Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for optimal health, and their importance is especially pronounced for those following a vegan diet. As more research comes out on omega-3 benefits for the brain, heart, joints, and other health aspects, the interest in these fatty acids as a vegan supplement gains further attention. The algae-based alternatives to fish oil ensure that vegetarians and vegans do not miss out on the omega-3 health benefits.
In this article, we delve into certain aspects of how to choose the best vegan omega-3 supplement, discuss the five best brands we think deserve attention, and further examine why omega-3 supplementation is important.
Best vegan omega-3 supplement: shortlist
- Future Kind — overall, the best vegan omega-3 supplement
- Performance Lab — best carrageenan-free vegan omega-3 supplement
- Ora Organic — best vegan omega-3 supplement providing only DHA
- BrainMD — best vegan omega-3 supplement with the highest oil amount
- Nordic Naturals — best vegan omega-3 supplement with the most customer reviews
How we ranked the best vegan omega-3 supplement
|Price per serving
|Source of omega-3
|Algae, without carrageenan
|Brand reputation & ethics
|Reveals ethical practices
|Independent quality verification
- Price. The cost-effectiveness of any omega-3 supplement is reflected in the value it offers. Look for something you can afford to take for a longer time, as the effects may need months to manifest.
- Source of omega-3. The origin of the omega-3 matters. Look for the algae as a source, as it will ensure a natural, truly vegetarian omega-3 supplement without carrageenan.
- Brand reputation and ethics. Look for what customers say. Direct feedback is often the best way to gauge if the supplement is right for you. Additionally, brands known for their best plant-based omega-3 supplements will often describe their ethical practices, including environmental sustainability.
- Third-party testing. Independent testing performed in verified labs provides reports on the purity and strength of the tested omega-3 supplements. This practice ensures product safety and consistency.
Best vegan omega-3 supplements: an overview
Choosing your omega-3 supplement may take doing some research. When we picked these five brands scrutinized below, we looked into the criteria that make or break most decisions to start taking them.
First, there is the price, and it’s important as taking your omega-3 is a long journey, so make sure you can afford it. Second, consider that ingredient sourcing is important to keep the health — ours and the environment’s — in good shape.
Lastly, customer reviews and certificates give a much-needed confidence boost. Read on to find out our take on the top vegan omega-3 supplements and why we picked them.
1. Future Kind — overall best vegan omega-3 supplement
Future Kind’s Vegan Omega-3 supplement, made from sustainably sourced algae, offers a pure product and carries a mark of environmental responsibility. This supplement, formulated as a citrus-scented softgel, is rich in the essential fatty acids EPA and DHA. It means that it may support memory, mood, joint, and eye health, although we anticipate that it may help your skin look healthier as well.
This omega-3 supplement is manufactured in the US, in a facility that has been FDA-approved and certified for good manufacturing practices (GMP). This procedure means that the production quality is standardized and top-notch.
Additionally, the product has been third-party tested to confirm that it’s free of toxins, heavy metals, and other unwanted contaminants. This evaluation provides peace of mind about its safety and effectiveness.
A 30-day supply costs $29.99 ($1.00 per serving).
2. Performance Lab — best carrageenan-free vegan omega-3 supplement
Performance Lab’s omega-3 supplement offers essential fatty acids in a convenient, carrageenan-free NutriGels® softgel form. This structure means that when you take this product, you not only get the benefits of algal omega-3 for your brain, eyes, heart, joints, and skin, but also ingest a probiotic softgel that nurtures the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
When it comes to the omega-3 content, the product offers a spectrum of omega-3 essential fatty acids in a formulation with EPA and DHA. This is perfect for vegans, whose diet is usually less rich in these components.
The supplement is manufactured in a state-of-the-art facility in the US, which has been FDA-approved and certified for GMP standards. The product has also been third-party tested, ensuring the contents are safe and toxin-free.
A 30-day supply costs $49.00 ($1.63 per serving).
3. Ora Organic — best vegan omega-3 supplement providing only DHA
Sourced from sustainably harvested algae, Ora Organic offers a vegan-suitable omega-3 option that contains only a generous amount of DHA.
The brand indicates that people can take the supplement without food. The formulation ensures that the vegan algae omega-3 is also absorbed when taken outside of meals, giving an extra layer of convenience.
The customer reviews published on the product’s website offers a glimpse into user satisfaction with this vegan omega-3 supplement. Most reviews indicate that this omega-3 has improved cognitive function and has helped with joint health. Such reports are in line with what is to be expected with supplementation of omega-3 oils, rich in DHA.
Every batch of Ora’s products is third-party tested to ensure alignment with quality and safety standards.
