Eating Seafood During Pregnancy?

Eating Seafood During Pregnancy? 

Absolutely! In fact, the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans urges everyone, especially pregnant women, to eat seafood two to three times a week. While it is important to limit mercury in the diets of those who are pregnant or breastfeeding and children, many types of seafood are nutritious, low in mercury and known for fueling the body with key nutrients.  

What’s all the Omega-3 Buzz About

Let’s break this down. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid essential for brain and eye development during pregnancy and early childhood. The body can't produce DHA on its own which is why salmon and other fatty fish are highly advised during pregnancy. 

Nursing mom? You can reap the nutritional rewards of seafood, too, by passing DHA to your babies through your breast milk. This essential fatty acid will continue to aid your baby’s development, and has proven to help them sleep better. Besides, you’ll try anything, right?!

Let’s Talk Protein 

Protein is needed to help your baby develop skin, muscle, hair, and bones.  Moms-to-be need about 25 extra grams of protein every day to support their growing baby. Seafood is a complete protein source meaning that it contains all the amino acids you can possibly get from food. Not to mention, seafood is a low-calorie protein source, especially when compared to other protein-rich foods such as meat and poultry.

Your Daily Dose of Vitamins 

While the positive effects of omega-3 fatty acids and protein are enough to convince almost anyone that seafood is a good choice, the advantages don’t stop there. The numerous vitamins and minerals found in seafood, such as B6, B12, D, Iron, Niacin, Potassium, Selenium, and Thiamin, all aid in fostering healthy fetal, infant and childhood development. 

From decreasing symptoms of autism in children to preventing depression during and after pregnancy, the list of benefits goes on and on. The crazy thing, according to the FDA,  it is estimated that pregnant women in the U.S. eat less than half a serving of seafood a week. That means most moms-to-be should quadruple the amount of seafood they eat each week to meet the minimum recommendation.

Check out the most popular and mercury safe sources of seafood that WISC has in stock: Cod, crab, salmon,and shrimp

If you want to learn more, take a look at this chart from the FDA that will help educate you on the dozens of healthy and safe seafood options as well as information about the nutritional value. 

 

 

Sources: 

https://www.fda.gov/food/consumers/advice-about-eating-fish

https://aboutseafood.com/seafood-and-pregnancy-benefits-for-mom/

https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/practice-advisory/articles/2017/01/update-on-seafood-consumption-during-pregnancy

https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/eating-seafood-during-pregnancy/

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