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Omega 3 for a Healthier Pregnancy

Omega-3s are a family of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential nutrients for health and development and should be taken seriously for a healthier pregnancy.

Unfortunately, these are not synthesized by the human body and therefore must be obtained from diet or supplementation.Omega-3s are a family of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential nutrients for health and development and should be taken seriously for a healthier pregnancy. Unfortunately, these are not synthesized by the human body and therefore must be obtained from diet or supplementation.

Adequate intake of Omega-3 fats is essential for the human body for maintaining the balanced production of the hormone-like substances called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins help regulate many important physiological functions including blood pressure, blood clotting, nerve transmission, the inflammatory and allergic responses, the functions of the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract and the production of other hormones.

The two most beneficial omega-3s are found to be EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and although they naturally occur together and work together in the body, studies show that each has its own unique role. EPA supports the heart, immune system, and inflammatory response. DHA supports the brain, eyes, and central nervous system.

Omega-3s have been found to be essential for both neurological and early visual development of the baby. Many pregnant women have an omega-3 deficiency, owing to the fact that the fetus uses them up. Omega-3s are also used after birth to make breast milk, hence with each subsequent pregnancy, mothers are further depleted. Research has confirmed that adding EPA and DHA to the diet of pregnant women has a positive effect on the visual and cognitive development of the baby. Higher consumption of omega-3s may reduce the risk of allergies in infants.

Top Omega-3 rich foods are:

  • Mackerel
  • Tuna
  • Salmon Fish Oil
  • Sardines
  • Cod Liver Oil
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Anchovies
  • Chia Seeds
  • Egg Yolks
  • Flaxseeds

Many studies show that omega-3 fatty acids help in:

  • Maintaining cardiovascular health
  • Stabilizing blood sugar levels
  • Reducing muscle, bone and joint pain
  • Helping balance cholesterol levels
  • Improving mood and preventing depression
  • Sharpening the mind
  • Boosting immunity
  • Boost your Omega 3 Intake

Increase your oily fish intake:

  • Use hempseed and flaxseed oil in your salad dressings
  • Switch to rapeseed oil for cooking
  • Substitute butter and other dairy spreads with an olive-oil based spread
  • Switch to organic milk which is richer in Omega 3 compared to non-organic milk
  • Use tofu as meat replacers in bolognaise and stews
  • Sprinkle ground flaxseed or walnut pieces into your cereal
  • Consider using Omega 3 fortified milk and eggs

Did you know?

High doses of omega-3s have been used to treat and prevent mood disorders. Latest studies are identifying their potential benefits for a wide range of conditions including cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and other autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.


TRY THESE SIMPLE RECIPES!

Fish & Eggs (Salmon omelet)

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 25g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp chives, chopped
  • 50g smoked salmon, sliced ground pepper

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a small frying pan.
  2. Season the beaten eggs with pepper, then add them to the pan.
  3. Stir gently, allowing the raw egg to run into the spaces and let set.
  4. Sprinkle the mushrooms and chives over the omelette, then lay the strips of salmon on top.
  5. Turn the heat right down and cook till egg is ready to eat
  6. Serve immediately.

Balti fried tuna steaks

Ingredients

  • 2 tuna steaks
  • 1½ tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp mixed mild dried balti spices

For the salad

  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • ½ cucumber, sliced
  • 200g dried green lentils, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 15g coriander chopped mint (optional)

Method

  1. Toss the tuna in some natural yoghurt mixed with balti mixed spices, until well coated and leave to marinade (if you have time to do so).
  2. Meanwhile chop the salad vegetables, prepare the lentils and fresh herbs and arrange on plates.
  3. Add lime juice.
  4. Fry the tuna steaks in 1 tbsp hot sunflower oil for 3 minutes on each side for medium or 5 minutes on each side for well done.
  5. Serve on top of prepared salad.

Scotch Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 100g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 150ml milk

Method

  1. Mix the sifted flour and sugar in a bowl or jug.
  2. Add the egg and milk and beat well, until you have a smooth
  3. Heat a drop of oil in a large frying pan – when the pan is really hot, pour in about 3 tablespoons of batter.
  4. Cook for just under a minute.
  5. Turn to the other side once the first is cooked.
  6. Serve warm with pancake syrup, berries, etc…

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