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Myths and facts: “Pregnant women should not eat seafood”

27/08/2015

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Is seafood dangerous for pregnant women? Why is this belived? What seafood to avoid?

Although women are told not to eat seafood due to mercury levels and fears of food poisoning, women can choose fresh fish with low mercury levels and fish oil as such has many benefits to the baby. In fact, mothers who have 200-300g of the right kind of fish in their diet per week have been found to have offspring who perform better in cognitive, verbal, motor skill, and social aptitude tests than those of mothers who abstain from fish entirely.

Mercury and food poisoning are significant concerns. Women are individuals and every pregnancy is unique. Small white fish have lower mercury levels because they have been living in the ocean for a shorter period of time. Get fresh fish and smell it. A woman’s sense of smell is heightened during pregnancy for a reason — the pregnant woman’s body is helping her determine what is healthy for her baby. For further information on how to identify quality seafood, look up our previous posts.

The important thing to know is which fish are safe to eat during pregnancy and which are not. Fish that contain large amounts of mercury must be avoided. These contain big game fish such as Mako Shark, Swordfish, Tilefish, Mahi Mahi, Mackerel, and Sea Bass. Excessive amounts of canned tuna should also be avoided. It is recommended that pregnant mothers try to consume 8-12 ounces of fish such as non-Atlantic Salmon, Sardines, Cod, Herring, Trout, and Anchovies every week. These fish are rich in Vitamin B3(Niacin), Vitamin B12, protein, calcium, and Vitamin D. Oily fish such as salmon and sardines are rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids and when eaten in the proper amounts, will increase the proportion of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in a mother’s milk.

It’s also known that a pregnant woman’s need for iron intake is double that of a non-pregnant woman, especially in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. When the right amount of the aforementioned fish are consumed, they will provide both mother and child with healthy red blood cells which are needed to transport oxygen throughout the body.

From this we conclude that pregnant women not only can but should eat seafood but choose which is best suited. We at crabit recomment our Red King Crab and Atlantic Cod as they contain little mercyru and high amounts vitamins, minerals and fatty acids needed for a childs development. And they taste superb as well.

Citations:

http://www.extension.org/pages/63857/debunking-common-seafood-myths#.Vavv-pOqrvB
http://healthybabycode.com/5-myths-about-pregnancy-nutrition-3-pregnant-women-shouldnt-eat-fish
http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/288
http://atlanticseafoodmarket.com/2014/07/seafood-myths-fact-fiction/
http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/mercury-levels-in-fish/

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