The National Institutes of Health recommend pregnant women get at least 300 milligrams of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, in their daily diet. DHA plays a role in baby’s brain development.
Your best bet for this nutrient is fish, including salmon, anchovies, herring, and tuna. While at the fish counter, keep in mind that wild-caught fish are higher in DHA than farm-raised. That’s because fish get their DHA from their food, and food fed to farm-raised fish may not contain DHA.
You can also acquire small amounts from some plant-based foods. “DHA is one type of omega-3 fatty acids, but there are other sources of omega-3 — such as walnuts and soy — that the body can convert to DHA in smaller amounts,” explains Melinda Johnson, MS, RD, Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics at Arizona State University and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Also, look for DHA-fortified milk and eggs. These fortified foods are becoming more common on grocery shelves and are another way to make sure you get this omega-3 — especially if you don’t eat fish.
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