Can You Get All Your Omega-3s From Plants?

You can if you eat several bowls of algae per day, but there's a better, easier solution.

You know your vegan diet needs Omega 3's. If you don’t know why, or what they are, read on. We were just as confused and what we found out will surprise you.

Pretty much every new vegan sooner or later learns that seeds like chia, flax or hemp should be a regular part of the diet because of their Omega-3 content. But is that true?

They are a great addition to your plate, that's for sure, and they absolutely are a great source of the essential ALA (alpha-linoleic acid) form of Omega-3. And technically speaking, your body is capable of transforming ALA into all other forms, including the long-chain DHA and EPA (docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acid).

There's a catch, though. Most bodies are extremely inefficient at this transformation - to the tune of 2-10% efficiency. And DHA and EPA play a number of essential roles, such as controlling the low-grade, systemic inflammation that is tied to many chronic diseases, or keeping the brain in top shape.

Anyone can get enough ALA from seeds and nuts (as long as they're stored properly - preferably at low temperatures - and ground or chewed well). But DHA and EPA are only found in algae, and in oils extracted from animals who feed on algae, such as fish or krill.

Why do Omega-3s matter?

Omega-3’s play a key role in nearly every cell of your body. As such, a daily intake of these essential fatty acids is critical for optimal functioning— from regulating your cholesterol levels to powering your nervous system. Omega-3s may also help to prevent rheumatoid arthritis, ADHD, asthma, and depression.

One of the most important functions — which we are just recently beginning to appreciate — is controlling the low-grade, systemic inflammation that is tied to many chronic diseases.

"Omega-3’s play a key role in nearly every cell of your body. As such, a daily intake of these essential fatty acids is critical for optimal functioning — from regulating your cholesterol levels to powering your nervous system."

So why not just eat algae in order get your DHA/EPA? You would literally have to eat a few pounds of algae, per day, to get a sufficient amount. And what about fish oil? Well, we don't agree with using animals for oil production, or any kind of food, for that matter.

Solar-powered farm in Texas where Complement sources their algae under controlled conditions for superior quality.

That's why we focus on DHA and EPA from algae

We go directly to the source, where fish get their DHA/EPA as well. After fish eat algae, those compounds are then deposited in the fish’s fat deposits. Unfortunately fish also store ocean contaminants in their tissues as well, potentially making them toxic to humans.

We grow our algae under controlled conditions, in solar-powered farms in Texas and New Mexico (pictured above) for Complement Plus, and in indoor biophotoreactors (which look like something you'd expect to see on a spaceship - pictured below) for Complement spray. Both are far removed from toxic sludge, heavy metals like mercury, and microplastics that are, sadly, found in our oceans (and as a result end up in many fish-oil Omega-3 products).

A biophotoreactor for growing the Omega-3 rich strains of algae under controlled conditions.

And because we use strains high in DHA and EPA, we get about 0.5g of these essential Omega-3s per daily dose of the oil extracted from these algae. Which, in our opinion, is much better than munching down pounds of seaweed every single day - don't you think?

Key Takeaways

Relying on seeds like flax, chia or hemp for your Omega-3 needs can provide enough of the essential ALA form, but it’s not a reliable way to ensure you get the critical long-chain DHA and EPA forms.

Fish and krill oil are rich in DHA and EPA Omega-3s because fish and krill feed on algae - the richest plant source of these Omegas.

Good news: you can eat algae, too, but you'd need to consume a few pounds a day to get a sufficient amount.

Better news: you can bypass the daily bowls of algae (and fish contaminants) by going directly to the source with high-quality, DHA/EPA rich algae oil products like Complement.

Complement Vegan Vitamin Spray

Complement Plus

Selecting the right vegan DHA/EPA supplement

Firstly, we suggest a Complement, rather than a supplement. Because we believe that you don’t need to take supplemental nutrients in isolated forms (or multivitamins jammed with every nutrient that you’re already getting from plants). We believe you should complement your plant-based diet with just the nutrients missing. DHA/EPA Omega-3s fit that description perfectly - but there are others, like B12 or D3. And if you can take all of those together... well, that's just perfect :)

What makes Complement unique?

We select the purest and most potent ingredients - making sure, of course, that they are all 100% vegan and offer the highest bioavailability, and we blend them together in California. We believe that where you source ingredients matters, and the practices of the bottling facilities are just as important.

Our team makes regular visits to those facilities; know the experts there by name; and have worked with them closely in creating each batch for the bast 3 years. (BTW, those labs are routinely audited by the FDA, are NSF certified, and operate according to cGMP standards).

Best of all, we abide by the most important criteria: We’re third party tested. We trust, but verify to ensure that our products are as safe as a glass of water. We take Complement and give it to our growing kids! And we’d never give you anything that didn’t meet our extremely high standards for what we give to our own children.

Ensure you’re getting all your Omega-3s, in the cleanest vegan form available:

Complement Vegan Vitamin Spray

Complement Plus

Ensure you’re getting all your Omega-3s, in the cleanest vegan form available.