That’s why our science team recommends a one-two-punch approach: Getting lots of omega-3 fatty acids in your daily diet, and taking a quality omega-3 supplement to help fill gaps.
Omega-3 DHA in your diet
It’s definitely a good idea to try including omega-3s in your daily diet. But it’s also important to note that not all omega-3 fatty acids are created equal—which can also help explain why many Americans may be falling below the recommended levels for dietary omega-3 fatty acids intake.
Alpha-linolenic acid (or ALA), for example, is found in several plant-based foods including tofu, flaxseeds, and walnuts. The catch? Our body still has to convert ALA to EPA and DHA—which only happens at a very small rate. That’s why in order to get your recommended daily omega-3 intake, it can be important to aim for a mix of all three. (1)
On the flip side, EPA and DHA are generally found in fatty fish like sardines, mackerel, and anchovies, along with eggs (in smaller amounts). If you happen to include a lot of fish in your diet, that’s great news—but if you’re vegan or vegetarian, that’s where things can get tricky. (1)
The bottom line is that while we recommend taking a food-first approach for getting omega-3s, getting enough of this nutrient through diet alone may not always be possible—which is where a quality omega-3 supplement can step in. (Spoiler: Fish oil supplements aren't always the answer.)
Omega-3 DHA in a multivitamin
Fish oil gets a lot of credit for its omega-3 content. But did you know that fish actually aren’t the original source? Fish eat phytoplankton, which eat omega-3-rich algae. That’s why we went to the bottom of the food chain and straight to the source: Ritual multivitamins are formulated with omega-3 DHA sourced from microalgae, which means they’re vegan-friendly.
Essential for Women was also shown in a university-led clinical trial to improve omega-3 DHA levels by 41% over 12 weeks, compared to no change in a placebo group. A multivitamin that’s vegan-certified and clinical-backed? That’s an omega-3 solution we can get behind.
- “Office of Dietary Supplements - Omega-3 Fatty Acids.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from National Institutes of Health
- Papanikolaou, Yanni, et al. “U.S. Adults Are Not Meeting Recommended Levels for Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake: Results of an Analysis Using Observational Data from NHANES 2003–2008.” Nutrition Journal, vol. 13, no. 1, Feb. 2014, doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-31.
- “Interim Summary of Conclusions and Dietary Recommendations on Total Fat & Fatty Acids.” World Health Organization, Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Fats and Fatty Acids in Human Nutrition , Nov. 2008. Retrieved from WHO
- Fats and fatty acids in human nutrition. (2014, April 4). Retrieved from World Health Organization
- USUAL NUTRIENT INTAKE from Food and Beverages, by Pregnancy/Lactation Status. (2020, January). Retrieved from USDA: What We Eat in America 2013-2016