Studies show that, for the development of a smart, healthy baby, good nutrition during pregnancy requires the omega 3 EPA and especially DHA fatty acids found in fish oil.
Yet 85% of women are deficient in these important omega 3 fatty acids. Studies show only 2% of pregnant women have diets that meet their needs for fish oil's omega 3 DHA and EPA and the other 98% average less than 18% of the daily recommendation.
Nutrition During Pregnancy Must Include Fish Oil
The DHA and EPA found in omega 3 fish plays such a vital role in a pregnant woman's health and her baby's development that many scientists recommend at least 900 mgs of fish oil a day during pregnancy. That's equivalent to a daily serving of salmon.
The benefits for baby are:
- A better brain with higher intelligence
- Good nervous system development
- Better eyesight from retina formation
- Fewer behavioral problems after birth
- Better sleep patterns for a new born
- Less chance of developing pre-eclampsia
- Protection against brain loss during pregnancy
- Less chance of pre-term labor and cesarean
- Much lower risk of postpartum depression
- Greatly reduced incidence of breast cancer
Best Sources of Omega 3 for Baby
Here's the confusion. While DHA and EPA are omega 3 fatty acids, most omega 3 foods do NOT contain DHA and EPA. These are only found abundantly in fish oil.
Fortified foods and vegetable sources of omega 3, such as flaxseed oil, walnuts and dark green vegetables contain only ALA. And although ALA has nutritional benefits, it's not what your baby needs to get the great omega 3 results you're looking for.
Although the human body can convert about 1/2 of 1% of ALA into DHA and EPA, even this tiny amount requires ideal conditions and a complex conversion process.
To get the DHA and EPA found naturally in a 3 oz. serving of omega 3 rich salmon (the richest source), a person would have to drink gallons of flaxseed oil and eat mountains of salads, walnuts and fortified foods. And that would have very negative side effects.
Your best sources of omega 3 are salmon, tongol tuna, sardines, halibut and guaranteed mercury-free fish oil supplements. (Avoid shark, tilefish, swordfish and king mackerel.)
Be a Smart Healthy Mom and Have a Smart Healthy Baby
As you can see, for a full-term, healthy baby, with a well-developed brain and nervous system, and a happy, healthy mom, you need omega 3 DHA and EPA fatty acids.
So make sure you eat fatty fish often or supplement your pregnancy diet with natural mercury-free fish oil supplements. You and your kid will be the smartest on the block.
My Recommendation can be found at the Omega 3 website.
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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.