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Top 17 vegan sources of Omega 3 fatty acids
POSTED | 4:16 AM | 25-03-2015

Top 17 vegan sources of Omega 3 fatty acids

-- By Michael Schoffro Cook

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, not in any particular order due to portion size variation and variations in measuring different food types:

Flax Seeds – One ounce of flax seeds contains 6,388mg of Omega 3 fatty acids.

Chia Seeds — One ounce of chia seeds contains 4,915mg of Omega 3s.

Hemp Seeds – One ounce of hemp seeds provides 1,100 of Omega 3s.

Spinach — One cup of cooked spinach has 352 mg of Omega 3s.

Winter Squash — One cup of cooked squash contains 338 mg of Omega 3s.

Cauliflower — One cup of cooked cauliflower contains 208 mg Omega 3s.

Blueberries — One cup of fresh blueberries contains 174 mg of Omega 3s.

Wild Rice — One cup of cooked wild rice contains 156 mg Omega 3s.

Mangoes — One mango contains 77 mg Omega 3s.

Honeydew melon — One cup of honeydew melon contains 58 mg Omega 3s.

Walnuts — One quarter cup of walnuts contains 2,700 mg of Omega 3s.

Tofu — One four ounce serving of tofu contains 600 mg of Omega 3s.

Cashews — A one ounce serving of cashews contains 221 mg of Omega 3s.

Sesame Seeds — A one ounce serving of sesame seeds contains 105 mg of Omega 3s.

Spirulina — One tablespoon of spirulina powder contains 58 mg of Omega 3 fatty acids.

Pumpkin Seeds — One quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains 40 mg of Omega 3s.

Mustard Oil — 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 1,500 mg of EPA and 300 to 1,000 mg of DHA, or about 800 to 1,100 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.

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