High levels of stress during pregnancy can be harmful for both the mother and the baby. Studies show that in actuality anxiety disorders during pregnancy are more common than the incidence of depression. There are many ways in which stress can be kept under check. Diet also has a correlation to the level of anxiety one experiences. With this regard; a recent research suggests that consuming fish can alleviate the feelings of anxiety during pregnancy.
Women who never eat seafood are at a 53 per cent higher risk of having high anxiety levels at 32 weeks of gestation than their counterparts. The current findings are based on a review of the dietary habits of 9500 women; the findings have been published in the Plos ONE journal.
AdvertisementVegetarians are 25 per cent more likely to experience anxiety than those who consume a diet rich with meat and fish. To witness a significant reduction in stress levels researchers recommend that pregnant women include two portions of white fish and one portion of oily fish per week in their diet.
Dr. Juliana Vaz, a senior author of the report further explains that; "In order to have a healthy pregnancy, women need to follow a healthy diet and not something special for pregnancy". It means, "a diet containing whole cereals, vegetables, salad, fruit, dairy foods, meat, poultry, pulses and also include fish - three portions per week with at least one of oily fish, such as salmon, sardine or tuna."
Although the correlation between consuming fish and a visible reduction in the stress level is established, the specific ingredient in fish that is responsible for the effect is not known yet. Dr. Pauline Emmett, co-author of the report adds, "It is possible, but not proved, that this association with fish is due to the omega-3 fatty acid content of the fish".
However, on the flip side it is important to note that certain types of fish including shark and swordfish should be avoided during pregnancy. No more than four cans of tuna per week are advised since tuna contains high levels of mercury which is bad for the baby.
Reference: Plos ONE
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