Want a super-easy way to help your kids get a better night’s sleep, and maybe even improve their test scores? Try feeding them more fish! Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania just published a study showing that kids who ate fish at least once a week had better sleep and higher IQ scores compared to kids who ate fish less frequently. This is a perfect example of why it’s so important to make sure you get enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.
They looked at 541 children between the ages of nine and eleven over the course of four weeks and asked them to answer a questionnaire on how often they ate fish in a given week. Then, they had the kids take an IQ test. Researchers also asked the parents to answer questions on how well the kids slept through the night. What they found was that the frequent fish-eaters had IQ scores that were nearly five points higher than the kids who ate little to no fish! The kids who ate more fish slept better, too.
Of course. Getting more omega-3’s isn’t difficult, it just takes a little planning. Here are my prescriptions.
Keep tabs on your omega-3 intake. The National Institute of Health says that 2% of your daily calories should come from these fats.
Eat healthy fish like wild salmon and sardines, both of which are loaded with omega-3’s.
Fish isn’t the only food that’s naturally high in these important fats. You can also get them from beans, flax seeds, walnuts, winter squash and olive oil.
Avoid frying your food. Frying olive oil and fish damages the omega-3 content and makes it less healthy.
Omega-3 deficiency is a common problem. Most people don't get enough of these healthy fats in their diet. The average adult consumes less than a single gram of omega-3’s a day, while most nutrition experts recommend a daily intake of between two and four grams. So if you want to sleep better and increase brain power, eat more foods rich in omega-3’s.