To be fair, this myth has been concocted from some accurate (at times, confusing) science. Let us explain:
There are three main omega-3s: ALA (aka alpha-linolenic acid), EPA, and DHA. While ALA is found in plants, the marine omega-3s have more published clinical science to their name and also happen to be found primarily in fish. Now, a small portion of ALA can convert to EPA and DHA, but the process is insanely inefficient and variable.
But if you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or even someone who just doesn’t like eating fish, we’re here to tell you it isn’t impossible to increase your intake of all three omega-3s.
Fish actually get their EPA and DHA from algae, and we can do the same, although algal omega-3 oils are often slanted much on the DHA side of things. Of course, on the ALA front you might immediately think of flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and like. A less famous plant that’s packed with ALA (and trace amounts of EPA) is purslane–an edible weed that can be added to salads, tacos, sandwiches, and other plant-based foods the same way you might top a dish with microgreens or sprouts.
Upping your intake of omega-3 foods and introducing a fish-free omega-3 supplement to your daily routine is a great way to meet your omega-3 needs on a vegan or vegetarian diet.