A 30-day supply costs $49.99 ($1.67 per serving).
4. BrainMD — best vegan omega-3 supplement with the highest oil amount
Brain MD offers their algal oil as the highest amount per serving on our list. It delivers a substantial 1100 mg of omega-3 oils like EPA, DHA, and others. The algal oil is sourced sustainably from an algae cultivation farm that is certified safe for the ocean and human health.
Additionally, the softgel capsules contain rosemary oil, which is a welcome addition to the vegan omega-3 supplement. While it’s used as a natural preservative, it also carries health benefits when ingested. It may reduce inflammation within the body and provide antioxidant benefits.
The supplement has been manufactured in an FDA-registered, GMP-certified facility that promises a consistent and reliable omega-3 supplement for the customer. Additionally, every product batch is third-party tested by outside labs to confirm ingredient levels and the absence of toxins.
A 30-day supply costs $59.95 ($2.00 per serving).
5. Nordic Naturals — best vegan omega-3 supplement with most customer reviews
Nordic Naturals Algae Omega supplement fits our list of the best vegan omega-3 supplements, offering naturally and sustainably sourced algal omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, its commitment to quality and ingredient purity is reflected strongly in its array of certificates.
Nordic Naturals goes the extra mile to obtain third-party testing of their product batches to confirm that they are toxin-free and actually contain the declared amount of omega-3 oils. Certifications from the vegan society and IGEN reassure that this vegan omega-3 supplement is GMO-free and comes from a trackable source.
Notably, the product description indicates that the softgel capsules used by Nordic Naturals include carrageenan. While this natural algal compound is generally recognized as safe (GRAS), studies show that it may aggravate intestinal issues for some.
A 30-day supply costs $30.95 ($1.03 per serving).
Comparison of the best vegan omega-3 supplements
|Price per bottle
|Price per serving
|Number of servings
|Amount of DHA
|Amount of EPA
Before buying vegan omega-3 supplements: what to consider
When looking for a vegan omega-3 supplement, you should consider several aspects to ensure you’re picking a product that you need and it aligns with your values. Here are a few factors to consider.
- Diet compatibility. Ensure the supplement fits with your dietary preferences. Vegan omega-3 supplements may not equal plant-based omega-3 supplements, so spend some time reading the ingredient list and investigating sources.
- Ingredient quality. Look for high-quality ingredients, prioritizing supplements that are free from additives like carrageenan. For example, the best algae omega-3 supplement would be free of numerous additives and would mainly consist of omega-3.
- Form of supplement. Consider your preferences and lifestyle, and choose omega-3 in softgel, capsule, or liquid forms.
- Customer reviews. Customers should report high satisfaction after consuming vegan omega-3 supplements.
- Storage requirements. Consider if the supplement needs specific storage. For example, if your vegan omega-3 supplement needs refrigeration, you cannot take it when traveling.
Benefits of omega-3
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for overall well-being. They offer numerous health benefits crucial for everyone — that includes vegans, too. Typically, vegans may experience lower levels of omega-3 due to not consuming fish, highlighting the importance of alternative sources, such as the vegan omega-3 supplements.
- Heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids play a significant role in supporting heart health. They may aid in regulating blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Brain function. The essential fatty acids omega-3,6,9 are important in brain health and may improve memory.
- Joint health. Omega-3 may contribute to joint well-being by reducing stiffness and discomfort.
- Skin health. Consistent omega-3 intake, including from vegan supplements, may help in keeping the skin healthy.
For those following a vegan diet, options like the best algae oil supplement or the best plant-based omega-3 supplement may be especially valuable to ensure sufficient consumption of these essential nutrients.
Types of omega-3
Various body functions require Omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds come in different forms, each with its unique benefits. For vegans, understanding these types and their plant-based origins is important.
DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid):
- Vegan options, like the best vegan DHA, are obtained from algae
- Vital for brain and vision health
EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid):
- Sourced from algae
- Plays a role in heart health
- Available in vegan omega-3 supplements
ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid):
- Found in plant oils, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts
- The body converts ALA to DHA and EPA, but not efficiently
- Available in the best plant-based omega-3 supplements
For those on a vegan diet, incorporating these omega-3 types is essential. Options like the best omega-3, 6, and 9 supplements can help meet nutritional demands.
Are vegetarian omega-3 supplements effective?
When it comes to omega-3 supplement efficacy, research indicates that these compounds, taken when following a vegan diet, may be particularly effective. Notably, the research also demonstrates that plant-based omega-3 is efficiently absorbed.
- Heart health. Research has shown that vegetarian omega-3 supplements can contribute positively to heart health, similar to their fish-based counterparts.
