In our last blog post, we touched on in importance of Omega-3s for both your physical and mental health. Bad cholesterol? You need some Omega-3s, my friend. Depression? Try some soothing Omega-3s! Auto-immune Condition? You guessed it: Omega-3s! Stubborn carpet stains?! Ok, maybe not that last one, but I’m sure the point is not lost on you. Omega-3s are essential for nearly every aspect of your health, so it should be no surprise to learn that children need it at every single stage of their development.
In the 1980s, several clinical trials were conducted to measure the effects of consuming supplemental Omega-3s on pregnant women and their developing babies. The women were divided into 3 groups: group 1 received an Omega-3 supplement during pregnancy and lactation while the women in groups 2 and 3 received an olive oil placebo or nothing. The women in the first group had longer gestational periods, allowing for increased grey matter density in the baby as well as a lower rate of preeclampsia. The babies had heavier birth weights, higher visual acuity, higher mental processing scores, and higher hand-eye coordination scores. This is because Omega-3 fatty acids are a foundational component of every cell in your body, and are especially important for the development of the Central Nervous System.
The Central Nervous System begins developing 3 weeks after conception, and in a way, never stops. However, during the first 3 years of a child’s life, the brain is incredibly impressionable, both environmentally and chemically. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers who receive sufficient Omega-3 fatty acids lower their child’s risk for a host of psychiatric, learning and behavior disorders, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and ADHD. They are also associated with increased social skills and attention span, as well as a decreased risk for asthma, heart disease, autoimmune conditions – and more!
Sadly, as amazing as our bodies are, they are unable to synthesize their own Omega-3s which is why it is so important to supplement or consume Omega-3 rich foods. Most doctors and medical professionals will recommend a fish oil supplement, but with concerns like rising ocean mercury levels, over fishing, and questionable fish processing practices, it is no wonder a growing number of people are looking for alternative sources for their Essential Fatty Acids.
Hemp is a sustainable, anti-carcinogenic, healthy and balanced source of Omega-3, protein, amino acids, vitamin E and fiber. It can be easily (and enjoyably) consumed in the form of seeds and oil or in capsule form. It is the perfect food for anyone who is pregnant, or breastfeeding, and for children at every stage of their development. Try this super food today!