While the total health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are still under investigation, some studies have indicated that adequate amounts of omega-3 may contribute to heart, bone and brain health. Though many agree that fish like wild salmon, mackerel and tuna provide the highest amounts of these necessary fats, plant-based sources are important for vegans and vegetarians, too. We investigated further to bring you our top picks for vegan sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Flaxseeds & Flaxseed Oil

Did you know that the same plant used to make linen is also a primary source of vegan omega-3? Flaxseeds are a nutritional powerhouse! Flaxseeds, also known as linseeds, contain 1.8 grams of omega-3 and 27 grams of dietary fiber per serving. Flaxseed oil has been shown to relieve some symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s also rich in antioxidants, protecting cells from free radical damage.

Studies have also shown that flaxseeds may assist in lowering blood pressure. If you are thinking about getting more flaxseed-based Omega-3 in your diet, why not consider Solgar’s Earth Source Organic Flaxseed Oil?

Berries

Blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries also contain high amounts of omega-3s. While their fat content is lower than their seed and nut counterparts, berries (particularly those grown in the wild) also contain significant levels of vitamin C and fiber. Not only that, but berries taste great in smoothies, on top of cereal, or when consumed alongside omega-3 rich nuts and seeds. We recommend choosing varieties that are organically grown, ensuring your produce is free of chemical pesticides.

Walnuts & Walnut Oils

Cultivated throughout the world, walnuts contain high amounts of protein and fiber as well as 55 grams of polyunsaturated fats. Also a great source of magnesium, calcium, and potassium, walnuts are most beneficial when consumed raw. Studies have shown that walnuts may assist in brain health and can actually improve memory and learning. Walnut oil adds a rich, nutty flavor to salad dressing, too. Just keep in mind that English varieties contain larger quantities of omega-3 per serving than black varieties.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are renowned for their health benefits. Chia seeds are high in fiber, a quality source of protein, loaded with antioxidants and low in calories. Even better, they are an excellent vegan source of omega-3. In fact, studies have shown that the omega-3 levels in chia seeds, combined with their protein, may help decrease the risk of chronic diseases. However, this is when it’s combined as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Purslane

A newcomer to the North American diet, purslane, or pigweed, has been grown throughout North Africa, Asia and Europe for years, and it is a common component of Eastern Mediterranean cuisine. Considered a weed throughout much of the United States, purslane contains more EPA than any other leafy, land-grown vegetable (EPA is generally found in fish and sea vegetables). Its stems, leaves and flowers are edible. They are rich sources of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as magnesium and calcium.

While obtaining the recommended intake of omega-3 may be difficult for those on a vegan diet, plant-based sources and supplementation can offer effective support. Try flaxseeds, purslane, wild berries, nuts and seeds to enhance your intake of healthy fats. The Natural also has a wide selection of omega-3 rich supplements to help keep your mind and body in perfect working order. We also offer free shipping on orders over $40! Visit our site and use promo code “SAVE10” to get 10 percent off your order today!