Pregnancy is definitely one of the merriest periods of one’s life and if you have been through this, you already know how the world changes entirely for you once that “Positive” pops up on your pregnancy test kit. Ever since you feel the new life growing inside you, your entire life now revolves around the little one about to enter the world and how he or she would be a little more better and happy. But your life indeed does change in ways more than one. Be it your lifestyle or food habits, everything is going to change in these nine months and you have to accept that. Nausea and morning sickness will reduce your affinity towards certain food items and fish is often one of them. But fishes can really be beneficial for you and your little one when you are pregnant. Here is a list of benefits of eating fish during pregnancy:
Eating Fish During Pregnancy: 11 Amazing Health Benefits
Powerful sources of lean protein
Fishes are very powerful sources of lean protein. They contain ample amounts of this nutrient which is an extremely essential amino acid that supports foetal growth. It helps to create the baby’s cells for hair, bones, skin, and muscles thereby leading to its physical and mental development. Since this is one of the most vital periods of the embryo’s life with cadence to his development, protein is extremely necessary and integral for him or her.
One of the major constituents of fish is Omega 3 which forms a major part of the child’s brain. So, consumption of fish by pregnant and nursing women helps in the growth and development of the child’s brain. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that pregnant and breastfeeding moms should eat at least two servings of seafood in a week to help the baby’s improvement.
Source of DHA
Fish like salmon are a great source of DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid, which is known to boost the baby’s brain growth and activity. The baby’s growth is highly accelerated during the third trimester and it is especially important to consume fish during this duration.
Controls blood pressure
It is very common for pregnant women to suffer from hypertension. Omega 3 present in fish helps keep in blood pressure under control and reduces it in cases when it exceeds the normal level of blood pressure.
Prevents blood clot
Fish contains nutrients which prevents clotting of blood that can otherwise be very harmful for the mother as well as the baby. They also reduce blood fat levels, which in turn reduces risk of cardiac arrest in the pregnant mother.
Provides critical support
The constituent nutrients in fish provides the critical support required for the pregnant mother to carry the baby and for the baby’s neurological growth and development. Studies have shown that such nutrients also help detect problems such as autism at an early stage.
Helps in a good sleep
Eating seafood increases the amount of essential omega-3s in a mother’s breast milk, which helps nourish developing babies. One study found that babies of mothers with higher DHA levels during pregnancy showed significantly quieter and less active sleep, and less sleep-wake transition than those of mothers with lower DHA levels. In other words, they slept better.
Decreases risk of Preeclampsia
Research has linked inadequate intake of omega-3 fats in pregnant women to increased risk of preeclampsia. This is a condition that happens due to excess deposit of protein in urine and causes the level of blood pressure to rise and can be dangerous for both the baby and the mother. Presence of Omega 3 in fish prevents this from happening.
It is a very well-known fact that certain fishes improve eyesight. In case of pregnant women, it helps in improving the vision of not only the expecting mothers as well as that of the baby about to be born. Studies also suggest that not having enough DHA, an important omega-3 found in seafood such as tuna, during pregnancy can have a negative effect on a baby’s eye development. Research from the Child and Family Research Institute suggests that women who eat a lot of meat but little fish can be deficient in omega-3s, and their babies did not do as well on eye tests as babies from mothers got plenty of this important nutrient.
Improves brain activity
Fishes are a rich source of omega 3 and DHA which are said to improve the baby’s memory and brain activity. The baby after being born will therefore have better retention capacity and is supposed to be quicker and smarter.
Prevents mood disorders
Fish contains high amounts of omega 3 which is often used to treat a host of mood disorders. Due to a lot of hormonal changes in the expecting mother, she is very likely to suffer from various mood disorders during this period. Therefore, fish is also helpful in naturally reducing these mood disorders by acting as nerve relaxers.
You might often hear the disadvantages of having fish during pregnancy as well. But anything in excess can be harmful and so is this. Therefore, you should be aware of the correct quantity of consumption of fish that would be suitable and beneficial for both you and your baby. Hence, do not hesitate to consult your gynecologist or dietician whenever you are in doubt about this. Good Luck!