Over thousands of years, the human race has evolved eating a natural, healthy eating and balanced diet. Our distant ancestors ate only what they could grow for themselves, catch by hunting or fishing or made in basic ovens or stoves.
Recent decades have seen a rapid shift away from the traditional patterns of eating, and we are eating an increasing number of processed and factory-prepared foods.
A consequence of this move has been a swift rise in obesity rates, along with other diet related conditions such as diabetes. Experts agree that most of us need to pay careful attention to what we are eating to avoid health issues in the future, and one of the key nutrients for optimal health is Omega 3 fatty acids, or fish oils.
Oils and fats have a bad reputation. They are thought of as being calorific and “bad for you”. Although it’s undeniably true that oils and fats are high in calories, we all require fat in our diet to stay healthy and the key point is to ensure that the oils and fats in the diet are beneficial to health.
Omega 3 fatty acids such as those found in oily fish or fish oil supplements are polyunsaturated and do not contribute to clogging or arteries or heart problems. In fact, there is sound scientific evidence to prove that people who eat oily fish five times per week are 50% less likely to develop heart and circulatory disease than those who do not.
Polyunsaturated fats can lower cholesterol and can also help prevent stroke. The other main health benefit to taking fish oils is that they act as an anti-inflammatory. People suffering with bowel conditions, lung problems and skin conditions can all benefit from a regular intake of fish oils.
Apart from the more general health benefits as discussed above, there are a whole host of other reasons why fish oils are of particular benefit to pregnant women, new breastfeeding mothers and mothers with young children.
Women with a good level of fish oil intake during pregnancy have babies with a lessened risk of developing eczema and allergies. Fish oils are essential nutrients for the developing baby, and contribute towards the formation of the brain, eyes and central nervous system.
Once the baby is born and the mother is breastfeeding, continuing with a regular intake of fish oils will assist with the baby’s rapid growth in the first months of their life, and will also help boost the mother and the baby’s immune systems.
Research is still ongoing, but many scientists believe that there is a link between depression and lack of Omega 3 fatty acids in the body. It is therefore thought that eating oily fish or taking supplements regularly can prevent mild cases of depression occurring, and can make depression less severe in people who do develop it. Even though research is still underway into this topic, taking fish oils or eating oily fish regularly is a sensible precaution, especially given the other more proven health benefits.
If you haven’t experienced it, it’s hard to describe the crushing fatigue that many women experience in the last weeks of their pregnancy and when breastfeeding a newborn.
Although in time the fatigue will pass, this does not make it any easier to deal with at the time. Taking fish oils can help to fight the tiredness, as the chemical reaction which happens in the body when fish oils are consumed drops insulin levels and helps to burn up fat.
This process increases energy levels in the body and can help a new mother with extreme tiredness. Even though oily fish or fish oil supplements are relatively high in calories, they are often taken by people trying to lose weight to help burn off fat and given them the energy for extra exercises.
The simplest way to get fish oils into the diet is by eating oily fish such as salmon, sardines or mackerel. However, there has been a link made between high levels of mercury in some oily fish and premature birth, so pregnant women are cautioned against eating too much unprocessed fish.
Supplements, whether in capsule or oil form, are the easiest and safest way for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to take their fish oils. Our range includes The Healthy Mummy Fish Oils and have been specifically created for breastfeeding mums. A point to also note is that fish is a healthy food, and women who are not pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive should aim to eat at least two portions of salmon, fresh tuna or sardines per week.
If you are ready to lose weight then The Healthy Mummy plans offer a healthy and safe exercise and diet routine that are safe if you are breastfeeding.