According to a study conducted by Bristol University and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and published in the journal PLoS ONE, eating a little fish while pregnant can actually help lower levels of anxiety.
Pregnant women who do not eat seafood were found to be 53 percent more likely to have high anxiety levels at 32 weeks versus those who would regularly incorporate it in their diet.
Scientists believe it’s probably because of the Omega-3 fatty acids present in the fish. Aside from having been proven to help expectant women battle postpartum depression and prevent the risk of depression in their child, it has been found that the lack of Omega-3 in the blood may affect cellular communication, resulting in psychological stress. Pregnant women low in Omega-3 have also been found to give birth to children with neural deficiencies.
To be specific, experts recommend just two servings of white fish and one serving of oily fish per week for pregnant women in order to avoid getting poisoned with mercury, which can harm the baby’s development. Fish with high levels of mercury such as swordfish, shark, mackerel and tilefish must be avoided.
Says Dr. Juliana Vaz, senior author of the study, “In order to have a healthy pregnancy, women need to follow a healthy diet and not something special for the pregnancy. It means a diet containing whole cereals, vegetables, salad, fruit, dairy foods, meat, poultry, legumes and fish — three portions per week with at least one of oily fish, such as salmon, sardine or tuna.”
•July 13, 2013. “Eating fish ‘could lower anxiety during pregnancy’” telegraph.co.uk