As a parent, it's only natural to want your child to be as healthy and happy as possible. With our modern hectic lifestyles and the temptation on offer by convenience foods; this is becoming an increasingly difficult task. It should come as no surprise that the earliest years are the most important in terms of our body and brain development. Essential fatty acids are the healthy fats that the body needs to perform key functions, but we cannot produce these ourselves and so they must be supplemented. There are many types of essential fatty acids that play an important role in a well-balanced diet for children, but science has found that one particular essential fatty acid is especially vital to children's growth and development.
That essential fatty acid is the omega 3 fatty acid, called 'docosahexaenoic acid' or DHA, for short. If you've never heard of it before, it's time that you discover it, so that you can be certain your child is getting enough of it in their diet.
The benefits of DHA for children
The omega 3 fatty acid DHA offers a number of benefits for kids' growing bodies. Studies have shown that the essential fatty acid:
- Assists with cognitive development: DHA is needed to help a child's brain develop properly as he or she grows. Studies have shown that low levels of DHA increase a child's risk of developing memory problems and suffering from reading-related learning disabilities. Research also indicates that children who get an adequate supply of DHA during early childhood are more likely to have higher IQs than those who don't.
- Promotes proper eye development: DHA is used by the body to help produce important cells in the eyes. In fact, the cells that make up the retina of the eye (the area at the back of the eyeball where the light receptors cells are located) have a higher concentration of stored DHA than any other cells in the human body. Studies have shown that DHA deficiencies during childhood put kids more at risk for vision problems later in life.
- Supports a healthy heart: While we often think of fats as being bad for our hearts, DHA is actually a heart healthy fat. DHA actually protects the heart and the arteries that carry blood through the body from damage and have been shown to keep triglyceride and blood pressure levels low and levels of "good" cholesterol high. With heart disease being the number one killer of adults in the Western world, it's never too early to start thinking about heart health. Kids who get enough DHA in their diets have the potential to have healthier hearts through adolescence and into adulthood.
How much is enough?
Paediatricians and nutritional experts typically recommend that children consume 120 - 200 milligrams of DHA per day in order to ensure that their growing bodies receive enough of the omega 3 fatty acid. Unfortunately, studies indicate that most kids in the Western world only get an average of 30 to 50 milligrams per day through their diets.
The problem is that the best dietary sources of DHA just aren't kid-friendly foods. Most children just aren't excited at the prospect of eating salmon, sardines and tuna. That's why paediatricians often recommend that parents give their children an omega 3 DHA supplement every day.
We offer a simple, safe way to give children the omega 3 fatty acids that their bodies need. Our easy-to-swallow capsules provide the recommended 200 milligrams of DHA and are made from sustainable, mercury-free, 100 percent plant-based algae oil.