The start of a new school year often begins with kids suffering from the change in schedule and lifestyle and parents rejoicing the return to a “normal routine.” Once the chaos settles and routine is established, I recommend you pay attention to how you and your child are mentally performing. How is your memory? How are your child’s creativity and language developing? More and more research is showing the utmost importance of the Omega-3 fatty acids and their role in our brain health. This is another great example of how diet and nutrition can play such an integral role in our overall health.
There are two main Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Overall, Omega-3’s are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, in the brain as well as the rest of the body. We are frequently recommending taking “fish oil” daily to help in reduce inflammation related to arthritis. Additionally, DHA is most commonly talked about as today’s research has shown that most benefits are derived from DHA. It is the primary structural component of the cerebral cortex, the area of the brain responsible for memory, language, creativity, judgement, emotion, and attention. Low levels of DHA have been linked to depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, memory loss, and Alzheimer’s.
So where do we find these Omega-3 fatty acids? Our primary sources are fish and animal oils/meat. Cold water fish such as herring, salmon, mackerel, halibut, and sardines are the best sources. NOTE: “wild caught” fish is the way to go! It is highly recommended that vegetarians and vegans consider taking Omega-3 fatty acids in supplement form as that population has a very high risk for deficiency. In fact, upwards of 70% of Americans are believed to be deficient in Omega-3’s due to poor dietary choices. There are some plant sources of Omega-3 fatty acids available, however it is the form of ALA (alpha-linolenic aid). ALA must be converted to DHA and EPA by the body in order to gain the same benefits. Unfortunately, this is not a very efficient process. In fact, less than 5% of ALA gets converted to EPA, and less than 0.5% is converted to DHA.
As always, Standard Process is here to help! Their resources for their Omega-3 fatty acids products are of the highest quality. In fact, their products have been tested and are safe for pregnant women with little to no risk of exposure to mercury. Here is a little information about 2 of our favorite Omega-3 products:
To help support our children, and ourselves, we are running a promotional special for Tuna Omega-3 Oil and Cod Liver Oil. Stop by the office today and feed your brain the best nutrition available!