Omega-3 fatty acids, folate, iron and vitamin D are super foods during your pregnancy, lactation and beyond birth. These nutrients, when taken diligently throughout the pregnancy, can have a tremendous positive effect on the growth and development of your baby. If you want to get your pregnancy off on the right foot, or even before you’re pregnant, open yourself up to the possibilities of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are so amazing before, during and after pregnancy because of the easy way they keep the body healthy, specifically the brain. Working within cells, fatty acids make cells function better by providing energy and forming hormones which can help with immune responses, cell division and work at a fundamental level; within the mitochondria. This is true for adults and babies. If you’re thinking of reducing fat to improve heart health or lower cholesterol do not take away your PUFA’s, polyunsaturated fatty acids, like Omega-3 fatty acids.
Unsaturated fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6 are used in the body to reduce inflammation, regulate the immune system and improve blood vessels and blood flow within the body. Saturated fatty acids, like butter or Crisco or any fat that stays solid at room temperature, do help to stabilize the nervous system, but they also do more harm than good. Saturated fats can sit in the veins and arteries reducing blood flow back to the heart and other organs.
Omega-3 fatty acids are more important when compared to Omega-6’s. Omega-3 fatty acids are able to be converted into the fatty acids EPA and DHA which are made in the body and are needed to fight diseases, while Omega-6 fatty acids are not converted.
Omega-3 fatty acids are so important during pregnancy because of the improved brain development; PUFA’s like Omega-3 fatty acids move from the maternal stores into the fetus prompting brain growth and cognitive function development. Omega-3 fatty acids are also seen to reduce the incidence of premature birth and low-birth-weight babies. It’s safe to say that all pregnant women are looking for their child to be born healthy and with no health complications; Omega-3 fatty acids can absolutely help with that.
The abundant sources of Omega-3 fatty acids; fish that contain high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, mackerel, anchovy (a crazy pregnancy craving perhaps?!), sardines or vegetable sources flax seed oil, black currant oil, chia seeds, nuts, soybeans and fish oil supplements make getting the dosage of 5-15 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids per day incredibly easy. Building a store of fatty acids may take months (3-6), so adding it to your diet before pregnancy is an option.
Use Omega-3 fatty acids to protect your health and improve the health of you baby. Fish oil supplements, a sprinkle of chia seeds and adding fish like salmon to your diet weekly can help you find the results you want. A healthy pregnancy, an increase in your immune system and a decrease in diseases like strokes, heart disease or high blood pressure await you when you add Omega-3 fatty acids to your life.