While we should be able to get most of the nutrients we need through a balanced and diverse diet, our nutritional needs do change through different phases of our lives, and for women, pregnancy and breastfeeding are two times when we might need an extra boost.
One particular supplement most doctors recommend adding is DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) omega-3 to your routine, if you haven’t already. DHA is a polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid and is a major structural fat found in the brain, eyes, and heart. Research has shown that nearly everyone can benefit from dietary intake of DHA, from infants to elderly, as it’s critical for proper brain and eye function.
Fish oil is one of the most common sources of DHA, but as it turns out, fish don’t actually produce their own DHA– they get it from eating algae! Luckily, we can get our DHA from algae oil, too, which is not only vegan-friendly but also lower in pollutants when compared to other sources. As I’ve mentioned before, I like to add Udo’s Oil to our families smoothies when I want to give us an added DHA boost, because it contains life’sDHA®— a high-quality vegetarian source of DHA sourced from algae. Though you may not be familiar with the brand, life’sDHA® is added to a number of dietary supplements, foods, and beverages, as well as the vast majority of infant formula sold in the US. (In 2002 formula manufacturers started adding DHA to formula to make it more similar to human breastmilk.)
If you’re like me and don’t want to take it straight-up with a spoon (it does smell quite ocean-like), sneak it into a smoothie like the one below. It’s loaded with nutrition for pregnant and nursing mamas, and the flavor of the algae oil goes totally unnoticed thanks to the tart raspberries and sweet dates.
DHA Smoothie for Pregnant & Nursing Moms
1 cup water or almond milk
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup frozen mango
3 soft Medjool dates, pitted
1 tablespoon chia seeds (flax works, too)
1 tablespoon hemp hearts
2 teaspoons Udo’s Choice DHA Oil (look for the life’sDHA® logo on the back)
Handful of fresh spinach (optional)
Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender, starting with just 1 teaspoon of the Udo’s Oil to make sure the flavor doesn’t overwhelm your taste buds. Blend until smooth, then add another teaspoon of the DHA oil if you like. (I can usually get away with 2 teaspoons no problem, but adding another one makes it taste too “fishy” to me.) Serve immediately, and store the remaining Udo’s Oil in the fridge for best shelf life.
- 1 cup water or almond milk
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 cup frozen mango
- 3 soft Medjool dates , pitted
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds (flax works, too)
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
- 2 teaspoons Udo's Choice DHA Oil (look for the life’sDHA® logo on the back)
- Handful of fresh spinach (optional)
Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender, starting with just 1 teaspoon of the Udo's Oil to make sure the flavor doesn't overwhelm your taste buds. Blend until smooth, then add another teaspoon of the DHA oil if you like. (I can usually get away with 2 teaspoons no problem, but adding another one makes it taste too "fishy" to me.) Serve immediately, and store the remaining Udo's Oil in the fridge for best shelf life.
Tip: Any leftover smoothie can be poured into popsicle molds for a nutrient-rich treat your kids will eat! We use this mini ice pop mold for my toddler, because the pops are the perfect size for his little hands, and they release easily from the mold without having to run it under hot water each time.
Hope you enjoy it!
Reader Feedback: Do you add any supplements to your daily routine?
Disclosure: This post sponsor – life’sDHA®– educated me on the importance of nutrients, including DHA omega-3, for all stages of life.