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Ladies, Are You Getting Enough Omega-3? 4 Foods You Must Have

A new study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, is perhaps the first of its kind to study the intake of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and the role they play.

Story Highlights
  • Omega-3 fats fall under the category of polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • These essential fats play crucial role in the growth and development
  • Walnuts, soyabeans, chia seeds and flax seeds are good sources
A new study from New Zealand suggests that it is very crucial for expecting ladies to get enough Omega-3 from their daily diet to make sure their baby's optimum growth and development. Previous studies have shown that getting the daily dose of Omega-3 fatty acids may help in reducing the risk of diabetes in kids and now a new study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, is perhaps the first of its kind to study the intake of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and the role they play.

Omega-3 fats fall under the category of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and they are of three types - DHA, EPA and ALA. These essential fats play crucial role in the growth and proper functioning of the human body. 


For the study which was conducted at Massey University, the team of researchers examined 596 pregnant women, in their last trimester of pregnancy , from all regions of New Zealand. All the participants filled up food frequency questionnaire, which was designed to investigate their Omega-3 intake over the last three months of their pregnancy. The results revealed that only 30 per cent were getting the recommended daily amount. The study points out that the foetus required Omega-3 for proper growth which can only be provided through the maternal diet. 

In New Zealand, the recommendation for  omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids during pregnancy is 115mg per day but several international organisations suggest that pregnant women should get at least 200 mg of DHA per day. You must consult your medical practitioner to set your daily requirement. One he or she does so, here are some foods that you can include in your daily diet to get your dose of Omega-3.

1. Walnuts: These nuts are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids Chomp on them daily or add them to your salads and smoothies for the crunch

2. Soyabeans: This plant source is quite rich in Omega-3 fats. Soybeans have ALA, which promotes heart health. In fact, one bowl of lightly cooked soybeans contains more omega-3 fats than some cold water fish. 

3. Chia seeds: These tiny wonder seeds pack a whole lot of Omega-3. Throw them in a trail mix with nuts and dry fruits or sprinkle some over your breakfast cereal.

4. Flaxseeds: Like chia seeds, flaxseeds are also great sources of Omega-3. It is often recommended to soak flaxseeds and then have them to reap maximum benefits.

During the sensitive phase of pregnancy, you daily diet plays in crucial role. So, make sure you get all the essential nutrients that you and your baby need. 

Inputs from New Zealand Medical Journal  
 
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