As the kids head back to school, many parents want to help support their learning process. Nutrition plays a big role in children's behaviour, as well as their learning and mental focus and research now shows the importance of essential fatty acids, particularly for brain health.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
If we were to list the most crucial nutrients children need, EFAs would be high on the list and a vast majority are not getting enough through their diet. EFA’s are considered ‘essential’ because they cannot be produced by our bodies but are required for optimal health. Dietary intake or supplementation of EFAs is the best way to obtain optimal levels. The two main families of EFAs are omega-3 and omega-6. Proper cell function is dependent on a balance of these fats as they both reside in the cell membrane. This balance can be hard to maintain due to the overabundance of omega-6 intake (consumed through processed foods, refined vegetable oils and foods high in grains), however, increasing omega-3 intake can help to maintain the balance.
Why are EFAs important?
EFAs have been shown to play an important role in brain health. We once believed that the brain was fully developed at birth. While it is true that most of the brain cells are formed by this time, advanced research has enabled us to see that the brain continues to form after birth. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), the omega-3 EFA’s in fish oil, help support the transmission of brain signals and provide the necessary building blocks for healthy tissue development. DHA is uniquely important to nerve and brain cells. Studies have shown DHA supports mental focus and clarity in children which may help learning in the school setting. There are many fish oil products now available with a higher level of DHA within them, ideal for those growing brains. Research supports taking a high-quality, purified fish oil supplement as a healthy, reliable source of the EPA and DHA which children need for healthy physical and mental development.
Feeding the Brain
As the brain is made up of over 60% fat with half of the fat being EPA and DHA (the omega-3 fats), you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that our children need more omega-3s to support their brain. However, as many parents will know, trying to get their children to take any type of fish oil can be an absolute nightmare. What you need is a tasty formulation, that your kids will love! The Nordic Naturals Kids fish oil range is ideal from birth through to the teenage years. They come in a variety of chewable capsules, gummies and liquids, for easy and on the go consumption.
View the Nordic Naturals Children’s range on our secure online store.
Always read the label and use as directed. Supplementary to a balanced diet. Natural Meds, Napier. TAPS PP1838