It’s that time of year again – when fish and seafood are incorporated into many diets. Whether it’s for religious reasons or not, eating more fish can be very beneficial for pregnant women; however, there is a lot of contradicting information regarding the consumption of fish during pregnancy. Seafood gets a bad reputation because of the rising levels of mercury in larger fish. This is due to water pollution. Heavy metals (like mercury) pollute the oceans from various sources. Fish that are bigger and have a long life span (sharks, albacore tuna, swordfish, mahi-mahi) consume more little fish (salmon, sardines, shrimp), which leads to higher mercury levels in the bigger fish. On the other hand, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are crucial for baby’s brain development and can help raise your babyQ score. So what’s a mama to do? Avoid fish? Load up on fish? No and no. BabyQ has siphoned through the contradicting information and made it easy for you. We came up with our own Fish Scale to give you dining options with high omega-3 fatty acids and low mercury levels. Based on the omega/mercury ratio, the most beneficial, omega-3 fatty acids containing fish is farm-raised, rainbow trout. Other small fish like salmon, anchovies, and shrimp are all great options, too.
If you’re like me and fish just isn’t something you crave a lot when you’re pregnant (I’d rather have a steak), there are other foods that are good sources omega-3 fatty acids. Other great options to incorporate into your diet are flaxseed oil, chia seeds, and canola oil. I personally add chia seeds to anything and everything I cook. The tiny seeds can be sprinkled onto any food – soups/stews, smoothies, even ice cream or frozen yogurt. They are tasteless, odorless, and do not need to be prepared before adding them to your meal.