All of you mothers must have heard the name of DHA often in TV and online advertisements. DHA plays an important role in increasing brain capacity. It is also known as Omega 3 Fatty Acid. However, there is a lot of confusion about this. Is DHA found only in non-vegetarian food? How is DHA beneficial for children? What is DHA?? What is the relationship between DHA and omega 3 fatty acids? Let’s discuss all these topics here.
What is DHA?
The omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid is known as “DHA”. DHA is found in most marine organisms such as fish or fish oil. However, a source of DHA is also found in vegetarian items. DHA is very beneficial for the brain development of newborns.
It is a type of omega 3 acids that help in the development of the brain and strengthens the nervous system. DHA works to keep the mental balance and brain functions running smoothly in children. The lack of DHA weakens the brain development of children as well as their nervous system.
Harm to children due to lack of DHA
By the age of five, children’s brains have developed up to 3.5 times. This time is very important for babies and toddlers. During this, the diet must include adequate amounts of DHA for rapid brain development. Along with DHA, EPA (another related fatty acid EPA) is also very important for fetal development and early infant development. They help in brain development, neuron growth as well as retinal growth. EPA also protects against inflammation. For this purpose, Furious Nutritions brought you the ultimate formulation in the form of DHA EP Syrup . Furious Nutritions is among the top manufacturers of infant formula in India.
DHA deficiency affects children in many ways such as:
- If the child gets less amount of DHA, then the size of his brain is reduced.
- According to various researches, a low amount of DHA affects vision-related problems, memory, etc.
Natural Sources of DHA
DHA is a type of omega 3 essential fatty acid (fat) that our body cannot make on its own. With this weight, we have to meet it through food or supplements. Omega 3 is mainly found in fish, eggs, walnuts, flaxseed, chia seed, and edible oils (canola oil, soybean oil, linseed oil, etc.).
Natural sources of omega 3 fatty acids are:
- Fatty fish
- olive oil
- flax seeds
- organic eggs
- chia seeds
- canola oil
How Much DHA is Required in a Day?
The daily requirement of Omega 3 according to age is as follows:
0-6 months – The 200 to 300 mg of DHA present in the mother’s diet can easily be passed on to the baby through breastfeeding. If breastfeeding is not being done properly then formula milk containing DHA can be given. Fish, Chia Seeds, Walnuts, DHA Supplements
- 6-24 months – DHA: 10-12 mg/kg of body weight
- 2-4 years – EPA + DHA: 100-150 mg/day
- 4-6 years – EPA + DHA: 100-150 mg/day
- 6-10 years – EPA + DHA: 200-250 mg/day
Apart from this, adolescent boys who are 14-18 years old need 1.6 grams, teenage girls (14-18 years) 1.4 grams, men 1.6 grams, and women 1.1 grams. Pregnant women should take 0.2 grams per day.
Breast milk is the main source of DHA
Breast milk is a major source of DHA. If you do not breastfeed your baby for six months, there is a very high chance that the baby may be deficient in DHA. However, you can make up for this deficiency after six months by choosing formula milk that has a high amount of DHA. Lact M Granules can be used for the enhancement of milk in breastfeeding mothers.
Is DHA only in fish and seafood?
It is a question that bothers vegetarians the most whether DHA is found only in non-veg food. DHA is found in most fish and other seafood. However, it is not that it is found only in fish and seafood. There are also some vegetarian sources of DHA which are:
Veg Sources of DHA
1. chia seeds – Chia seeds or chia seeds are the sizes of small grains. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
2. flax seeds – Flaxseeds or flaxseeds are also rich in omega 3 fatty acids. You can use it as a salad dressing or powder.
3. Walnut – Walnuts are a major vegetarian source of DH. Similar properties are also found in its oil.
4. soybean or soybean oil – Along with being rich in vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, etc., it is also considered an important storehouse of DHA.
5. seaweeds – If you do not eat non-veg, then many types of aquatic plants and algae are also important sources of DHA.