Ômega 3 na gravidez: benefícios e como consumir

Omega 3 in pregnancy: benefits and how to consume


The daily consumption of omega 3 during pregnancy can provide several benefits for both the baby and the mother, since this nutrient favors the brain and visual development of the baby, in addition to decreasing the risk of the woman developing depression during pregnancy and other complications.

This happens because omega 3 performs several functions in the body, such as oxygen transport, energy storage, regulation of blood pressure and the inflammatory and allergic response of the body, in addition to acting in the coagulation process.

Some foods rich in this nutrient are salmon, tuna and sardines, however there are also supplements in capsules and even multivitamins for pregnancy that already includes the omega 3 in its composition.

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The main benefits

The main benefits of consuming omega-3s during pregnancy are:

  • Decrease the risk of premature birth, as this nutrient helps regulate prostaglandins, which are substances that have been associated with premature birth;
  • Make the baby more intelligent, because this fatty acid is a fundamental element in the formation of the brain and nervous system of the child, especially from the second trimester of pregnancy and during the following years;
  • Favor the visual health of the baby, because this nutrient is accumulated in the retina, being essential for the proper development of vision;
  • Decreasing the risk of asthma in the baby, being especially indicated for women who have this type of allergy in the family;
  • Reduce the risk of preeclampsia because it has anti-inflammatory properties that help to dilate blood vessels and improve circulation;
  • Reduce the risk of postpartum depression, because mothers transfer to the baby large amounts of these essential fatty acids that are not produced by the body and need to be ingested in the diet. Low omega-3 levels can increase the trend to depression or brain malfunction.

To achieve all these benefits it is recommended to consume foods rich in omega 3 every day, but another possibility is to take the omega 3 capsules that may be indicated by the doctor or nutritionist. As the baby’s brain continues to develop after birth, this care is also important during breastfeeding.

Check out these and other benefits of omega 3 in the following video:

When to take omega-3 supplement in pregnancy

The use of omega-3 supplements should be recommended by the doctor or the nutritionist, but all pregnant women may be benefiting.

This supplement should be taken according to the professional guidance that indicated, however, in general, can be used 1 or 2 capsules of omega 3 during pregnancy and lactation. If you are a multivitamin for pregnant women, the recommended dose is already indicated.

The maximum amount of omega 3 you can consume per day is 3g, being important to take into account the amount that of this nutrient present in the foods and supplements you consume.

Where to Find Omega 3 and How to Consume

The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are cold, deep water fish such as trout, salmon and tuna. Other sources are flaxseed oil or its seeds, avocado and primrose oil, for example. Check out other examples of foods rich in omega 3.

Therefore, from the first trimester of pregnancy and during the entire period of breastfeeding, the mother’s feeding should contain at least 300 mg of DHA in her daily diet, which corresponds to 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil per day or 200 grams of fish.

For babies who are not breastfed and only bottled, it may be a good alternative to use dairy formulas with EPA, DHA and ALA that are types of omega-3s.

Watch the following video and check out the fish that are rich in omega 3:

Diet rich in omega 3

The following table presents an example of a 3-day menu that the pregnant woman can follow to ensure the consumption of the recommended amount of omega-3:

The amounts included in the menu vary according to age, gender, physical activity and whether you have any associated disease or not, so the ideal is to seek guidance from a nutritionist so that a complete evaluation is performed and a nutritional plan suitable for their needs is prepared.