendations meet that criteria but know that there are other vegan omega-3 supplements out there that do not meet this criteria and are still heavily marketed as vegan prenatal DHA supplements.
Best Vegan Omega-3 Supplement – During Pregnancy with DHA and EPA and Beyond
1. Nordic Naturals Algae Omega
What we love: Nordic Naturals creates many vegan and plant-based omega-3 supplements (and fish based omega-3 fatty acid supplements along with other products), but they are a reputable brand. We like this Algae Omega blend better than their prenatal as it has both DHA and EPA oils (390mg DHA, 190mg EPA) and meets the recommendation of a combined >500mg omega-3 fatty acid blend with at least 300mg coming from DHA for pregnancy (many omega-3 supplements do not). The vegan capsule is an easy way to ensure your omega 3 fatty acids are being met with high quality ingredients to support you and your growing baby during pregnancy and beyond (hint: I recommend this one often to my clients). Find Nordic Naturals Algae Omega HERE.
Considerations: If you are concerned about or avoiding carrageenan, the vegetarian capsule does use this ingredient.
I hope that helped give you a vegan option for an Omega-3 supplement during pregnancy and beyond (I think omegas can be a great idea to take postpartum to help manage hair quality and potentially help with mood swings. Plus, if you plan on breastfeeding, continuing with an omega-3 fatty acid supplement is a must. Out of all of these options for a vegan Omega-3 fatty acid supplement, I think Nordic Naturals Algae Omega provides the best ratio with 390mg DHA and 190mg EPA and although it’s not marketed as a prenatal omega-3 fatty acid supplement, it really should be given the great quality ingredients, an ideal amount, and a cruelty-free formula to support you and your growing baby.
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