Why give fermented cod liver oil to children? That’s a great question. Because, let’s be honest, it doesn’t sound all that appealing. But this traditional super food has a pretty impressive list of benefits, which is why so many people continue to take it and give it to their children.
Fermented cod liver oil goes way back. In fact, many of the great historical cultures have used this sacred food to ensure vitality and health. Roman Soldiers were given a daily ration. The Scandinavian Vikings had a drum of fermenting cod livers outside the door of their homes. And not too long ago, grandmas across the world had some in their cupboard, too.
Here are the five top reasons why cod liver oil has been an indispensable food for children in the past, and should be for the present:
#1: Vitamin D
Vitamin D is not really a vitamin, but one of the oldest prohormones (a substance that can be converted to a hormone). Vitamin D is critically important for the development, growth, and maintenance of a healthy body, beginning with gestation in the womb and continuing throughout the lifespan.
Vitamin D deficiency is often associated with rickets. And it’s clear it has a function in maintaining healthy bones since bone softening diseases like osteomalacia and osteoporosis have been associated with low levels of vitamin D.
#2: Vitamin A
Consider these reasons for making sure you have enough vitamin A:
- Vitamin A is important for vision
- Vitamin A regulates genes
- Vitamin A supports the immune system
- Vitamin A is important for red blood cell production
And to top it off: Vitamin A is a co-factor for Vitamin D. Which is why it’s important to have both of these together.
#3: Essential Fatty Acids
Beyond being the powerhouse for vitamins A and D, Cod liver oil is also rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docasahexaenoic acid (DHA). The body makes these fatty acids from omega-3 linolenic acid. These essential fatty acids are very important for the proper function of the brain and nervous system.
In short, the benefits of adequate vitamin A and D in a child’s diet are significant and numerous, including healthy bone structure, higher IQ, increased lung capacity, lowered risk for autoimmune disease, and markedly reduced risk for respiratory infection among many others.