One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is what supplements I recommend. Obviously ya’ll have been with me long enough to know that I recommend getting most of your nutrients from whole, real foods. Check out Wendie’s 10 to see what real foods I recommend for you to get most of your nutrients from.
There are certainly times when taking a supplement can be beneficial to one’s diet, though. For example, maybe an athlete during an intense training period, a vegan, children, or pregnant moms and their babies.
Recently, my friends over at The Natural Health Advocates sent me a sample of their cod liver oil supplement, which is perfect timing because Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and cod liver oil supplements are PERFECT for mother and baby.
Since Mother’s Day is quickly approaching, let’s dish about Mother and Child.
Optimizing nutrition is key for a healthy pregnancy. Literally everything you eat will be involved in making your child. Studies (1, 2, 3,) have shown that the omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA found in cod liver oil not only support healthy fertility, but they are also involved in healthy development of your baby’s nervous system, brain, heart and eyes.
If you are not eating 2-3 servings of fish such as tuna, cod, salmon, sardines, etc. each week, then you could benefit from a cod-liver oil supplement. Cod liver is very high in EPA and DHA which are the fatty acids that have been shown to be extremely healthy for your body. Low levels of these fatty acids have been linked to depression among other mental health issues. DHA supports healthy brain development and EPA supports behavior and moods.
Making sure you get enough omega-3 fatty acids supports many systems in the body, but for today’s topic, let’s stick to fertility. Some of the benefits of making sure that you have enough of this essential nutrient include:
- supporting hormone regulation
- promoting healthy ovulation
- decreasing inflammation that could lead things like endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and ovarian cysts
- increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs
It is important to have enough of this nutrient by eating enough fish or taking a cod liver oil supplement before becoming pregnant and continue during pregnancy. Once you become pregnant, your baby will draw from your stores to ensure it has enough, and you will suffer from a long term deficit if you are not getting enough from your diet. Taking a cod liver oil supplement such as this daily will help to ensure that you are getting the essential fatty acids your body needs.
Let’s break down EPA and DHA a little more. DHA is the essential fatty acid responsible for healthy brain function and cognitive development. Low levels of this nutrient are linked to premature birth, low birth weight, and hyperactivity in children. Studies show that babies born from women with high levels of DHA perform better on visual learning tests and have better visual acuity. Since EPA is involved with behavior and moods, having high levels of this nutrient is linked to fewer cases postpartum depression.
Taking cod liver oil supplements during breastfeeding will ensure that those nutrients are being passed to the baby. Cod liver oil supplements are also an excellent source of the fat-soluble vitamins A & D3 (the active form of D, and the form that our body uses).
Benefits of Vitamin A:
- proper development of the retina and eye health
- healthy immune function
- embryonic development
- antioxidant supporting skin and cellular health
Benefits of Vitamin D3:
- proper bone formation
- neuromuscular function
- mediating inflammatory responses
Whole foods that contain high levels of EPA/DHA, Vitamins A & D include:
- Fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, cod, sardines, anchovies
- egg yolks
- organ meats
If you are not getting enough of these nutrients through whole foods, then a high quality cod liver oil supplement would be beneficial. To find more natural products and supplements check out the Natural Health Advocates and follow them on Facebook.
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