It's no secret that teenagers have a lot on their plates—from school to extracurricular activities, to social obligations, and more. With so much going on, it can be hard to ensure teens get the proper nutrition. That's why focusing on foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids is important. Omega-3 is essential for both physical and mental health, which makes it even more important for teens who are growing and developing rapidly. Let's take a look at why omega-3 is key for teenage diets.
The role of omega-3 in teenage health
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for healthy growth and development during adolescence. They can play an important role in brain development, visual acuity, cardiovascular health, the immune system, and more.* Some studies show that omega-3 may also play a role in teenagers' mental health and anxiety that is sometimes seen in certain teenagers.*
In addition to its many benefits, omega-3 may also play an important role in regulating hormones during puberty. As teens go through this major life transition phase and hormones fluctuate drastically, omega-3 may support these changes by balancing hormone production while supporting overall health and well-being.*
Food sources rich in omega-3 fatty acids
One of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are wild salmon (or canned salmon), sardines packed in water or olive oil (not canned), anchovies (canned or fresh), flaxseeds/flaxseed oil (ground for maximum absorption), walnuts/walnut oil (preferably raw), soybeans/soybean oil (raw or lightly cooked). Another source may be fish oil supplements, liquid fish oil capsules, or teens vitamins taken daily with meals or snacks.
Eating a diet rich in these foods can help your teen get the necessary omega-3 fatty acids needed for their wellness during their teen years and beyond!
Making sure your teenager eats a balanced diet is essential to their overall physical and mental health—and adding foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids is one way to do just that!
As always, talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. Get professional advice if you think you or your teenager might need an omega-3 supplement or are already taking one to ensure you're not exceeding the amounts you may need.