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Include Omega 3 Fish Oil In Your Meals During Pregnancy

4 min read

Omega 3 fish oil during pregnancy

Going to welcome a baby soon? Then you are surely taking care of your health and diet. Did you know that including omega-3 fatty acids in your diet have miraculous health benefits for you and your baby? Yes, even in new-borns, there is more attention span and early development to be seen if the mom has been consuming more of these essential fats.
In fact research has determined that babies born to mothers who have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acid or Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in their blood have much higher levels of attention span in second year of their life. Studies have also proven that the most effective and beneficial omega-3s are: Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are mostly found together and also work together in our bodies. However, each of these has their own unique benefits for our body.
omega-3-fish-oil-during-pregnancy
Wondering what do they do to us? Let’s see. The first one, EPA, helps strengthen your immune system, heart’s functioning and your inflammatory response. Whereas the second one, DHA, has advantages for your brain, central nervous system, and even your eyes. Now, that’s quite a few advantages and that’s why omega-3 is so important for expecting women or lactating moms.
Even in the first couple of months, these babies will be well ahead than other infants. Isn’t that good news? A famous researcher John Colombo, PhD, said “Attention is considered an important, but not the only component of intelligence early in life. This adds to the mounting evidence that DHA plays an important part in brain development“.
DHA is a very important ingredient needed for growing and developing the brain of your little one. An interesting fact is that it accumulates large amounts of DHA during the initial couple of years of your baby. It’s only the brain and nervous system out of the whole body that have very high levels of DHA.
But are you wondering what these Omega-3 actually are? These are basically polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are very important nutrients for the health and development of infants and adults alike. The only thing is that omega-3 fatty acids are not synthesized by our bodies and so we must make an effort to include them in our diet and supplements. But the fact is that mostly the diet we consume is hugely lacking in it.

benefits-of-omega-3-fish-oil-in-pregnancy
Benefits of Omega-3 Fish Oil for pregnant women

So we have seen the neurological and other early development benefits of consuming omega-3, but these fatty acids are also very important for pregnant women. Most of us wouldn’t know that if your diet is deficient in these nutrients and you are expecting too, then there are chances of omega-3s being depleted in your body because your fetus uses these fatty acids for its own nervous system development.
Not only that, omega-3s if highly consumed, reduce the chances of allergies in your new born. These fatty acids are also used to make breast milk and are said to have positive impact on the pregnancy such as preventing pre-term labour and delivery, increasing the birth weight of your new-born and lowering the risk of preeclampsia. Let’s see some top benefits of omega-3 fish oil listed below:

  1. Prevents Alzheimer’s disease: The fatty acids found in fish oil are very essential for our brain’s functioning. Not only do they prevent brain atrophy or Alzheimer’s disease but they also slow down the cognitive decline, if it’s begun happening.
  2. Helpful in reducing anxiety: The deficiency of these nutrients also enhances your risk for anxiety and depression. So now do you know that this might be one of the reasons for postpartum mood swings?
  3. Reduces the chances of miscarriage: Consuming fish oil when you are expecting reduces the risk of miscarriage. There are also very less chances of serious complications like gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia etc.
  4. Maintains your heart health and cholesterol: The EFAs present in omega-3s help to regulate your heart’s functioning and also keep your blood vessels healthy. This means that there are lesser chances of heart diseases, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.
  5. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Did you know that 60 percent of your brain is composed of fats? This brain disorder can be prevented by consuming omega-3 fish oil as it helps to boost one’s brain functioning.
  6. Help to maintain a healthy pregnancy:Not only are these fatty acids good after you have conceived, but also before it. Why? These health-laden nutrients are also good even before the conception and also in breast-feeding. The EPA and DHA in omega-3 help in building your baby’s healthy brain, vision, more so in the third trimester of your pregnancy and during the initial growing years.
  7. Benefits of healthy hair, nails and skin: Omega 3 EFAs are very important for cell membrane structure and assist nutrients to enter the skin cells. This gives you smooth, glowing skin and also quicker wound healing.
  8. Healthy joint mobility:Omega 3 fatty acids help to protect your joints and give you healthy joints. These nutrients help to avoid stiff, inflammated and painful joints.

Having spoken about the many benefits, the fact remains that anything done in excess is harmful. Therefore, let’s look at the correct dosage of taking omega-3 fish oils, which won’t harm you.

Recommended Dosage

The International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids or ISSFAL recommends the following minimum dosage chart:

  • Infants (Between 1-18 months):0-15 lbs – 32 mg/lb of EPA and DHA
  • Children (Between 1.5-15 yrs): 15 mg/lb of EPA and DHA
  • Adults (Between 15-115 yrs): 500 mg of EPA and DHA where there should be a minimum of 220 mg EPA and 220 mg of DHA
  • For Pregnant and Lactating Women: 300 mg of DHA to be consumed every day

So, include these magical nutrients in your diet, if you already haven’t. But as per recommended dosage and bring in more good health for yourself and your baby, who is yet to come in this world.

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