Fish is one of the most important components of a healthy diet. It is an excellent source of protein, phosphorus, iodine, iron, and zinc. Are all fish safe to eat while pregnant? Many women are wary of this product bypassing it. Some even eliminate fish from their menu entirely.
It is necessary to take into account the needs of the fetus by adhering to proper nutrition. Some foods can harm an unborn baby or impair its development if used continuously.
Types of fish recommended during pregnancy
Give preference to marine species in the use of fish and only from trusted suppliers. The most important thing is freshness and proper freezing. Here is an example of fish that is safe during pregnancy: anchovies, mackerel, herring, salmon, mullet, smelt, salmon, pollock, and trout.
Choose varieties with a high content of polyunsaturated acids. Irregular use of young non-canned tuna, carp, halibut, and hake are allowed.
Why is fish useful for pregnant women?
It is worth giving preference to diversity in the diet of pregnant women. Fish is difficult to replace with other products. It is impossible to refuse this product knowing about its benefits during gestation. Consider the most obvious benefits of fish:
Fish is a valuable source of protein that is 97% digestible. It is necessary to ensure the growth of the cells and tissues of the baby. Fish contains a large amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Fish dishes are rich in vitamins A, D, E, and K. Meat contains almost all B vitamins and vitamin C. Fish contains zinc, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, sulfur, and chlorine. Fatty fish varieties contain a lot of omega acids and iodine.
Effect on the fetus
The diverse chemical composition of the fish favorably affects the formation of all systems of the baby. The neural tube develops correctly, and the bones, heart muscles, and brain are strengthened. Regular consumption of fish contributes to the normal development of the organs of vision, hearing, and muscular apparatus of the child.
Eating fish normalizes metabolism and strengthens the immune system of mother and child. Fish in the diet helps fight excess cholesterol in the blood.
How can fish be harmful to pregnant women?
Not all fish are dangerous for pregnant women. It is not worth completely abandoning this nutritious product. There are some likely downsides to fish that you need to be aware of.
Mercury content – Predatory fish species are believed to accumulate the most mercury. Their use should be reduced to a minimum or completely excluded from the diet. Predatory fish include swordfish, shark, hake, tuna, and others.
Hazardous substances and wastes – Accumulation of carcinogens, toxic substances, and heavy metals is typical for the inhabitants of the seabed. Anything that settles on the bottom is potentially a habitat and food for fish. Many fish species mutate and carry harmful substances. These include catfish, flounder, and others.
Parasites and harmful microorganisms – Fish can contain a large number of parasites that are extremely dangerous during the gestation period. A woman who consumes infected fish can become the host of these creatures. Parasites release a lot of toxins and multiply quickly inside. This will adversely affect the development of the fetus. River individuals (perch, trout, carp) are the most dangerous. There are many more parasites in freshwater than in salt water.
Allergy – Fish is the strongest allergen. Most allergy sufferers do not tolerate cod fish well, but the reaction can be to any type of fish. The most common allergies are salmon, trout, mackerel, and cod. The use of intolerant foods is prohibited for pregnant women. There may be severe swelling or shock.
How much and how often can pregnant women eat fish?
It is recommended to eat fish at least 2-3 times a week. This is especially true for expectant mothers with thyroid problems. The number of fish dishes can be either less or more. Eat it without strict restrictions if there are no individual contraindications and you are sure of the quality of the fish.
You need to include at least 0.25 lb of clean fish fillets at a time to maintain proper nutrition three times a week. Fatty fish varieties can be eaten in smaller quantities. Lean meat allows you to slightly exceed the norm at one time.
What kind of fish is better not to eat during pregnancy?
Several specific prohibitions are best observed when choosing fish. Pregnant women should take care of their health and the life of their children. It is better not to use fish cooked in the following ways for this:
Raw fish – Completely discard fish that has not undergone heat treatment and any dishes with such fish in the composition. It can cause serious infestation and poisoning.
Salted or cold smoked fish – A lot of salt is harmful to pregnant women due to swelling and deterioration of blood vessels, as well as pressure. Cold smoking does not imply strong processing of fish, which can be dangerous for infestation with parasites.
Long-living sea fish – These include, for example, tuna. This is a long-liver who during his life can accumulate a huge amount of heavy metals.
