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    Omegas for Baby's Brain

    Omegas for Baby's Brain

    Pregnancy can kick start a new focus on healthy eating for both Mom and baby. Intuitively we all know: what goes into our bodies when we are pregnant, goes right to that sweet little growing baby!

    One of the most important nutrients for the growing brain is DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which is a specific omega-3 fatty acid, and happens to be the predominant fat found in the brain and central nervous system. Accumulation of DHA in the baby’s system happens during pregnancy, and during infancy through the breastmilk, mostly in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. The quantity of DHA in a mothers diet determines the amount of DHA available to be transferred to the baby directly to their brain, bloodstream, or into the cord blood. So as a pregnant woman, it's so important to know how to pump up your diet with healthy sources of DHA!

    Wild seafood from Alaska and the Pacific Ocean is extremely rich in DHA and EPA, both omega-3 fatty acids. Seafood, seaweed, and algae are the direct food sources of DHA.

    DHA is a primary structural component of the brain, cerebral cortex, skin, and retina! A higher DHA supply to the baby during pregnancy, and to the infant after birth, provides maximum benefits on the development of visual acuity, cognitive functions and attention, the maturity of sleep patterns, spontaneous motor activity, and immunity!

    Here are 5 HUGE reasons for pregnant women to eat wild seafood at least twice a week:

    Behavior.
    The amount of omega-3 fatty acids available during pregnancy and throughout life impact neurobehavioral development including anxiety and social behaviors. Research on improving ADHD behaviors has been promising using omega-3 fatty acids as a non-pharmacological intervention, and they believe the omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation in the brain and help change the gut microbiome, further supporting via the gut-brain axis.

    Cognition.
    The supply of DHA through breastmilk, diet or supplementation during the baby’s first year of life leads to enhanced cognitive development, improved processing speed, working memory and executive function later in life.

    Asthma & Allergies.
    Omega-3 fatty acids in the diet help reduce inflammation and have a positive impact on the body’s immune response, which is being associated with a reduced number of food allergies and atopic dermatitis in infants’ birth to 12 months of age according to a study done in “Nutrients” in 2017.

    Vision.
    Omega-3’s affect visual acuity and development in infants and are essential for the development of normal vision. Because most of the accrual of DHA happens within the 3rd trimester, infants born prematurely are at risk for the development of “retinopathy of prematurity”. Consuming omega-3 fatty acids both during pregnancy and even pre-conception, assures there is a steady stream of nutrients available to the growing baby.

    Maternal Depression.
    Increased rates of depression are found in women who have an inadequate amount of omega-3 in their blood, as omega-3 fatty acids affect neurotransmission, and deficiency of these superhero fatty acids creates inflammation in the brain. Omega-3’s have also been shown to reduce rates of depression by supporting a positive mood and altering perceived stress and anxiety. Seafood is brainfood!
    Ashley Besecker

    Ashley Besecker

    Ashley Besecker is the Co-Founder of Premier Catch and our Director of Health and Nutrition. She is a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified dietitian, and nutrigenomics specialist. Ashley covers the nutritional benefits of eating sustainable, wild seafood and details on Premier Catch's sustainability commitment.

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