5. Brussels Sprouts
Unlike the nuts and seeds on this list, you’re probably surprised to see this cruciferous vegetable here. Brussels sprouts may not have as high of an omega-3 content – around 88mg in every cup – but they more than make up for that in the rest of its nutrients and health benefits (15).
In fact, they are ridiculously high in vitamins K and C, not to mention loaded with fiber Because of all of this, a high intake cruciferous vegetables is linked to a decreased risk of heart disease and obesity (16).
Brussels sprouts can be roasted, steamed, stir-fried, or eaten raw.
6. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are probably the most well-known source of omega-3 fatty acids, and for good reason: you need less than one ounce of chia seeds to meet your daily recommended intake (17).
Chia seeds pack more than omega-3 fatty acids for nutritional value. They are extremely high in fiber for how small they are, and they are also quite high in protein: one ounce of chia seeds has a whopping 10.6 grams of fiber and 4.4 grams of protein!
These little seeds also contain a respectable amount of omega-6 fatty acids, which is important because your body needs a good ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids for optimal nutrition and health benefits.
Sprinkle some chia seeds over a salad, add them to your smoothie, or make your own chia seed pudding! Chia seeds have a very mild flavor (if any), and when soaked they are a great thickener.
7. Algal Oil
As you may guess from the name, algal oil comes from algae. Sometimes called algae oil, it actually has similar fatty acid properties to that of salmon or other seafood sources (18).
A popular vegan source of omega-3s, algal oil is remarkably well tolerated and absorbed. Algal oil is incredibly high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and since it has a high “smoke point” and mild flavor it is very well suited as a cooking oil (19).
Replace your less desirable vegetable oils (extra virgin olive oil not included) with algal oil where possible. You can also take it as a supplement in capsule form as it is available in most pharmacies.
Now that you know all these vegan omega-3 sources, you’ll have even more options to keep your brain and cardiovascular system working properly.