In recent years, there have been several articles and studies released about the health and safety of eating fish while pregnant or nursing and, as news tends to do, has become twisted around and a bit blown out of proportion. Like a schoolyard game of telephone, those reports got so twisted that the common conception is to avoid fish if you’re pregnant or nursing. That’s not actually the case! At Elevation Seafood restaurant in Kennesaw, we know our fish. We want you to have a safe and healthy pregnancy while enjoying the foods you love; here’s what you need to know about eating seafood while pregnant:
The Health Concerns
The only reason some fish are considered a health concern during pregnancy is because some fish ingest and carry higher levels of methyl mercury. This is a health concern because methyl mercury can cause problems in the brain, kidneys, and central nervous system. Normally, the amounts of methyl mercury in fish aren’t high enough to be concerned about because our systems are fully formed and functioning. It would take a lot of methyl mercury to cause problems; however, it does pose a higher risk for a pregnant mother because the baby’s brain, organs, and nervous system are still developing and at a higher risk for problems. This is why it’s recommended that expectant mothers stay away from certain seafood.
The Good News
If you’re a seafood lover and pregnant, don’t fret! By and large, most seafood options are particularly beneficial during pregnancy rather than harmful. Fish is full of protein and nutrients that your body needs – doubly so when you’re pregnant and want to encourage healthy growth for your baby. Most seafood is rich in protein, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids; these three nutrients are a big focus of prenatal vitamins, but getting them from fresh food sources like fish is even better for you because your body is more likely to absorb more of the nutrients. So, as long as the fish isn’t one of the varieties likely to carry methyl mercury, fish is more of a help than a problem.
What To Avoid
As far as eating fish while pregnant, the items to avoid on a seafood menu are actually a pretty small list. Methyl mercury forms when mercury (either naturally occurring or from industrial pollution) meets with water. Because of this, predatory fish and some river-dwelling fish tend to be higher on the list of potential risks. The fish to avoid include swordfish, mackerel, and tilefish as well as any raw fish (because of the risk of food poisoning, not mercury). Also, be sure to check local advisories for warnings about fish from local waterways. Otherwise, enjoy that trout and devour that salmon to keep yourself and your baby nutrient rich!
Keep yourself and your baby healthy with delicious fresh seafood; come visit Elevation seafood restaurant in Kennesaw. We offer a variety of fresh Georgia seafood on both brunch and dinner restaurant menus, which you can view online to double check against the list of healthy fish for pregnant women. Reserve your table at Elevation today!