When my first grandchild was on his way, my daughter and I got very involved in making sure that the new mother to be was getting all the right nutrients. My daughter had gotten brain washed about good nutrition since I became a health nut around age 25.That journey is another story for another time.
One nutrient that we knew was important for pregnancy along with many others was Omega 3 Fatty Acids .Omega 3’s are actually composed of 2 different fatty acids docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentanoic acid (EPA). If you want to get real scientific DHA gives most of the neurological benefits of omega-3 oils rather than the EPA component.
Half of the brain and eyes are made up of fat, much of which is DHA — an essential nutrient for optimal brain and eye function in a growing child during gestation and the infant and child. It is amazing to know that just 3 weeks after conception the baby’s brain begins to grow. In fact 75% of brain capacity develops between birth and age three. By age five, brain development is 90% complete.
Building A Better Brain with DHA
DHA is a natural component of breast milk. Studies have shown that DHA helps infants and children improve brain and visual development and those infant who are breast fed score higher on intelectual and visual test than formula fed babies lacking DHA.
Breast-fed babies , as a group, have higher IQ scores than formula fed babies. Mothers who supplement with Omega 3’s during pregnancy and nursing were shown to have children with higher I.Q.’s The very first year of the baby’s life is a critical year that gives the child an important foundation for a healthy body and mind. DHA-rich breast milk while the brain is rapidly growing assures that the child will develop his full intelligence potential.* But what about DHA for older children?
DHA Needed throughout Life DHA is critical to optimal brain function throughout life — not just the first year.
Unfortunately the low fat craze also has affected the healthy fats or essential fatty acids in our diets. And when you you understand that half of our brain’s dry weight is FAT. Our brain activity depends on this fat waxy membrane for it’s electrical nerve circuit. Your brain contains more DHA than any other part of your body. So if your brain doesn’t have enough DHA then your brain short circuits . Now you know why many people with depression benefit by adding Omega 3’s to their diet.
So How Does DHA benefit your Child’s Health more specifically?
- Supports strong cognitive function by supporting optimal neuron function* ·
- Promotes ability to concentrate and focus* ·
- Affects the motor control part of the brain, playing a major role in muscle function and coordination* ·
- Supports normal social development* ·
- Promotes appropriate behavior* ·
- Provides increased visual acuity* ·
- Promotes a positive mental health outlook
- * Muscle control may not at first glance seem too critical, outside of sports. But it’s crucial to the process of coordinated writing, as well as essential to sitting still during many learning activities without fidgeting, flailing around, kicking, and more.*
- Visual acuity also affects your child’s ability to learn. Being able to discern between two letters in a word… see what the teacher is writing on the board… and much more are everyday examples of how visual acuity impacts his or her life.* And naturally, every parent wants a life of relative peace, represented by their child’s appropriate behavior, normal social development, and positive mental attitude. After all, who wants to live in a battle zone?
What Else Does DHA Do for Your Child? ·
- Maintains healthy inflammatory levels in their brain and throughout their system* ·
- Stimulates neuron growth, and development and repair of synapses.*
- The brain is a vast complex system of nerve cells sending and receiving signals (electrical impulses) across junctions called synapses. The small space between the two cells is where the action occurs. · One neuron may synapse with as many as 1,000 other neurons. Sophisticated functions like learning and memory require high-quality messaging.
How to Make Sure Your Child is Getting DHA. . . Fish Oil May not be the Best Way
In a perfect world, your child could get all the DHA he or she needs through their diet, especially from fish. But many kids have an aversion to fish at least my 15 month old grandson does. Furthermore, studies show that eating fish can potentially expose your child to a high degree of contamination with industrial pollutants and toxins like mercury, PCBs, heavy metals and radioactive poisons.
A recent news article in USA Today reported that mercury contamination is in every fish sampled in 291 streams across the country. The article went on to say that,
“About a quarter of these fish were found to contain mercury at levels exceeding the criterion for the protection of people who consume average amounts of fish, established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. More than two-thirds of the fish exceeded the U.S. EPA level of concern for fish-eating mammals.”
And for Children Shaklee has created NEW MIGHTY SMART SUPPLEMENT solves that dilemma Shakleekids Mighty Smart is scientifically formulated with a power-packed blast of ultra-pure DHA. Essential for early brain development, this omega-3 fatty acid has been shown to support mighty memory, mad concentration, and fierce mind skills. Star-K Certified.
To You and Your Children’s Health,