It may surprise you to learn that somewhere around 70 percent of your brain is fat.
And it’s not the sort of fat you find in your cooking oil. It’s omega 3 fats or what are sometimes called omega 3 essential fatty acids, DHA and EPA.
Equally interestingly, before birth around 70 percent of the calories which the baby takes from the mother go towards growing the brain of the fetus. That’s an astounding figure, and worthy of some thought.
It would seem from common sense therefore that if the growing brain of a baby is comprised of a high proportion of the omega 3 essential fatty acids, that it must get these from the mother before birth, and equally, at least for breastfed babies, from the mother after birth during breastfeeding.
And in fact this is the case.
And it would also seem to be common sense, though has also confirmed by various studies, that having an adequate supply of the omega 3 essential fatty acids during the very early years, including before birth, is an important aspect of the development of the fetus and baby. In fact studies have shown that there’s a range of conditions which may be triggered by, amongst other things, an inadequacy in the amount of the omega 3 essential fatty acids available to the growing fetus or baby.
Studies have linked low omega 3 in the brain to mental conditions such as depression, schizophrenia and others.
And so it would seem that one of the most important things that a mother can do for a growing baby is to ensure an adequate supply of the omega 3 essential fatty acids. Of course this means that the mother herself should be taking an adequate supply of Omega3 fats in her diet.
By far the best source of the omega 3 fats, specifically DHA and EPA, is seafood. It’s quite possible to get omega 3 from other sources, but oily fish is the best source of DHA and EPA.
Grass fed beef has omega 3 fats, but commonly we eat grain fed beef which doesn’t. Eggs should have Omega3, but eggs from chickens fed from grains do not, unless they are enriched with omega 3.
And of course eating fish is now quite expensive. A more cost-effective way of getting an adequate supply of DHA and EPA in your diet is high quality fish oil supplements, obviously containing omega 3 from fish.