For plant-based eaters, there are thankfully plenty of vegan omega-3 sources out there. Nuts and seeds like walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are DHA-rich foods, as are edamame, seaweed, and algae. You can also find omega-3 DHA sources in small amounts in most greens and beans. There are limitless ways to incorporate vegan omega-3 sources into a daily diet, but here are a few non-fishy ways we get our fatty acids in:
• A cup of vegan miso soup with seaweed and tofu (bonus: probiotic support thanks to delicious fermented miso paste)
• Seaweed salad as a tasty side dish to a rice bowl or veggie-filled sushi roll with avocado
• Adding chia, hemp, or flaxseeds to a smoothie
• Snacking on walnuts throughout the day for a boost of protein and DHA
How Many DHA-Rich Foods Do I Need?
Now that we’ve reviewed how good omega-3 DHA sources are for our health, let’s get into recommendations on how much we need. The National Institutes of Health recommends consuming 1.1-1.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids a day. To give you an idea of what that looks like, it takes about 4-5 ounces of Atlantic salmon to provide 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. We can also get omega-3 DHA from supplements containing fish oil or even microalgae, for those looking for a vegan omega-3 source. BTW, at Ritual, instead of fish oil, we use vegan algal oil in our multivitamins, which comes from the fermentation of microalgae. According to a study, the bioavailability of DHA from algal oil in a supplement appears to be the same as DHA from natural food sources, such as salmon. Microalgae allows people who don’t eat fish to reap the benefits of omega-3 DHA sources.*
Essential Supplements for Omega-3 DHA Support*
To get the most out of our diet and to amp up our DHA intake, a high-quality supplement with omega-3 DHA built in is an easy way to start. Our Essential for Women Multivitamin 18+ contains 330mg of omega-3 DHA for brain health, while our Essential Prenatal Multivitamin provides 350mg of omega-3 DHA to support the body for pregnancy and fetal brain development during pregnancy.*
Fitting omega-3 foods in our diet is no longer just a matter of eating lots of salmon (although it is a fantastic source). Vegans, vegetarians, meat-eaters, and more can all enjoy the many benefits of omega-3 DHA sources, both in a diet filled with DHA rich foods and through the support of multivitamins.