Omega-3’s are healthy ingredients from fish that promote heart and brain health, and also support a healthy mood. Many nutritionists, including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in a position paper released in July of 2014, encourage pregnant women to consume at least 8 oz. of seafood per week to promote infant eye and brain health. More research is needed, but one study from the University of Connecticut, showed a potential link between consumption of fish oil and reduction of postpartum depression symptoms. Yet most pregnant women don’t consume the recommended level of omega-3s.
I prefer to get my omega-3s from fish, rather than supplements. To boost your levels of omega-3s, try to consume fish (especially fatty fish) 2 to 3 times per week. Pregnant women should avoid certain fish – shark, swordfish, king Mackerel, or tilefish- which are high in mercury. Pregnant women are also cautioned to limit their consumption of farm-raised fish, which may contain more contaminants. According to WebMD, fish which are good sources of omega-3 include:
anchovies bluefish herring
mackerel salmon sardines
sturgeon lake trout tuna
If you’re not a fan of fish, then consider getting your omega-3s from a supplement. Health experts recommend 200 mg of DHA daily for pregnant women.
Omega-3s may also be beneficial for the general population for mood support. According to WebMD, “Some researchers have found that cultures that eat foods with high levels of omega-3s have lower levels of depression. Fish oil also seems to boost the effects of antidepressants and may help the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder.”[i]
Chunk light tuna in water is one source of natural omega-3s. Content may vary slightly by brand. Wild salmon has more omega-3s than farmed. My favorite way to cook salmon is to sprinkle with lemon-pepper and broil. Enjoy with a smile on your face!