By Michele Chevalley Hedge, nutritionist, author and presenter from A Healthy View.
We think they are cranky but are they really?
The University of Oxford published a study looking at long chain omega-3 levels in blood, and sleep in 395 healthy 7-9 year old school children. The children were selected because they were poor readers not because of poor sleep. However when their sleep was then assessed, 40% of them has clinical-level sleep problems.
On paper it is not surprising at all to discover that poor performance in learning can so often be related to sleep, yet how often is sleep considered in such children or even adult health?
We assess iron levels, underlying psychology, eyesight on children yet we do not often look at sleep.
I always say optimal health cannot be achieved without the trifecta of nutrition, exercise and sleep.
The study revealed that low levels of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA was associated with poorer sleep. Since DHA is the major omega-3 fat in the brain, low levels of DHA are often a risk factor for low levels of melatonin too.
During the study they gave 362 children a DHA supplement of 600gm or a placebo for 16 weeks. The children on the fish oil supplement woke up less and slept on average one hour longer.
Our brains are made up largely of fat, and some nutritional anthropologists believe we would not have developed higher level thinking if we were consuming lots of fats in our diets. We know that fat phobia is over and we see from this pilot study that perhaps a supplement of omega-3 DHA can assist our sleep as well as our children’s.
We can get quality fats in coconut and coconut oil , avocado, seeds and nuts, fish like salmon, trout, sardines, olives and all most nut oils like olive oil, walnut oil, flaxseed oil, hazelnut oil, macadamia nut oil and almond oil.
Does your child need more Omega-3 in their diet?
This recipe incorporates coconut oil, which is a great source of quality fat. Give it a try today.
Mouthfuls of Goodness
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 2 dates
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp Mayver’s Hazelnut Cocoa Spread- omg… so good!
- Blend the dates, the cacao and salt through the melted coconut oil until smooth
- Pour 1 tbsp of chocolate mixture into cupcake patty pans or muffin moulds (makes 6)
- Place in freezer for 5 minutes until firm
- Spoon a layer of nut butter onto each chocolate base and put back into the freezer for 10 minutes
- Take out of freezer and top each cup with 1 tbsp chocolate mixture and leave to set in freezer for at least 30 minutes
- Once frozen, enjoy cold.
- Try to only eat one at a time