When you are expecting a baby, it’s normal to be concerned about every aspect that influences the proper development of your little one. Questions about nutrition are among the most common, especially regarding whether it is safe to eat fish during pregnancy.
If you are pregnant and unsure whether you can continue enjoying one of the most delicious and nutritious foods that exists, we recommend that you don’t miss reading the following article. Below, we will explain the benefits of fish during pregnancy, as well as those you should temporarily avoid.
What are the benefits of eating fish when you are pregnant
Fish during pregnancy is not only safe to consume, but experts in nutrition and obstetrics strongly recommend it.
Among other things, fish provides the following benefits for pregnant women:
An excellent source of nutrients
Consuming fish and seafood is good and healthy as it is a rich source of essential nutrients such as iron and zinc. Additionally, it contains high-quality proteins and beneficial fats like omega-3.
It Contributes to the Brain Development of the Fetus
Precisely because of the good levels of essential fatty acids it contains, it’s beneficial to eat fish during pregnancy. This is primarily due to the so-called docosahexaenoic acid or DHA, an essential omega-3 for the fetal brain during developmental stages.
It Prevents the Incidence of ADHD in the Baby
A study from Boston University in the U.S. linked the consumption of certain types of fish, such as salmon, to a lower incidence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
It Promotes Good Eye Health in Children
Another benefit of fatty acids like DHA in fish is the protection of the baby’s vision and overall eye health.
It Contributes to a Healthy, High Quality Diet
In general, when a pregnant woman takes care of what she eats, it has a positive impact on the good health of the newborn. Brain development during the months of pregnancy is crucial for preventing issues. Therefore, a diet rich in nutrients and omega-3, such as those found in fish, promotes the proper development of the baby’s future motor and social skills, as well as intelligence.
Don’t give up the pleasures of fish.
Fish enthusiasts know that giving up this food group would be challenging. Due to its flavours, versatility and the countless ways of preparing it, it’s hard to find something comparable to substitute it in the diet.
However, there is some concern regarding the presence of mercury in certain types of fish and its potential risks. Right away, we will see which ones you should avoid to promote the good health of your baby.
Which fish are prohibited during pregnancy?
Pregnant women and fish are two terms often used together to warn of certain risks to the fetus’s health.
Fundamentally, the threat is related to a metal that is present in some types of fish: Mercury. Although the amounts are very small and harmless to the general population, pregnant women should avoid certain fish to protect fetal neural development.
Among the fish prohibited during pregnancy are those with high levels of mercury, such as large predatory fish: swordfish, shark, emperor fish, or bluefin tuna.
Advice for Safely Consuming Fish
The good news is that there are many types of fish that you can continue to eat. Additionally, as we’ve mentioned in the benefits section, it is highly recommended to include them in your weekly diet.
The best tips for safely consuming fish during pregnancy are the following:
Make sure to include these fish in your diet:
If you are pregnant, you can eat fish with high omega-3 content such as salmon or albacore tuna (bonito). It’s also good to include healthy white fish such as monkfish or sole, as they are very low in mercury.
Here is an article where we discuss the differences between white and fatty fish that may be helpful.
Don’t forget about good seafood
Regarding seafood, you can consume all types without risks, as long as it’s not raw. This means you can continue to enjoy cuttlefish, squid, shrimp, or mussels.
Always eat well-cooked fish and seafood.
This is crucial: both fish and seafood should always be thoroughly cooked. This ensures that any harmful bacteria or viruses are eliminated through the cooking process.
Choose the freshest fish, from the fish market to your table.
The fresher a food is, the healthier it will be for you and your future baby. Make sure to consume fish from trusted sources, such as a good seafood restaurant, where the fish is at its freshest, its nutrients are intact and it has an exquisite flavour.
Do you want to eat fish during pregnancy in a seafood restaurant, fresh from the sea to your palate? Come and visit us! At Chao Pescao, we serve the fish of your choice, always to your liking. Your health and that of your baby deserve quality, fresh food cooked on the spot, so your only concern is to enjoy it.