Many of us probably know the term DHA from the many kids’ drink commercials we see and think it must be quite vital for children but might not really understand what it is and why is it so important for children. Let’s try to understand this potent nutrient and how it benefits kids.
In simple terms, DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) is an omega-3 fatty acid that is commonly found in fish, chicken, cod liver oil, flax seeds, walnuts, etc. Even though some DHA is naturally synthesized by the human body, it is still essential to consume it through food or supplements. DHA is required for the proper functioning of various organs in the human body. Here’s a quick rundown of the top five benefits of DHA for kids.
The most crucial role of DHA is to support the growth and function of the brain. DHA is the predominant Omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) in the brain that works as the building block for cognitive, emotional, and behavioral development in children. Higher levels of DHA help them with better speech, reasoning, motor, learning, and information processing skills as they grow up.
We have often heard how eating fish is good for the eyes. Fish along with other food items such as kidney beans, walnuts, chia seeds, etc are rich in omega-3. There are two types of omega-3 fatty acids - DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) - that are important for overall eye function. DHA is responsible for the normal functioning of the retina and reduces the risk of certain eye diseases and degradation of vision.
We often connect omega-3 or DHA with children’s eyes and brain health, but they are also beneficial for your kid’s active lifestyle. Omega-3 is anti-inflammatory by nature, DHA solely or in combination with EPA can help in muscle repair and recovery. It increases muscle protein synthesis and reduces the risk of muscle breakdown. It also helps in improving endurance, reaction time, and performance.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder of childhood that often continues into adulthood. Children with ADHD have difficulty in concentrating, controlling impulsive behaviors, or/and short-tempered and overly active. Since DHA has been associated with neurological development may improve ADHD.
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