If you've ever been pregnant or you are currently carrying a baby, then most definitely you've already heard your doctor telling you to avoid eating fish as of the moment. But a new study suggests that the issue is far more complex than we thought and that fish may not have to be necessarily bad for pregnant women.
What's in a fish? Many types of fish such as salmon and mackerel have a high level of omega-3 fatty acids. These are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are highly needed by the body. However, since you're not capable of producing them, you need to obtain it through diet and supplements.
When broken down, omega 3 is composed of DHA and EPA that help improve cardiovascular health and immune function. They also prevent, reduce, and control chronic inflammation, which many studies suggest to be responsible for various diseases including type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Pregnant women are also strongly advised to supplement themselves with omega 3, which play a huge role in development of the brain of the fetus. It's just that they cannot get it from fish.
But why? The answer has nothing to do with omega 3 but more of where they come from. Because of the intensive pollution of waters, such as the oceans, many theorize that fish can have a high level of mercury. Mercury poisoning, meanwhile, is dangerous for both the baby and the pregnant woman.
However, a study points out that the relationship between mercury in fish and pregnancy is actually complex, and it's possible that the benefits of eating fish far outweigh the risks. This is after they conducted an experiment wherein the pregnant women ate fish for a couple of weeks and analysis revealed that the omega 3 from the fish may have protected the fetus's brain from the possible mercury effects.
While this may open a whole new perspective on eating fish during pregnancy, and that it may eventually warrant a more comprehensive study, doctors continue to warn that it doesn't mean you can already gobble sushi.