How Omega-3s help healthy brain development in kids
Growing children need top-notch nutrition to fuel their day-to-day activities – and more importantly, their busy developing brains.
A child’s brain function increases at an amazing rate between birth and five years of age.
And that’s before they even start school, when their ability to pay attention and retain information is so important.
That’s why the right “brain foods” can have a lasting impact on kids’ ability to learn and live a healthy, successful life.
Omega-3s are considered one of the key nutrients in healthy brain development – so it’s important that kids get enough.
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What are Omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3s are “essential” fatty acids, but our bodies can’t make them on their own and we must rely on our diet to get enough of them.
While there are many types of Omega-3 fatty acids, the most important are ALA, and EPA and DHA.
ALA is mostly found in plant sources, while EPA and DHA are found in fish and other seafood, especially oily fish like salmon and tuna.
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Why Omega-3 DHA is so important
Omega-3 DHA plays the role of a “good fat” in our bodies and has been found to be vital for supporting brain function, eye health and cognition.
Research has shown that kids need to get enough Omega -3s to support healthy brain development.
An Oxford University study found a healthy diet that included 600mg of DHA each day improved reading age and ability, as well as healthy behaviour, in underperforming children at mainstream schools.
But because our bodies can’t produce Omega-3 naturally, they need to ensure they get enough intake through their diet.
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How much Omega-3 do children need, and where do they get it?
The Australian NHMRC recommends children consume at least 40-125mg a day of long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids (including DHA and EPA), depending on their age and gender.
Foods sources of Omega-3 DHA include oily fish such as:
- Salmon (fresh or canned)
- Blue-eye trevalla
- Blue mackerel
- Sardines (fresh or canned)
- Tuna (fresh or canned)
While a balanced diet is key, supplements can also help ensure kids are getting all the Omega-3s their growing brains and bodies need.
This post is brought to you by Nature’s Way Kids Smart DHA 300mg.
* Always read the label. Use only as directed. Nutritional supplements can only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate.