Getting enough omega 3 fatty acids during pregnancy is important because they help with brain development in your little one. While it’s necessary throughout pregnancy, it’s particularly important during the first and third trimesters because the brain is forming in the first trimester and fine tuning in the third trimester.
Not sure you’re getting enough? Here’s how to amp up your intake:
1. Anchovies, Sardines, and Herring
These tiny oily fish are all fantastic sources of DHA, which is a main ingredient in brain and retinal tissue. These little guys are also lower on the food chain, so they contain the least mercury when compared to larger fish.
Read more about how pregnancy diet impacts intelligence
2. Salmon and Trout
Both salmon and trout are good choices if you have trouble stomaching the sometimes fishy smell and flavor of fish, especially while you’re pregnant. Try for at least two servings of fatty fish per week.
3. Omega Eggs
While you’re pregnant, make sure you’re buying organic, omega 3 eggs. Eggs are the ideal protein source while you’re pregnant, especially during the last trimester when you need about 80 grams of protein per day. Starting your day with two eggs is a good way to ensure you’re getting enough. Just make sure you cook them all the way through to avoid any risk of salmonella or other foodborne illness.
If you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or you just don’t like fish, you can also get your omegas from seaweed. Consider a seaweed salad or vegetarian sushi wrapped in nori (remember no raw fish). Adding kelp to flavor soups is another great option.
5. Omega Supplementation
Make sure you’re taking a DHA/EPA supplement throughout your pregnancy. It’s best to take one everyday when you take your prenatal vitamin just to ensure you get enough.
Walnuts are a reliable source of omega 3 fatty acids. They’re also a good food to snack on between meals because if you’ve ever been pregnant you know, getting famished hungry is no picnic. Add walnuts to salads, trail mix, and oatmeal.
Read more about how most Americans don’t get enough omega 3 fatty acids
7. Flax seeds
Flax seeds have 133 percent of your daily allowance of ALA. Add flaxseed to muffins, granola, oatmeals, and salads. You can boost your consumption of omega 3 fatty acids just by sprinkling them on your favorite foods.
[Editor’s Note: If you want to learn more about omega-3s and how to get them, click here to sign up for Naturally Savvy’s Omega-3 Get Healthy Challenge.]
Image: Martin Fisch