Having been unexpectedly thrust into the role of teacher, you might have found yourself thinking about ways to give your kids a bit of a boost in their schooling. When it feels like you’re solely responsible for the development of your child, you would not be alone in looking for a little bit of help.
Omega 3 is an essential nutrient that can sometimes be lacking in many diets. Making sure your children are getting enough can be the little boost you’re hunting for.
What Is Omega 3?
Omega 3 is part of a family of fatty acids. It is an essential nutrient, which means we can only get it from our diet. Our bodies can’t make it. This family has three members, Omegas 3, 6, and 9.
Omega 3 is the most well known of these nutrients. This is because it is closely involved with both brain and heart health- we’ll cover this in more detail later. The other reason you may have heard of Omega 3 rather than the others is that for many westerners, our diets are skewed towards more significant amounts of Omega 6. This can leave us lacking in Omega 3.
The final thing that is worth knowing about Omega 3 is that it comes in different forms. These forms are EPA, DHA and ALA. The detail of how they are different is probably only interesting if you are a biochemist. Still, the short explanation is that they are all slightly different types of long fatty acids.
How Can Omega 3 Help?
So now that the chemistry lesson is over, let’s move onto biology! Let’s look at how Omega 3 can help with your child’s development.
Omega 3 is particularly crucial for brain development. One of the main symptoms of an Omega 3 deficiency is poor concentration. Studies have shown that people who get the recommended daily allowance of Omega 3 have more accurate memory compared to people who are lacking. If your child struggles to concentrate, then there is absolutely nothing to lose by trying to increase their intake of Omega 3.
Linked to this is some research on ADHD. Studies are still in their early days, but there is some evidence that higher levels of Omega 3 can be helpful for people who have ADHD. For some children, it can help them to pay attention and complete tasks. It also can help to decrease their feelings of restlessness and aggression.
Controlling your mood and emotions can be a challenge. So think how much harder it is for your kids. Omega 3 has been shown to play a vital role in our brains’ ability to regulate our moods and emotions. If you are hoping to help your child achieve their best in their education, then helping them control their mood is going to be a huge help.
Studies have shown that children and adults who have trouble sleeping often have lower levels of Omega 3 in their diets. Once these people increased their intake of Omega 3, they reported having better and longer sleep. Sleep is the foundation on which everything is built. Poor sleep can lead to irritability, lack of concentration and low mood.
If your child has difficulty sleeping or seems tired more than you expect, you can try adding some extra Omega 3 into their diet.
Brains love fatty acids. It’s the fuel they use to grow. 40% of the fatty acids found in your brain is DHA, an Omega 3 fatty acid. Getting enough of this essential nutrient during the early stage of your child’s life can help to improve, their eyesight, intelligence, social skills and communication—all good things.
How to Get Omega 3 Into Your Kids
Now that you know how essential Omega 3 can be. The next, obvious question is “How do I get my kids to eat it?”. I’m sure your first thought is oily fish. Since we all know how much kids love sardines, this isn’t necessarily a helpful suggestion. Fear not, you can find Omega 3 in a wide range of foods. Here are some options with good levels of both DHA and EPA.
- Chia seeds
- Fresh tuna
If none of these options appeals to your children, then you can always try an Omega supplement. There are some great choices out there that give you an easy way to ensure you children are getting the right balance of Omegas.