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Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids during Pregnancy

November 13, 2015 in Nutritional Insightsby admin
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Omega 3 Fatty Acid
Omega 3 Fatty Acid

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are a valuable nutrient for a healthy pregnancy. This essential nutrient keeps your heart & brain health in general. Adequate intake of Omega-3 fats is essential for maintaining the balanced production of the hormone-like substance called Prostaglandins. Prostaglandins help regulate man important physiological functions like:

  • Aids healthy brain function, infant development of vision & nerves during pregnancy.
  • Promotes the development of baby’s cardiac & respiratory system, increases the learning & cognitive function of the child, Increases the attention span of a child (a measurable component of intelligence early in life).
  • Supports your pregnancy health, possibly by reducing the chance of toxaemia (or pre-eclampsia) & may help prevent pre-term labour & premature delivery.
  • Omega-3 fatty acid during pregnancy helps you to lower the risk of developing symptoms commonly seen in postpartum depression.
  • Intake of Omega-3 fatty acid helps in healthy weight gain of the baby in the final trimester, and also post-delivery.

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The requirement of Omega-3 as per RDA

Pregnant women 1.4gm/day
Lactating mother 1.3gm/day

IMPORTANT SOURCES OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

Your body does not produce Omega-3 fatty acid, so it is important for you to get them through food.

1. Fish is an important source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Two types of Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are:

  • EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)
  • DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)

Oily fish such as salmon, trout, sardines, herring, and oyster offers healthy fat and high protein for you. Apart from Omega 3 fatty acids, fish also has vitamin D, B2 (riboflavin), mineral such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium & potassium which are all baby-friendly nutrients.

You Should Also Read: Why You Should Consider Food Safety During Pregnancy

2. If you are vegetarian, then it is not necessary to take fish, Omega 3 fatty acids are naturally available from plant sources as well. Vegetarian sources of Omega 3 fatty acids are Flax seeds, walnut, soybeans, and Oats etc.

Distribution of these sources in a daily diet

Ingredient Amount Omega 3 (gm)
Flax seeds 5gm(1tsp) 1.14
Walnut 10gm 0.3
Soybeans 30gm 0.6
Oats 40gm 0.56
Total 2.64
Plant based omega fatty acid source
Plant based omega fatty acid source

So, for vegetarians, it is not a challenge to meet the omega 3 fatty acid requirements during pregnancy. With the help of below-given tips, you can successfully include Omega-3 Fatty Acids in your meal on a regular basis:

  • Powdered flax seeds in

    a. Dough

    b. Buttermilk

    c. Dal

    d. curry

  • 5 walnuts per day as a snack along with other nuts or as topping on a veg curry, fruit salad etc.
  • Include Soybeans in your diet in the form of curry or simply boiled

    Soy flour mixed with wheat flour, use it for thickening soup, or as a part of multigrain dosa batter. (Should not consume more than 50 gm per day because it can be lead to constipation or gassiness problem).

  • Oats can be used in preparing

    a. Khichdi

    b. Upma

    c. Crushed oats in idli/dosa batter

    d. Oatmeal

    e. Oats cooked in water & mixed with curd, buttermilk, thin dal, mix vegetables

    f. Plain oats flour mixed in the wheat flour for making chapattis

3. Note:

  • To reap the complete benefits of this nutrient, pregnant women with GDM, Gallbladder stone & obesity are recommended to consume this nutrient in a moderate amount.
  • For expectant moms who are vegetarian & allergic to nuts & oil seeds can rely on Omega 3 supplements as per your obstetrician’s advice.

Contributed by – Ms Savitri (Clinical Nutritionist, Jayanagar.)

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Must Read: Is Ghee Good or Bad for Pregnancy

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If you found this article interesting and would like to know more, talk call a Cloudnine expert today! +91 99728 99728

If you found this article interesting and would like to know more, talk to a Cloudnine expert today! Call Us : +91 99728 99728