WHY OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS ARE ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT DURING PREGNANCY?

Doctors recommend the daily intake of essential omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy. These polyunsaturated fatty acids are crucial for the cognitive and visual development of the fetus. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that help in the development and maintenance of the vital body parts. These are not synthesized by the human body and must be consumed from an outside source.

Importance of Omega-3

Of the Omega-3s, the most important ones are DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Both usually occur as well as work together in the body, but each has its unique advantages. While DHA aids the proper development of the brain, eyes and central nervous system, EPA supports immune system, heart and inflammatory response.

Omega-3s are also beneficial in maintaining the balanced production of prostaglandins that regulate different physiological functions such as blood pressure, nerve transmission, blood clotting, allergic responses, production of hormones and proper functioning of the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract.

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Of the Omega-3s, the most important ones are DHA and EPA – google image

Benefits of Omega-3 during Pregnancy

The omega-3 DHA is generally known as the most important omega-3 for pregnancy because it is a critical building block of the brain, retina, and nervous system.  A growing number of studies in both human infants and animals shows a correlation between omega-3 intake, especially DHA, and cognitive and visual function, and overall brain development.

In humans, brain development undergoes its most rapid and complex growth during the last trimester of pregnancy and the first two years after birth.  Furthermore, studies show that infants whose mothers supplemented with DHA during pregnancy had a healthier immune function.

But it’s not just about baby – it’s about mom’s health, too. The omega-3s EPA and DHA support healthy labor and delivery outcomes and have also been shown to support a healthy mood. Studies have shown that EPA and DHA help support mood and well-being in the postpartum period.

9 LOAI THUC AN GAY SAY THAI ME BAU LUU Y
OMEGA 3 DURING PREGNANCY

Best Sources of Omega-3 during Pregnancy

Cold water fish are the best source of EPA and DHA. Doctors recommend salmon, rainbow trout, anchovies, herring and sardines, as levels of mercury are low in these. However, one should not consume more than 5 ounces of salmon, 16 sardines or 14 ounces of rainbow trout each week during pregnancy.

Unlike the popular belief, flaxseed is not the right omega-3 that is required during pregnancy. Flaxseed is a source of omega-3 fatty acid called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) which is not as important as EPA and DHA. As compared to EPA and DHA, ALA has a shorter-chain omega-3. Earlier it was believed that the body converts ALA to EPA and DHA, but further studies proved otherwise.

Some manufacturers derive omega-3 supplements from algae, making them a perfect solution for vegetarians. These days milk, soy, eggs, cereals, breads, juices and yogurt are fortified with omega-3s. Some of them do not contain large amounts of DHA or EPA, but even small amounts from different sources can add up. You should check the labels for at least 50 milligrams of DHA per serving in each product.

Source: Parenting Firstcry, Americanpregnancy

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