Health Check

Benefits Of DHA-Rich Diet During Pregnancy

Written By Vaishali Thapa - January 22, 2024
Read Time - 3 min read

As an expectant mother, you must be hearing a lot about the "dos and don’ts of the pregnancy diet" all the time! But do you know why certain foods are completely prohibited while others have become essential parts of your pregnancy diet? It's all because what you eat has a direct impact  on your baby's health and growth in the womb. Yes, each bite of food you take, nurtures the baby  which is why you’re advised to eat a nutrient-rich diet during pregnancy. 

Here, we’ll talk about a nutrient that's vital for your baby's general growth & development. It's called DHA, and many of you are probably familiar with it. However, don't be concerned if you're hearing this term for the first time. In this blog, we’ll discuss its significance and how having a DHA-rich diet during pregnancy can benefit you!

What Is DHA?

DHA stands for Docosahexaenoic Acid; it is a long-chain unsaturated fatty acid. DHA is one of the three major omega-3 fatty acids. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are three other Omega-3 fatty acids.1 

It’s necessary for humans to consume DHA or Omega-3 fatty acids as the cells in the human body need it for the action to reduce swelling. It also has a significant role in reinforcing the cell structure and maintaining interaction between the cells; which is why it’s found in high concentrations in the retina and brain cells.1

Having a DHA-rich diet during pregnancy is extremely crucial as it helps the healthy development of your baby with following:

  1. Improved brain and nervous system2
  2. Better functioning of eye3
  3. Weight at birth4,5
  4. Better immune system5,6

Meanwhile, a DHA-rich diet during pregnancy helps expectant mothers, with the mentioned below5:

  1. It helps in preventing preterm labour and preterm delivery
  2. It reduces the risks of developing preeclampsia (high blood pressure, occurring during pregnancy)
  3. It helps with postpartum recovery

After discovering its benefits, you must be wondering where you can get this DHA, right? Well you’ll find out its sources in the upcoming section. 

Food Sources Of DHA

Now that you know DHA is good for you, let's look at some food items that’s a good source of DHA. 

Did you know that marine animals and fish are the main sources of DHA in the diet?

But there are some algae and seaweed that also have DHA!

Non-vegetarian sources*: Mackerel, seabass, salmon, herring, sardine, oyster, etc. are great sources of DHA7,8

*Note: Some fish and shellfish, however, contain possibly hazardous quantities of mercury. A baby's developing nervous system could be harmed by high amounts of mercury. Older and bigger fishes have more mercury. Which is why, an expectant mother (or breastfeeding mother) needs to avoid following9

  • King mackerel
  • Bigeye tuna
  • Orange roughy
  • Marlin
  • Tilefish
  • Shark
  • Swordfish

Vegetarian sources: Seaweeds like nori, and algae such as spirulina are great sources of DHA10,11

Other sources: Omega-3 DHA supplements

It is recommended that you contact your dietitian/doctor before consuming any of the food items listed above. Every pregnancy is unique, and certain foods may provoke an allergic reaction. We also recommend that you seek advice from your doctor before taking any DHA supplements, whether you are pregnant or not.

Ending Note!

We've covered the fundamentals of Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, and where you can get it from. But now the question is, "How will you know if you're eating a DHA-rich diet during pregnancy?" Don't be concerned; Lifecell has your back! We have just the right test for you: OmegaScore-P. This test is nothing like your common "prenatal" tests. Rather, it’s an at-home self-collection kit test that allows you to test your blood’s  Omega-3 DHA with a simple finger prick! Moreover, this test is an imperative tool to gain information about your baby's growth and development in the womb. OmegaScore-P gives you online test results in 7 to 8 days, saving you a lot of hassle!

So soon-to-be moms, what are you waiting for? Take your OmegaScore test today to ensure the little wonder's wellness!



Have Questions? Speak To Our Experts Now

Related Posts

Related Products