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How To Eat For A Brainier Baby

29 Mar 2016

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Omega-3s are critical during pregnancy for helping the infant's brain and eyes develop, instrumental in placental development, and may reduce premature delivery. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommend women who are pregnant eat 8 to 12 ounces of fish and seafood a week to help get an adequate amount of EPA and DHA for their babies.

Women who consume plenty of omega-3 fatty acids during the third trimester have babies with better visual, cognitive and motor development compared with babies whose mothers don't get as much omega-3s.

Many pregnant women may shy away from eating fish when they're concerned about high levels of mercury (found in King mackerel, shark, swordfish, and tilefish) because it can cause brain damage to a growing fetus. But research has shown there are plenty of omega-3 rich fish (like this kind of tuna) that are safe and important to eat throughout your pregnancy and while you're breastfeeding. If you don't think you'll be able to take in enough fish during your pregnancy and while breastfeeding, talk to your doctor about taking omega-3 supplements to ensure you're getting enough of these critical fatty acids.

Vegetarian women can get omega-3s from DHA-fortified foods or eggs from hens fed DHA-rich microalgae. They might also want to consider taking an microalgae-derived DHA supplement.

Source:
Diana Kelly. You’re Probably Not Getting Enough Omega 3. In Fit Pregnancy [Online]. Available: http://www.fitpregnancy.com/nutrition/youre-probably-not-getting-enough-omega-3

 

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