Whether pregnant women should be given fish is something that has left many people confused. The concern has been about mercury in fish, which is known to be harmful to the babies.
Well, doctors and health experts point out that fish and shellfish are an important part of a well-rounded diet, and during pregnancy, it can benefit your body and the foetus in several ways . Today, Boldsky will help you understand the types of fish that are the best choices, those that are good choices, and the fish you should avoid because of their mercury content. Let’s read about Fish To Eat And Avoid During Pregnancy.
Fish During Pregnancy: Good Or Bad?
Generally, fish contains low-fat, omega-3 fatty acids or what is known as the good fat. They are rich in vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin), calcium and phosphorus, and are also a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium . These are extremely necessary for expecting mothers, as they boost the baby’s health.
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish are one of the most important nutrients essential for expecting women. The more they consume these essential fats, the more the baby benefits in terms of early childhood development . Mothers who have higher blood levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, give birth to children with better attention spans. They are considered to be two months ahead of their counterparts born to mothers with lower DHA levels . They are also essential requirements for the development of the infants’ brain and retina. Accumulation of DHA in the brain during the first two years after birth determines a child’s future course of development. According to the FDA, pregnant women should eat at least 8 ounces and up to 12 ounces (340 g) of a variety of seafood (low) in mercury a week . Research shows that moms-to-be who eat fish 2-3 times each week during pregnancy have babies who have a better rate of growth and development.
The Dangers Of Mercury In Fish During Pregnancy
Mercury is released into the water, converted into methylmercury by the bacteria . The fish in water absorb methylmercury, and it gets absorbed into the protein present in the fish’s body and remains even after cooking. Our body easily absorbs the methylmercury from the fish and can adversely affect the health of a pregnant woman since it can cross the placenta and affect the foetus. Even a low dose of methylmercury can adversely affect the baby’s brain and nervous system. It can result in limited cognitive skills, vision, language problems, etc., in the child .
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