- Brain function. The best vegan DHA supplements have been linked to maintaining brain health. Such an algae-based DHA option is an effective alternative to fish-derived DHA.
- Overall efficacy. Generally, the vegan omega-3 supplements rich in DHA and EPA from algae are deemed effective in delivering the necessary omega-3 fatty acids.
In summary, although the body’s ability to convert plant-based omega-3 fatty acids is not as efficient as sourcing it from fish directly, vegan omega-3 supplements and algae oil supplements help to incorporate these vital nutrients into a vegan diet. Supplementing ensures that vegans can still enjoy the full range of omega-3 benefits without compromising the plant-only diet.
How to make sure omega-3 supplements are actually vegan?
To make sure that your omega-3 supplement is genuinely vegan, you should check several criteria:
- Check the source of omega-3. Vegan omega-3 supplements will typically be made of algae oil, not fish oil. Look for the terms “algae-based” or “plant-derived” on the label.
- Look for vegan certifications. Search for reliable vegan certifications on the packaging, such as the Vegan Society trademark. This will ensure strict adherence to vegan standards.
- Look for third-party testing. This procedure ensures the purity and potency of the supplement. It also verifies that there are no animal-derived contaminants.
- Confirm animal testing policies. Check if the brand explicitly states that the product has not been tested on animals, which is a key aspect of vegan ethics.
- Review the ingredient list. Beyond omega-3, make sure that all other ingredients, including capsule sheets, are plant-based. Avoid gelatin, which is of animal origin.
Foods that are rich in omega-3 for a vegan diet
Incorporating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids into a vegan diet is crucial to ensure adequate intake of these essential nutrients. Some key foods to consider include:
- Flaxseeds and their oil. High in ALA, flaxseeds are great in smoothies, salads, and baked foods.
- Chia seeds. The tiny seeds not only provide fiber and protein, but also are rich in ALA.
- Walnuts. Just a handful of these nuts provide a substantial amount of ALA. Take them as a snack or top your salads.
- Hemp seeds. Known for their omega-3 content, hemp seeds may be sprinkled over food for a nutritional boost.
- Spirulina. The bluish-green algae is a unique source of GLA, a type of omega-6 that brings about the same benefits as omega-3 within the body.
- Spinach. While not as rich in omega-3 when compared to seeds or nuts, spinach is an easy-to-incorporate leafy green with some ALA content.
Best vegan omega-3 supplements — our conclusion
Considering the reviewed products and the scientific research behind vegan omega-3 supplements, we conclude that the best vegan omega-3 supplement should excel in purity, ethical sourcing, and testing.
The ideal choice should use algae oil, ensuring DHA and EPA intake to provide dietary supplementation for a vegan diet. Additionally, third-party testing carried out by brands is a welcome extra step, as it will give you peace of mind when choosing a genuinely vegan source of these essential nutrients.
Further reading on vegan-friendly supplements
To find out more about the most abundant plant-based omega-3 supplements, read on to find out more about the best alpha lipoic acid (ALA).
When it comes to other sources of omega-3 fatty acids, the best CBD oil for inflammation provides a good supply of these essential nutrients.
For ways to boost the firing between your brain neuron connections and to take full advantage of omega-3 supplements, read more on the best alpha-GPC supplements.
What are the symptoms of omega-3 deficiency in vegans?
Those following a vegan diet may notice dry skin, brittle nails, general fatigue, decreased memory capacity, unexpected mood swings, and in some cases, joint pain. Therefore, it’s vital to consume foods or supplements rich in omega-3.
What is the best form of vegan omega-3?
The best form of vegan omega-3 is algae-based supplements, as they are a direct source of DHA and EPA, the essential fatty acids that are often lacking in a vegan diet.
Do algae oil supplements differ from fish oil supplements?
Yes. Algae oil supplements are plant-based, making them vegan-friendly. The algae oil supplements also do not carry the risk of ocean-borne contaminants, such as heavy metals, that are often found in fish oil.
What are the side effects of plant-based omega-3?
Plant-based omega-3 supplements are generally well tolerated. That being said, some users have reported mild digestive issues. Allergic reactions may also occur if the user is sensitive to specific algae or supplement additives.
- Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The Effects of Long-Chain Omega-3 Fish Oils and Multivitamins on Cognitive and Cardiovascular Function: A Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial.
- The Medical Journal of Australia. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and vegetarian diets.
- International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Marine Omega-3 (N-3) Fatty Acids for Cardiovascular Health: An Update for 2020.
- Nutrients. Brain Health across the Lifespan: A Systematic Review on the Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements.