Fish consumption and anxiety level in pregnancy

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A new study suggests that eating at least some fish during pregnancy may lower women’s risk of anxiety. According to the study, expectant mothers who never eat seafood are more likely to have high levels of anxiety when compared to women who eat it often. Women who never or rarely ate dark or oily fish (such as tuna and salmon) were more likely to have high levels of anxiety in their third trimester of pregnancy, when compared to women who ate fish at least once a week.

Studies established that those who had the strictest diets were 25 percent more likely to have anxiety, compared with women who followed more flexible vegetarian diets and occasionally consumed fish or meat. The connection between higher fish consumption and lower risk for anxiety may be due to the omega-3 fatty acids in fish and as a result this may lead to babies being born prematurely or with low weight.


Therefore healthy diet is very essential in pregnancy which includes whole grains, vegetables, meat, poultry and fish. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids must be included in diet, which cannot be made by the body. Omega-3s also have an impact on a range of behavioral disorders such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia. Because of the demands of a growing fetus, pregnant women need higher amounts of nutrients.

Studies reveal that in a survey conducted for pregnant women from all categories including veggies and non-veggies, the vegetarians did not performed well when compared to others.  Low omega-3s in the blood may disrupt communication between cells and could adversely affect how the body responds to psychological stress. While low dietary omega-3s may exacerbate anxiety outside of pregnancy as well, the effects may be more pronounced during pregnancy. Because of the nutritional demands of the fetus, a pregnant woman may experience a more severe omega-3 deficiency.Pregnant women should avoid fish that contains high levels of mercury, such as tilefish, swordfish, king mackerel and shark. It is safe to eat up to 12 ounces a week (the equivalent of two average meals)