If You Want Smart Kids, Make Sure You Eat Enough Fish While Pregnant
Updated: May 20
If you are pregnant or have small children, it is likely that you have been advised not to eat fish high in mercury. Most pregnant women limit fish entirely to avoid the risk of eating fish high in mercury. Mercury occurs naturally in the environment, but when consumed in excess it functions as a neurotoxin, interfering with your baby's brain and nervous system. However, you could be missing out on very important nutrients that you only find in fish. The good news is that most of the fish we eat are low in mercury such as salmon, canned tuna (not albacore), tilapia, shrimp, and cod.
The FDA, the US Food and Drug Administration, announced that they changed the recommendations for fish consumption in pregnant women and children. It has been shown that women, children and adolescents consume much less fish than recommended.
The nutritional benefits of fish outweigh the risk of mercury, says the FDA.
Fish contains very important nutrients for the fetal development of your baby. Fish is the main source of omega 3 (DHA, EPA). Omega 3 are essential fats that act as anti-inflammatory and protect the heart. Omega 3s are also essential for your baby's brain development and neurological function. According to studies, pregnant women who eat fish have children with higher IQ levels and better cognitive development. For this reason, we must include them in our children's diet to create intelligent and healthy children..
The new recommendation for pregnant women and children would be to consume 8-12oz (2-3 servings) per week of low-mercury fish to promote brain development and nerve function.
What fish can I eat?
Fish High in Mercury-Large fish contain higher amounts of mercury, so we should avoid them.
Tuna Albacore (limit to 6oz/week)
Low Mercury Fish:
Mackerel (North Atlantic, Chub)
Salmon (canned or fresh)
So, pregnant women and children, it's time to eat fish for a healthy brain!