The full form of DHA is docosahexaenoic acid. It is basically an omega 3 fatty acid that can be found in fishes that are found in cold waters and are on the heavier side. An example of such a fish would be salmon. It can also be had from fish oil supplements alongside eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) that happens to be another omega 3 fatty acid as well. As far as vegetarian sources of DHA are concerned one of the best options is definitely seaweed. You can also try using Nordic Naturals DHA if you are looking for this nutrient in your diet. These acids are really great for your heart and they help your brain be healthy as well.
An overview on their uses
DHA comes in extremely handy in a number of conditions that may be mentioned as below:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- heart diseases
- development of infants
- rheumatoid arthritis
- menstrual pain
- Reynaud syndrome
Children need omega 3 fatty acids in order for their brains to develop in a healthy way. Scientists have performed detailed research on how such acids can reduce signs of ADHD among children. Truth to be told, the results have been mixed to date. A number of studies have also shown that fish oil is capable of reducing depression.
However, there is little clarity regarding the fact as to whether DHA plays any proper role in this regard. It has also been said that EPA plays a positive role in this particular context.
Where do you get these from?
As has been said already, perhaps the best dietary sources of this acid are fatty fishes that you find in cold waters. Apart from salmon, there are some other options that you can try in this regard such as tuna, shellfish, sardines, and herrings. In fact, it is also said that bluefin tunas have as much as 500 percent more DHA than any and every other variety of tuna. However, you also need to keep in mind that some of these fishes do have lower levels of mercury as well.
What forms are they found in?
DHA is normally available in the shape of supplements and there are two major forms in this regard. One of them is the fish oil capsules. They have DHA as well as EPA. You also get DHA from algae. However, it does not have EPA.
How should you take it?
If you want it in the pediatric form you should make sure that your babies are being breastfed. In that case, your infant would be automatically getting a decent amount of DHA in her or his diet. These days, this acid is also available in several formulae available for the infant. In case, you are an adult it would be better if you consumed anywhere between 1000 to 2500 mg of DHA in a day. As far as your diet is concerned you can have around 3 servings of fatty fish in a week. This would mean around 1250 mg DHA and EPA each day.