Back to School Essentials

Back to School Essentials

With school holidays drawing to an end, you’re probably busy assembling the back to school requirements…backpack, stationary, shoes, but how about equipping your child with another essential for their educational tool belt?

Adding omega-3 fish oil into your kid’s diet will give them the ultimate head start, providing added support to their learning, mental focus and brain development.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids (EFA) providing EPA (Eicosapentanoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexanoic acid). These essential fatty acids are not made in the body, so they must be obtained from the diet. Fish oil is one of the predominant dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

EPA (Eicosapentanoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexanoic acid) are essential for optimal health. These essential fatty acids are especially important for children because they are needed for healthy cell membranes, cell division, brain development, healthy eyes and a healthy nervous system. Numerous studies support the positive health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids with DHA being the most abundant fatty acid found in the brain.

So why are omega-3 fatty acids so important for healthy brain function?

DHA is needed for normal brain function throughout life, but is highly beneficial during childhood when brain development and learning is at its peak. Scientific evidence has shown that both EPA and DHA are necessary for overall brain health, particularly memory, learning and mood improvement.

The reality is that diet alone is not enough. Due to the modern western lifestyle, the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids has significantly reduced compared to the omega-6 fatty acids which are readily available in most plant-based oils, seeds, nuts and some meats. A higher intake of omega-3 to omega-6 is the ideal ratio for the body. When we have more omega-6 than omega-3, it upsets the essential fatty acid balance, causing a multitude of symptoms including heart disease, bowel disease and autoimmune diseases. Taking high-quality fish oils supplements is an efficient and safe way to restore this imbalance. 

There is much talk about flaxseed oil and other omega-3 oils such as hemp seed oil.  Although flaxseed oil does contain the plant source of omega-3, it is in the form of Alpha-linolenic acid (also known as ALA). The body has to convert ALA into EPA and DHA (the active forms) and how well each individual does this is unknown. Therefore, the most reliable way for a child to consume enough EPA and DHA is from marine sources i.e. fish oil.

Omega-3 is most easily acquired through fish oil supplements, but there are many foods that can further optimise learning and behavior. Here are some useful tips:

           Minimise processed foods, artificial colours, flavours and preservatives

           Avoid sugar, soft drinks and sugar-filled cordials/juices

           Balance blood sugar levels by ensuring your meals include regular protein-filled meals

           Include a variety of fresh vegetables daily

           Include wholegrains as they are utilised slowly in the body and don’t cause blood sugar peaks

Good Health O-Mega 3 Bursts™ are an effective and convenient way for children to attain omega-3 fats daily. Kids love them because they have a yummy butterscotch flavour and come in a fun, fish shaped capsule. Specifically designed for children, they contain no added sugar, artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners. Good Health products are independently tested to ensure the highest standards of quality and purity. 

Not all products recommended may be available in South Africa at this time.

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Not all products recommended may be available in South Africa at this time