Is fish recommended for pregnant women?

Fish can be one of the more valuable foods in pregnancy, but it's worth paying attention to a few details.

In pregnancy, the demand for nutrients and vitamins increases: A, B1, B2, niacin, choline, pantothenic acid, B6, B12, C, E, folate, as well as minerals: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, iodine, selenium. Almost all these ingredients are provided by fish.

Eating the right types of fish is not only healthy, but also recommended for both the mother-to-be and her baby. Fish are an excellent source of protein, iron and zinc - nutrients essential for the growth and development of the baby. The omega-3 fatty acids contained in many fish support brain development. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) plays a key role in the development of the nervous system. The greatest increase of DHA in the brain is observed during the fetal period and the first two years of life. Too low levels of DHA in the diet of women can result in premature birth and low birth weight of the offspring. DHA deficiency in infants may in turn lead to reduced visual acuity and learning ability at a later age, and in extreme cases - to disorders in the process of myelinisation of nerve cells (myelin sheath is, among others, necessary for correct information transfer in the brain).

A wealth of vitamins and minerals

In the diet of a pregnant woman, the basic sources of protein, which is the building block of tissues and organs of the developing foetus, should be: meat, fish, eggs, dairy products and pulses. The demand for protein increases during pregnancy by approximately 0.3g/kg b.w./d. It is not only the amount of protein that is important, but also its type. According to the recommendations, 60 percent of the total protein should come from animal products and 40 percent from vegetable products. - 40 percent from plant products. Meat is a good source of high-quality protein, as well as vitamins B1, B2, PP, B12, zinc and, above all, easily digestible iron, the demand for which increases by around 60 per cent during pregnancy. You should replace meat with fish twice a week, and at least once a week you should eat oily sea fish. Fish is best baked, stewed, boiled, steamed, baked in the oven or wrapped in foil. It is good to choose fresh, unsmoked and unprocessed fish. Fish meat is characterised by a high content of high-quality protein, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and in the case of small-sized fish, also a higher proportion of calcium. Oily sea fish provide polyunsaturated fatty acids, are a natural source of dietary iodine, B vitamins and vitamin A.

Mom, fish are healthy!

And definitely beneficial to your and your baby's health!

But follow these rules:

  • avoid large, predatory fish at the end of the food chain. Don't eat shark, swordfish, tuna, mackerel;
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  • to avoid exposing yourself to harmful bacteria or viruses, do not eat raw fish and shellfish, including oysters, sushi, sashimi and chilled uncooked seafood;
  • Most seafood and fish should be cooked to an internal temperature of min. 63 deg. Fish is ready when the flesh comes away from the bones and becomes opaque. Cook shrimps and lobsters until the flesh is pearly and opaque, mussels and oysters until the shells open. Discard those that do not open.

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