Recipes to Help Boost Your Omega-3 Intake
October 30, 2018
Your diet throughout pregnancy and beyond contributes to the health and well-being of both you and your baby. Getting enough omega-3 fatty acids presents a special challenge for many women during pregnancy.
Omega-3s Benefit Growing Babies
Omega-3 fatty acids offer benefits to the brain and eye health of developing babies.1 DHA, an essential omega-3 fatty acid, begins accumulating in a baby’s body in utero through placental transfer.1 DHA levels during fetal development depend on a mom’s dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids.2
Seafood on the Safe List for Pregnant Women
The best natural source of omega-3 fatty acids is fish.1 Some types of fish have lower levels of mercury and toxins than others.1 These types have the lowest levels at less than 0.005 ppb of mercury per 6-ounce serving:1
Pregnant women should aim for two servings per week of these types of fish and seafood.1
Healthy and Delicious Omega-3 Rich Recipes
Shrimp with Herby White Beans and Tomatoes
(adapted from epicurious.com)
Epicurious calls this one-pot shrimp dinner herby, sweet and garlicky. Add spinach and arugula
at the end for an extra nutritional boost.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup pesto, plus more for serving
- 8 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 16 medium)
- Thick slices of crusty toasted bread (for serving)
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium; cook shallot until softened and golden, about 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes with their juices, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and 1/4 cup water. Increase heat, bring to a boil, and cook about 5 minutes. Reduce to low heat, add beans and 1/4 cup pesto, stir 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed, then divide between two large, shallow bowls.
Wipe out skillet. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in skillet on medium high. Add shrimp and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Cook, stirring often, until shrimp is cooked through and starts to color on both sides, about 3 minutes. Divide shrimp between bowls with beans; drizzle with additional sauce. Serve with toast.
Mix-and-Match Foil Packet Fish
(adapted from FoodNetwork.com)
Food Network Magazine offers this versatile take on a foolproof foil-packet fish dish. You can
use any fish you’d like.
For each foil packet you’ll need:
- 6-ounce portion of fish
Choose your favorites from this list:
- Bell peppers, sliced thin
- Red onions, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
- Carrots, sliced thin
- Fennel, sliced thin
- Leeks, washed carefully and sliced thin
- Scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Mushroom, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup canned beans of choice, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup kale or spinach, washed and chopped
- 2 slices lemon, 1/4-inch thick with seeds removed
Lay out a large sheet of heavy-duty foil. Mound 1 cup of your choice of vegetables in the center of each, season with salt and pepper. Add the kale or spinach and put the fish or seafood on top of the vegetables.
Season the fish and vegetables with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Add a splash of water. Bring the short ends of the foil together and fold twice to seal; fold in the sides to seal, leaving room for steam.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Put the foil packets on a baking sheet; bake until the fish is just cooked through, or about 12 to 15 minutes. Let the packets sit for five minutes, then carefully open and add your choice of butter or vinaigrette dressing.
Walnut Oil and Chive Vinaigrette
(adapted from ChowHound.com)
For an extra dose of omega-3, try this vinaigrette.
- 1/4 cup roasted walnut oil
- 3 tablespoons canola or grape seed oil
- 3 tablespoons chives, chopped fine
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place chives, vinegar and mustard in a medium, nonreactive bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in the oil mixture, whisking until all the oil is incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Note: If you don’t enjoy the taste of walnut oil, substitute another omega-3-rich oil like flaxseed oil, soybean oil or canola oil.
The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fish and seafood.1 However, the FDA recommends that pregnant women consume no more than two servings, which is equivalent to 12 ounces, of fish or seafood per week.3 Mercury and other toxins found in seafood may be harmful to both mothers and babies.3 For this reason, many women are not comfortable consuming fish and seafood during pregnancy.1
Prenatal Vitamins with DHA & Omega-3s
Because of this, women may have trouble obtaining the omega-3s they need through food alone. Many women supplement their diets with high-quality, omega-3 rich vitamins. One such option is a prescription prenatal vitamin from the Prenate® Vitamin Family. Many of the Prenate® vitamins meet or exceed the expert recommendation of 300 mg of DHA per day.4 It is important to note that the DHA in Prenate is marine-based. However, it does not contain more than 0.10 ppm of mercury. Ask your doctor about how best to ensure that you get an adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet and whether the Prenate® Vitamin Family may be right for you.