A Myriad of Benefits of Essential Fatty Acids, Key to Children's Intelligence


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Most people identify fat as a food that is harmful to health. In fact, there is fat that turns out to provide many health benefits. Especially for the little brain development. This type of fat is called essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are fats needed by the body for cell formation and controlling inflammation. Find out the various benefits of essential fatty acids in this article.

Benefits of essential fatty acids for children

Essential fatty acids are fats that are very important because they cannot be produced by the body. This fat can help cell formation, regulate the nervous system, strengthen the cardiovascular system, build the immune system, and help the body absorb nutrients. Essential fatty acids are also very important for healthy brain and eye function.

Omega-6 and omega-3 are included in essential fatty acids. Both are unsaturated fats that can reduce cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and keep the heart healthy.

Some studies show that children born to mothers taking omega-3 (DHA and EPA) supplements during pregnancy scored higher on cognitive tests at 4 years of age than children whose mothers did not take DHA and EPA supplements.

In addition, other studies also found that fish supplements that are rich in essential fats can help reduce aggressive and hyperactive behavior, and increase attention in children under the age of 12 years.

Omega-6 and Omega-3: How much do children need?

Based on the recommended Nutritional Adequacy Rate for Indonesian people, recommendations for the intake of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids are:

0 - 1 year

  • 440 mg, or 4.4 gr omega-6 every day
  • 500 mg, or 0.5 gr omega-3 every day

13 years old

  • 7000 mg, or 7 grams of omega-6 every day
  • 700 mg, or 0.7 grams of omega-6 every day

4 - 9 years

  • 1,000 mg, or 10 grams of omega-6 every day
  • 900 mg, or 0.9 gr omega-3 every day

Above 9 years

  • 1,600 mg, or 1.6 grams of omega 6 every day

Usually omega-6 will be available in large quantities in your diet, so you only need to focus on making sure your child gets enough omega-3 intake. (Many omega-6s are contained in semi-processed foods that contain oils such as soybean oil)

Your child does not need to get enough essential fatty acids every day. Instead, you can pay installments to meet the needs of essential fats according to AKG recommendations in a few days or a week.

A good source for getting essential fatty acids

Some experts recommend increasing the intake of essential oils in your diet. The following are some of the best sources of essential fatty acids, namely:

  • Fish and seafood (salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, catfish, shrimp, crabs, shellfish, etc.)
  • Certain oils (canola oil, walnut oil, soybean oil and other soy products, and flaxseed oil).
  • Vegetables and fruit (avocado, spinach and cabbage)
  • Chia seeds
  • Egg
  • Milk and derivatives (cheese, yogurt and butter)

You can also get an intake of essential oils fromOmega-3 enriched foods such as peanut butter, milk, yogurt, orange juice, margarine, and so on. Unfortunately, the content of omega-3 is different in each product. That's why, don't forget to always check the nutrition label printed on the packaging.

Most people prefer to consume omega-6 compared to omega-3. Some experts claim that an imbalance between omega-6 and omega-3 can damage the immune system, cause inflammation in the body, and may cause diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

A Myriad of Benefits of Essential Fatty Acids, Key to Children's Intelligence
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