Omega-3 Rich Food Options for Pregnant Women
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for human health. Omega-3 fatty acids, also known as n-3 or naturals, are polyunsaturated fatty acids necessary in human nutrition. The three primary omega-3 fatty acids include alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for many functions in the human body, including vision, immune function and cardiovascular health. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids can help maintain healthy skin, hair and scalp; they may also reduce the risk of depression and lower blood pressure.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold-water fish such as salmon, trout, halibut and tuna — but these foods contain only small amounts of omega-3s due to their high levels of mercury in contaminated waters. The best omega-3 sources include flaxseeds, hemp seeds (which contain high amounts of ALA), walnuts and canola oil — as long as they aren't processed with heat or pesticides. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for your heart, brain, skin and joint health. They're also crucial for nervous system development in the womb. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish such as salmon, sardines and trout. You can get them from flaxseeds, walnuts and leafy green vegetables such as spinach or kale.
Why is omega-3 essential in pregnancy?
One of the most important aspects of pregnancy is ensuring that an adequate supply of omega-3 fats is available to the developing fetus. This is important because omega-3s play an essential role in maintaining a healthy pregnancy by helping to balance the production of hormones and other essential fatty acids.
Omega-3s are also crucial for preventing several complications that can occur during pregnancy, including pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes. A study published in 2008 found that women who consumed more than 10 grams per day of EPA and DHA had a lower risk of preeclampsia, while those who consumed less than 4 grams per day had a higher risk. In addition, a study published in 2010 looked at the relationship between omega-3 fatty acid intake and gestational diabetes. Again, women who consumed more than 10 grams per day had a lower risk of developing gestational diabetes, while those who consumed less than 4 grams per day had a higher risk.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for life. They are a type of polyunsaturated fat found in many foods such as nuts, seeds, vegetable oils (such as canola and soybean), flaxseed and chia seed. Omega-3s help maintain the health of blood vessels, heart and brain cells, among other things. Omega-6 fatty acids are necessary for a healthy pregnancy, but too much can harm both mother and child. The amount needed is different for each woman as they all have different needs based on their metabolism and genetics. A diet rich in omega-6 fatty acids increases inflammation which can cause problems such as preterm labour or preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy). Omega-6 fats also increase insulin resistance which can lead to gestational diabetes.
Food options that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids:
Mackerels are small fatty fish. Mostly they are eaten smoked or as a fillet. Mackerels are rich in nutrients and contain selenium and vitamin B12. One hundred grams of mackerel includes 4,580 mg of omega-3.
Well-known for its delicious and creamy taste, Salmon is considered one of the nutrient-dense foods worldwide. It consists of ample protein and a variety of nutrients like vitamin D, B, and selenium. Eating fatty fish during and after pregnancy lowers the risk of heart disease, dementia, and post-partum depression.
Cod liver oil:
Cod liver oil is a supplementary food extracted from fish liver. This oil is not only high in omega-3 fatty acids but also loaded with vitamin A and D. One teaspoon of the oil provides 170% of the Daily Value and 2,150 mg of omega-3.
Herring is a medium-sized oily fish, which is pickled, cold smocked, pre-cooked, or sold as a canned snack. Smoked herring is one of the famous English breakfasts. In England, it is called kippers and served with eggs. One hundred grams of herring contains 100% DV selenium and 2,150 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.
Shellfish are one of the most nutritious foods to eat during pregnancy. It contains more zinc than any other food option on earth. In addition, six raw eastern oysters contain 391 mg of omega-3 content. Oysters can be eaten as a proper meal, snack, or appetizer.
Chia seeds are a plant-based source of ALA omega-3 acids, high in fibre and protein. For example, 1 oz chia seeds contain 5.055 of ALA. You can use these seeds in smoothies, oatmeal, yoghurt, granolas, salads, and even puddings. Drinking chai seeds with water is also a good substitute for eggs.
Soybean oil:One teaspoon of soybean oil consists of 0.923 gm of ALA. This oil is also a good source of:
- vitamin K