Fish is a delicious food for mothers and babies during pregnancy. However, should we eat mercury-contaminated fish? Let’s discuss the mercury in fish: cause for concern?
It is worth mentioning that fish are quite familiar in daily life. The amount of mercury may not affect much to the average person. However, for the health of pregnant women, it is hazardous. That’s why this article focuses mainly on the topic of mercury in fish: cause for concern.
The harm of mercury in fish to pregnant women
According to some scientific studies, seafood is ultimately good for pregnancy. However, if “loading” a large amount of seafood (more than two-three meals per week) or choose the wrong types of fish contaminated with mercury, they will cause the effect of “treason.” The amount of mercury from seafood penetrates the mother’s bloodstream, naturally enters the fetus, and directly affects the development of the unborn baby.
An increase in the amount of mercury in the blood of the pregnant woman can increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, or cause congenital disabilities. Specific examples can be listed as blindness, deafness, kidney damage and mental retardation, and delayed weight gain if the fetus is exposed to metals in the womb.
Thus, it can be seen that mercury will destroy the central nervous system of the fetus and affect cognition after entering the body of pregnant women. Therefore, pregnant women need to be very careful when eating seafood. And seafood with low mercury content should be selected and processed appropriately.
Types of fish contaminated with mercury should be avoided
The following are fish containing high levels of mercury, and pregnant women should avoid using during pregnancy.
Mackerel is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid, vitamin D, calcium, iron, zinc, which are essential minerals for fetal brain and physical development. However, mackerel also contains high levels of mercury. Pregnant women who eat more mackerel will absorb mercury, affecting the fetal brain, which makes the baby born less intelligent, poor thinking ability.
Tuna is rich in vitamin D, omega-3 acids, calcium, iron, etc. However, pregnant women should not eat tuna or only eat a moderate amount. According to experts, the mercury content in tuna is seven times higher than other mercury-containing fish. When pregnant women eat tuna, the body will absorb this amount of mercury, causing harm to the fetal brain.
Swordfish contain high levels of mercury. When mercury is deposited in water, it will automatically convert into methyl-mercury, which is absorbed by fish and attached to each fish cell. Despite thoroughly washing the fish and processing it, this mercury still does not go away. Therefore, in order not to affect fetal brain development, pregnant women do not eat swordfish.
Conclusions and Recommendations
In results, when eating fish, pregnant women need to eat well-cooked fish to prevent infection and harm to the fetus. Also, women need to choose fresh fish from reputable and safe shops, and should not eat fish raised in polluted environments.
About the question of mercury in fish: cause for concern? Mercury can also accumulate in the human body. So, before three months of pregnancy, pregnant women should not use fish containing high levels of mercury, to minimize the harmful effects of mercury on the fetus.