Dried and smoked fish – This cooking method is not the most useful because of the huge amount of salt and the questionable conditions of the cooking process. Insects can land on fish when dried. Smoked is in principle forbidden to pregnant women.
Fried fish – This cooking method does not belong to the list of proper nutrition. Frying releases a lot of carcinogens and uses too much oil.
Exotic fish – Pregnancy is not the time for gastronomic experiments. Eating strange, dubious, exotic fish is not recommended especially if it belongs to the category of poisonous.
What kind of fish does give preference in the store?
Pregnant women should be especially careful when choosing their food. Pay attention to small details of its appearance and storage method when choosing fish. Consider the main criteria for choosing fish in a store:
There will be no yellow coating on the ice crust when fresh fish is frozen alive. This coating indicates that the fish lay dead for some time and only then it was frozen. Take fish with a clean layer of ice without blood or other frozen liquid.
Choose by eyes
Whether it is frozen or chilled fish, its eyes should not be cloudy. Give your choice to the fish whose eyes are slightly bulging, transparent, and have retained their integrity.
With shock freezing
It is better to buy heavily frozen fish during pregnancy if you choose between chilled fish and frozen. Parasites and bacteria die in it and most often the fish is frozen alive. So you will eat almost freshly caught fish.
Without spices, marinades, and preservatives
Never buy fish that is marinated in the supermarket. The network of such stores has its kitchen to sell all the goods as much as possible. Products are processed into ready meals or marinades when approaching the expiration date. This is how marketing workers cut their losses. Fish is very dangerous for pregnant women if it is on the verge of shelf life.
Curled, twisted, or bent fish has most likely been frozen dead, or thawed. It deforms when the ice thaws and moves, and then freezes again. That is why she has such a distorted look. Take only flat fish.
How to cook and store fish for pregnant women?
Choose from fresh fish or the deep-frozen option. It is recommended to cook it immediately if the fish is fresh and not store the finished dish in the refrigerator. Frozen meat can be kept in the freezer for no more than a month. Make sure there have been no power outages and the fish has not been defrosted.
Give preference to stewing, baking, and steaming in cooking fish. Avoid fried fish and marinades. Check the fish for parasites first. They can be in the form of long black ribbons or flatworms. Examine carefully the insides and remove all unnecessary. Be sure to rinse the fish under running water before cooking, even if it was very frozen.
Can I eat redfish during pregnancy?
There is a very common misconception that redfish is the most allergenic. Many pregnant women completely exclude this type of fish from their diet. Let’s see if this is the case. Redfish is a generalized name for fish of the sturgeon and salmon family.
Parvalbumins are the main allergens in fish. These are low molecular weight heat-resistant proteins. The concentration of parvalbumin is significantly higher in light muscles. Strong fish allergens also include enolases, aldolases, and fish gelatin. Enolases are considered important allergens in cod, salmon, and tuna.
Do not get hung up on the color of fish meat. You need to focus on what exactly the pregnant woman has allergies to. Many cannot even eat candy with gelatin because it is made from fish bones.
In what trimester of pregnancy can you eat fish?
It is recommended to eat fish in the first and second trimers. Be careful with eating fish at the end of the third trimester. Reduced immunity of the mother may not be able to cope with the abundant nutrition of sea, red, and other allergenic varieties of fish. The likelihood of an allergic reaction is very high.
Few people eat fish in the first trimester due to toxicosis. Rarely does anyone have a sense of smell that allows them to adequately respond to a fishy smell. Eating fish is not prohibited if there is no vomiting and disgust.
Fish at the beginning of pregnancy is simply irreplaceable in its nutritional value. It guarantees the proper development of the fetus, its growth, and the formation of the nervous system. Omega-3 fatty acids will help shape the brain and improve heart function. There will be stable hematopoiesis and good hemoglobin levels in the mother.
Conclusion on eating fish during pregnancy
Fish is not prohibited during the gestation period. Check out the list of allowed species, and healthier ways to prepare and properly store fish. Pregnant women need to eat varied and rationally. Depriving yourself of seafood and fish will be a big mistake. Watch your reaction to the product, eat it in small portions and everything will be fine.