Pregnancy makes women jitter even about regular food, understandably so. Now that you are sharing your food with the baby, you will have to be extra careful about your food habits as it directly affects the baby’s health.
Even some of the healthiest foods which are consumed without any hesitation normally, have to be double checked. And Seafood falls under this category.
So, is consuming fish safe for pregnant women?
Yes but only if you take necessary precautions. Fish being a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein, it is one of the critical components for the optimal development of your child. But not all types of fish are safe for you too. So, the key here is choosing the right fish for consumption.
But the problem with fish as a food is it harbors Mercury, a heavy metal that is dangerous for the development of the baby’s brain, sensory and motor skills development. A lot of industries drain their toxic mercury wastage into the seas and oceans. The mercury is converted into methyl-mercury by the bacteria in the water. And when the fish consume these bacteria, the mercury enters the fish and stay in their body binding at the cellular level. These Mercury contents are generally found in the cells of predators at the top of the food chain. The bad thing about the mercury content is that it cannot be eliminated through cooking. Nominal levels of mercury don’t harm much but when these mercury levels are left unchecked, they can cause serious damage to the baby.
What types of fish are to be avoided during pregnancy?
Pregnant women must avoid Swordfish, Shark, Marlin, Atlantic salmon, Sailfish, Chilean sea bass, Walleye Orange roughy, Tilefish King Mackerel etc. are kinds of fish that are reported to contain high levels of mercury. You have to do away with the Uncooked Sushi too. Other types of fish have to be eaten in moderation that is not more than twice per week in average amounts.
Having said that, the normal fish are super healthy and the little to no side effects easily outweigh the benefits of consuming this food. There are the must add to the diet of the pregnant women considering their wide array of benefits:
- Fish is one of the critical components for the complete neurological development of the baby.
- An extraordinary source of essential amino-acid and rich lean protein they help in boosting the brain health of the baby.
- The DHA and omega-3 fatty acids in the fish help the women battle the general depression and the mood swings during pregnancy.
- Fish helps in the optimal development of the baby and also drastically decreases the risk of preterm birth.
Consuming normal amount of fish is not harmful unless you go on a fish only diet, which you probably won’t. But as said above the risk depends upon the fish you choose. And the benefits of eating good fish far outweigh the negligible side effects.
So eat the right fish in right amounts.
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