“It’s very difficult,” Murray says. Studies show vegetarians take in only about
5 mg EPA and 33 mg DHA daily, far short of what dietitians recommend. Although you can load up on plant-based ALA, the body converts less than 10 percent ➻ of it to EPA and less than 1 percent to DHA, according to a 2006 review. That’s of particular concern for pregnant and nursing women, whose babies depend on EPA-DHA for proper development. Vannice’s advice: Take an algae-based supplement (one of the few vegetarian sources naturally rich in DHA), and eat DHA-fortified egg yolks and other foods.