DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) is an omega 3 fatty acid primarily responsible for the healthy development of the brain, skin, and retina. Further, some studies show cognitive benefits from DHA in older adults, improving memory and learning.
DHA is found primarily in fish and seafood. It can also be created by the body using alpha-linolenic acids (ALAs). Since DHA is important for cognitive development, it is also found in breast milk. This is true even if the mother does not consume fish or any animal products, as DHA is made from ALAs which are found in plants.
Foods high in DHA include salmon, tuna, canned tuna, trout, mussels, oysters, cod, fish eggs, pickled herring, clams, and snow crab. Pregnant women should avoid mackerel, swordfish, and striped bass due to their potential mercury content. All other sources should be considered safe and healthy as long as they are fresh and well prepared.