DHA is one of the most important omega-3 fatty acids needed by both children and adults for proper growth and mental development.
In this blog post, I’m going to be covering all you need to know about DHA, it’s important for proper brain development, benefits, and it’s sources.
Let’s get started…
Some years ago, I’d always wondered why kids my age who lived abroad looked twice my age, more mature and way bigger than I was.
I talked to my cousin about it and he told me they ate fertilizers (meaning they were exposed to a wider range of nutrients than we were).
Well, his response wasn’t far from the truth.
Kids who are exposed to a wide range and sources of essential nutrients needed for their proper growth and development would eventually outgrow those whose sources of such essential nutrients are limited.
That isn’t to say children with limited sources won’t grow as well, it only means they’ll take longer to catch up with those who feed on “Fertilizers”.
However, in the worst cases, children who lack these essential nutrients experience stunted growth, poor brain development, and malnutrition.
Today we’re going to be discussing DHA, one of the most essential omega-3 fatty acids needed for proper growth and development of both children and adults.
What Is Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)?
DHA short for docosahexaenoic acid is one of the three main types of omega-3 fatty acids that play important roles in proper growth and development of the body as well as improved brain functions in both children and adults.
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats with numerous health benefits including; improving the nervous system, aiding communication between brain cells and a whole lot more.
These fatty acids also possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce swellings and inflammation in the body.
The other two main types of Omega-3 fatty acids are ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).
DHA is one of the major building blocks of the brain and is essential for optimal brain health and development during childhood, adulthood and throughout our entire lifespan.
A recent study on the role of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in Northern Nigeria, proves that inadequate intake of essential omega-3 fatty acids; DHA in particular, by infants during the first few years of their lives may play a role in childhood malnutrition and poor brain development.
How Does DHA Affect Infant Brain Development?
One of the most abundant omega-3 fatty acids present in the brain and tissues in the eyes is DHA.
The role of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in brain development and the mental health of infants begin way before childbirth.
It usually kicks in during the third trimester and the first 6 months of the child’s life.
When this happens, DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids begin to accumulate in the cell membranes and cerebral cortex of infants.
During the first 12 months of an infant’s life, DHA is responsible for neuro-cognitive development.
It helps in developing the infant’s mental abilities, cognitive functions and the ability to see, hear or understand things easily (visual acuity).
DHA also supports overall brain development in thinking abilities, learning, and ability to recall events properly (memory retention).
What Causes Low Levels Of DHA In Growing Infants?
-Use Of Weaning Foods That lack Proper Nutrients:
In Jos Nigeria, a study was carried out on the nutritional values of weaning foods given to infants to supplement breastfeeding.
One of the discoveries from the study shows that most weaning foods used by Nigerian women to feed their children, do not contain good amounts of nutrients required for proper growth and mental development of their children.
Cereal based weaning foods like Pap or Akamu (a popular semi-solid porridge gotten from maize, millet and guinea corn) lacks essential omega‑3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) needed by growing children.
If growing children are not weaned and fed with nutritional and DHA-rich foods, it may cause malnutrition, stunted growth, and poor brain development.
In other words, breastfeeding mothers need to improve the quality of the foods they eat so it doesn’t affect their children.
As well as feeding their infants, weaning foods rich in essential nutrients to ensure they grow and develop to be healthy and strong.
-Inadequate Amounts Of DHA In Mothers Breast Milk:
In a study conducted in Northern Nigeria, breastfeeding mothers in general contained adequate amounts of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid).
Although they had proper amounts of ALA, infants breast-fed exclusively (for 2 years)were deficient in other essential omega-3 fatty acids.
For newborns and babies in the womb, the primary source of omega-3 fatty acids and DHA comes from their mother.
The amounts of DHA present in mothers’ breast milk vary.
It may be because of what she eats, in terms of diets or even her genetics.
Unfortunately, an average Nigerian woman, may not have the right quantity of these essential nutrients in her breast milk.
Nutrients such as; copper, zinc, ALA, and DHA necessary for proper growth and development of infants are found in very low quantities.
Why most breastfeeding mothers lack the right quantity of nutrients is usually because eating of poor nutritional diets.
It doesn’t only affect the growing child, it also affects the breastfeeding mother as well.
Are There Other Health Benefits Of DHA?
Yes, there are many more benefits of DHA, not only for infants but for all age groups.
Let’s go over some of the health benefits of DHA:
-DHA May Help In Improving ADHD:
Difficulty in concentrating and careless behaviours caused by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in both kids and adults, can be improved with the help of DHA.
Since docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is the most abundant omega-3 fatty acid in the brain, it helps to increase blood flow in adults and children while performing mental tasks.
This helps to improve their behaviours and overall level of concentration.
-DHA Helps In Fighting Inflammation:
Like I earlier mentioned, omega-3 fatty acids like DHA, have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
They help to reduce swellings and inflammation in the body.
The more you take DHA, it helps to balance the amount of omega-6 fatty acids in your body.
When omega-6 fatty acids are excess in your body, they usually cause inflammations so DHA helps to regulate it.
Consistent intake of DHA may help to reduce the likelihood of you getting chronic illnesses common with aging such as heart and gum disease.
-DHA & Rheumatoid Arthritis:
Omega-3 fatty acids also help to improve the conditions of people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Studies have proven that the anti-inflammatory properties of DHA helped in reducing joint pains and swellings in RA patients.
Sources Of DHA & Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
There are lots of food sources of omega-3 fatty acids but greater amounts are found in DHA rich seafood than land sources.
Seafood sources of DHA and omega-3 fatty acids are; mackerel, catfish, salmon, sardines, oyster, and shrimp.
Land sources of omega-3 fatty acids and DHA are; hemp seeds, walnuts, free-range eggs, soybean, kidney beans, Kampala groundnuts, bread nuts, and peanuts.
Recommended Supplements For DHA & Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
We recommend taking DHA rich supplements like Choleduz Omega-3 Supplement for adults and breastfeeding mothers.
As well as DHA fortified formula drinks like MyChoco Alkaline Chocolate Drink for children and infants.
To provide them with the necessary amounts of omega-3 fatty acids needed for maximum health, brain development, and functioning.
MyChoco Alkaline Chocolate Drink:
MyChoco is a premium alkaline chocolate fruit replacement health drink fortified with DHA and infused with complete phyto-energizers for wholesome goodness and vitality.
It’s made from a rich cocoa blend, milk, sugar, over 16,000 complete phytonutrients, and super improved DHA formula.
It is a perfect drink for you and your kids for healthy growth and development.
It provides you and your kids with the essential nutrients required for adequate physical, neurological and mental soundness.
It helps to boost your mental wellness, brain development in infants and improves physical endurance.
It’s a perfect choice for kids to excel in school, outdoor activities and all around.
Choleduz Omega-3 Supplement:
Choleduz Organic Supplement is a great and potent source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
It has more Omega-3 Fatty Acids than fish oil and is endorsed by Alliance In Global Motion and Nature’s Way.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids have very powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce swellings and inflammation as well as Improved memory retention.
Choleduz Omega-3 Supplement also helps to reduce bad cholesterol levels in your body, lowers blood pressure and decreases inflammation around your heart to prevent heart attacks.
The children are the future.
If they’re properly taken care of and fed with the adequate nutrients in their right proportions, they’ll grow well, become intelligent and good parents as well.
Take care of your children and they’ll take good care of you as well.
Health Is Wealth.
Now It’s Your Turn!
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