Are you getting enough omega-3s in your pregnancy diet? This type of unsaturated fat is critical for baby’s brain development, and helps support your heart and brain health as well. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends 250 milligrams daily of one particular type of omega-3, docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA. DHA can be found in supplement form or in many of the foods we consume each day.
Putting numbers into action
It’s great to read all the recommendations, but how do you put those numbers into action and make something delicious? We’ve got you covered with these simple recipes.
Chia seeds are an easy addition to baked goods, salad dressings, oatmeal, or yogurt. Two easy ways to taste all the health benefits, from fiber to omega-3s with chia seeds are chia pudding and chia water. Chia creates a viscous liquid when mixed and allowed to sit for as little as 15 minutes. Give these two recipes a whirl:
Read more: More fish = healthier pregnancy
Tart cherry chia limeade
- 8 ounces tart cherry juice
- 8 ounces sparkling lime water
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- In a mason jar (or any container with a fitted lid) pour in all ingredients, secure lid, and shake vigorously for 1 minute.
- Allow drink to rest for 15 minutes, shake, and enjoy. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Creamy chia pudding
- 2 cups milk (any nut-milk alternatives work)
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 banana, smashed
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Optional toppings: 2 tablespoons toasted unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped peanuts, sliced bananas, dark chocolate chips
- In a mixing bowl whisk together milk, chia seeds, cocoa powder, mashed banana, and sugar for 1 minute.
- Pour into 2 16-ounce Mason jars (or any containers with fitted lids), secure lids, and refrigerate. Shake jar every 30-minutes to an hour (or when you think of it!)
- Pudding will become viscous enough to enjoy in 4-8 hours. Top with your favorite toppings and serve.
Note: you can allow the pudding to rest overnight and enjoy it for breakfast, too!
Now that you have a refreshing mocktail and something sweet let’s add in a fueling lunch with omega-3 dense salmon.
Before you turn up your nose to the idea of canned salmon, just give this recipe a try. Canned salmon is a simple way to get a quick meal on the table for lunch or dinner.
Mediterranean salmon pitas
- 1-7 ounce can salmon
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 4 olives, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped celery
- 2 lettuce leaves (romaine, red leaf, or green leaf)
- 1 small tomato, thinly sliced
- 8 slices cucumber
- 4 basil leaves
- 2 pita bread halves
- In a small mixing bowl stir together canned salmon, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, chopped olives, and chopped celery until combined.
- Fill 2 pita bread halves equally with salmon mixture and finish off with lettuce, tomato slices, cucumber slices, and basil.
Note: Pita bread can be toasted lightly in a toaster or on a griddle before filling.
Confused about seafood?
During pregnancy, it can be challenging to decipher accurate information from that which is merely fear-mongering. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has put together an extensive website highlighting consumer recommendations based on best choices, good alternatives, and which fish to avoid. Be sure to use this website or app as a buying guide for you and your family.
Now it’s your turn: Have you given much thought to omega-3s now that you’re expecting? What’s your favorite way to boost your omega-3 intake? Share your experience and advice in the comments below!