Fish oil is considered very important for pregnant women. The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil are considered good for the health of not just the baby but also the mother. Basically omega 3s are a family of long chained polyunsaturated fatty acids which are essential nutrients for health.
The thing is that these are not synthesized by the human body and they must thus be obtained from diet and supplementation. The two major types of beneficial omega 3s are DHA and EPA. While on one hand, EPA supports the heart, inflammatory response and immune system, DHA supports eyes, brain and the central nervous system. Let’s look at the benefits of fish oil and omega 3s during pregnancy:
- One of the main benefits of fish oil during pregnancy is the fact that the omega 3s present in it is important for the early visual development of the baby and for the neurological development of the baby.
- Omega 3s present in fish oil is also useful for production of breast milk. Moreover, these also have a positive effect on visual and cognitive development of the baby.
- Increased intake of DHA and EPA also help in labor and prevents pre- term labor.
- By taking fish oil, the risk of pre -eclampsia can also be reduced and may also help in the increase of birth weight.
- It has been proved that the deficiency of omega 3s or fish oil in the diet of a pregnant woman may also increase the risk of depression in the mother.
- Research has proved that mothers who consumed suggested quantities of fish oil during their pregnancies gave birth to children with higher IQs and more advanced social skills in their future course of lives and this is another important benefit of taking fish oil during pregnancy.
Omega-3 Fish Oil and Pregnancy: Which Foods
Some of the best sources of fish oil for omega 3 are cold water fish such as tuna, salmon, anchovies, sardines and herring. It is best to take purified fish supplements because they are safest source of DHA and EPA during pregnancy. This is because taking fish itself can pose a risk of containing mercury as well as some other toxins. Many people think that flaxseed or flaxseed oil contain omega3 fish oil but it is important to know that these contain the shorter chain of these omega 3s which may not be that beneficial.
Fish Oil Safety Considerations during Pregnancy
Quality fish oil is safe to consume during pregnancy but fresh fish can contain many types of toxins such as mercury and hence it must be avoided. But when you have processed fish oil, then these toxins are removed during the manufacturing process and is safe to have. These toxins are removed using a good refining process and by using some high quality raw materials. It is best to buy a high quality brand of fish oil for the best results and least risk.