We all know the importance of good diet in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Your baby chiefly depends on you for essential nutrients, calories and vitamins that s/he needs throughout his development.
Omega 3 foods are the most essential nutrients in a healthy diet.
Foods with Omega 3 acids provide your baby with essential energy and nutrients necessary for better physical and mental growth. Also, Omega 3 foods are essential for your health and wellbeing throughout pregnancy.
You will find Omega 3s in various foods like fish, plants, seeds. These are a kind of polyunsaturated fatty acid.
Often Omega 3 fatty acids are referred to as essential fatty acids, and because they cannot develop in your body, you need to get them through essential foods.
There are three main types of Omega 3 essential fatty acids. All three fatty acids help to perform various functions in your body.
One is docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and is essential for your body to perform various functions, second is eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and is found in fish and fish oils, and the third is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is found in vegetable oils, green leafy vegetables and seeds. In your body, this acid is changed into EPA and then into DHA.
Use of Omega 3s during pregnancy:
It is a known fact that Omega 3s play a great role in the growth and development of your baby, when it is a fetus. The benefits of Omega 3s include:
- Help in the formation of retinas;
- Aid in building the brain;
- Help in developing the nervous system
Consuming Omega 3s during pregnancy helps in your own health and wellbeing. They help in reducing the chances of developing pre- eclampsia, reducing the risk of postpartum depression, and minimizing the chances for preterm labor.
Consuming Omega 3s during your pregnancy gives various benefits for you and your baby in the long run. Children who receive adequate levels of Omega 3s when they are in the womb show high attention spans and better visual perception when compared with the children who don’t receive adequate Omega 3s. Future benefits of Omega 3s include:
- Reduced chances for the occurrence of prostate and risk of breast cancer;
- Reduced chances for behavioral and developmental problems in the later life;
Deficiency of Omega 3s during your pregnancy:
It would be very harmful for you and your baby if you develop Omega 3 deficiency. The nutrients from Omega 3s cross your baby’s placenta, thus helping your baby to grow healthily.
If there is a deficiency of Omega 3s for your baby, s/he will get them from your own storage. Studies show that Omega 3s are stored in your brain, so deficiency thereof can lead to a loss of 3% of your brain cells.
Deficiency of Omega 3s during your pregnancy leads to:
- Increased chances of delivering a baby with low birth weight;
- Increased rates for postpartum depression;
- Increased chances of cesarean section or preterm labor.
Consumption of Omega 3s is therefore essential during the third trimester of pregnancy. During this period, your baby uses the Omega 3s for developing 70% of the brain systems.
Not only will you get Omega 3s from aquatic sources, but also they can be found in fortified foods such as bread, juice, eggs, dark green leafy vegetables, walnuts, sunflower oils, flaxseed oil and canola oil.