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What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that must be present in your diet. These essential fatty acids provide you with a plethora of benefits that ultimately result in overall well-being. Since your body is not able to produce these fats, you must get it from foods or supplements. Some of the common sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish, flax seeds, walnuts, algal oil, fish oils, flaxseed oil etc.
Different Types of Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Sources
There are three different types of Omega 3 fatty acids i.e.
1) ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid) - Being the most commonly found fatty acid, ALA is used by the body for energy purposes. There is debate on whether ALA is converted into biologically active forms of EPA, DHA, and Omega 3. Many consider the conversion process to be quite inefficient. ALA is commonly found in different foods such as soybeans, walnuts, chia seeds, canola oil, flaxseed oil, flax seeds, etc.
2) EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) - EPA is one of the most commonly found omega-3 fatty acids in animal products. Common sources of EPA include fatty fish and fish oil. Besides having a number of functions, EPA can be effectively converted into DHA.
3) DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) - DHA is perhaps one of the most important omega-3 fatty acids. Its importance lies in it being one of the key structural components of retina, brain, and other body parts. Sources of EPA include meat, eggs, dairy products, fish oil, etc.
What Are The Best Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
There are a number of foods that come with a high amount of Omega-3 fatty acids. Some of these foods are:
How Can Children Benefit from Omega -3 fatty acid Rich Foods?
Presence of Omega-3 fatty acids in the diet is proven to offer several benefits for children. Here are some of the best Omega-3 fatty acid benefits for kids:
1) Improves ADHD: ADHD i.e. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the common conditions that many children suffer from. Research shows that incorporating Omega-3 fatty acids in the diet of children can help them to overcome different ADHD-related symptoms such as impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and focusing issues. According to a research, children with and without ADHD improved their attention after daily consumption of 1300 mg of Omega-3 fatty acid content.
2) Reduces Asthma: Asthma and related conditions including breathing problems and wheezing often affect children and adults to a significant extent. Omega-3 fatty acid food and supplements can help children to reduce such issues.
3) Enhances Brain Health: Omega-3 fatty acids also play a key role in improving the brain health among children. Regular consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids rich foods or supplements has been linked to improved memory and learning abilities. Children suffering from depression and mood disorders also can benefit from Omega-3 fatty acids.
4) Decreases Sleep Interruptions: Children often suffer from sleep interruptions. According to a study, lower levels of Omega 3 fatty acid in the diet was found to be a cause of sleep problems among children. Children consuming 600 mg of DHA for 4 months experienced lesser sleep interruptions.
How To Choose Omega-3 fatty acid Supplement For Your Children?
Choosing the best Omega-3 fatty acid supplement can be a little daunting for parents. The best way to include Omega 3 fatty acids in the diet is to include foods along with fish oil. However, if your child needs a higher concentration of Omega 3 fatty acids, perhaps it is best to talk to a medical practitioner.
Be it ADHD or cognitive abilities, Omega-3 fatty acid supplements play a key role when it comes to children. With the right dosage, you can improve the memory of your children while boosting the learning and reading abilities. With that said, it is best to incorporate the right amount of Omega-3 fatty acids in the diet of your child.
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