Omega-3 fatty acids are the equivalent of nutritional gold. That’s because they are nature’s anti-inflammatory nutrients and are used in most chemical functions in the body. While fatty fish is frequently considered the best source of this essential fatty acid, it is not the only source. If you’re looking for some plant-based sources of Omega-3s, be sure to check out the following 17 vegan food sources:
One ounce of flax seeds contains 6388mg of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Related: 4 Reasons Your Body Loves Flaxseed
One ounce of chia seeds contains 4915mg of Omega-3s.
One ounce of hemp seeds provides 1100 of Omega-3s.
Related: 5 Surprising Health Benefits of Hemp
One cup of cooked spinach has 352 mg of Omega-3s.
Related: 19 Spinach Recipes You’ll Love
One cup of cooked squash contains 338 mg of Omega-3s.
One cup of cooked cauliflower contains 208 mg Omega-3s.
One cup of fresh blueberries contains 174 mg of Omega-3s.
One cup of cooked wild rice contains 156 mg Omega-3s.
One mango contains 77 mg Omega-3s.
Related: 10 Health Benefits of Mangos
One cup of honeydew melon contains 58 mg Omega-3s.
Related: Honeydew Melon Mojito (Recipe)
One quarter cup of walnuts contains 2700 mg of Omega-3s.
Related: Health Benefits of Walnuts
One four ounce serving of tofu contains 600 mg of Omega-3s.
Related: The Ultimate Tofu Cheat Sheet
A one ounce serving of cashews contains 221 mg of Omega-3s.
Related: Are Cashews Good For You?
A one ounce serving of sesame seeds contains 105 mg of Omega-3s.
Related: 20 Huge Health Benefits of Sesame
One tablespoon of spirulina powder contains 58 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Related: Spirulina: The Incredible Superfood
One quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains 40 mg of Omega-3s.
Related: 13 Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
One tablespoon of mustard oil has 826 mg Omega-3s; however, mustard oil should not be used in higher doses due to possible liver toxicity.
There’s a lot of discrepancy about the amount of Omega-3s a person needs on a daily basis. To make matters worse, it’s a bit complex. Here’s why: there are three different types of Omega-3s: EPA, DHA and ALA. Additionally, most experts agree that the amount should be between 500 to 1500 mg of EPA and 300 to 1000 mg of DHA, or about 800 to 1100 mg of ALA, as a starting point.
If a person is dealing with specific health concerns, the numbers may increase. The body can convert ALA to EPA and DHA, although there is some concern about how effectively ALA converts to DHA. Additionally, the ratio of Omega-3s to Omega-6s plays a significant role. While it is about 1:30 in most people’s diets (with far more Omega 6s than 3s) it should be closer to a 1:1 ratio.
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news World’s Healthiest News, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include the upcoming book: : Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty & Cooking.