Can Eating Fish During Pregnancy Really Help Boost A Child's Brain Development?

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Feb 07, 2017 09:46 AM EST



CEBU, PHILIPPINES - OCTOBER 05: Whale shark (Rhincodon typus) pictured in Bohol Sea, on October 05, 2014 in Cebu, Philippines. (Photo : Andrey Nekrasov/ Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Caring during pregnancy is very important for the health of the mother and fetus. An expectant mother should avoid alcohol and cigarettes at the same time; she should have a healthy diet, experts say.

Researchers have conducted a study among 2,000 pregnant women who consumed fatty fish like swordfish, tuna, and albacore along with lean fish, shellfish, and swordfish. The researchers conducted the follow-up study after the child was born. They conducted the test on the cognitive functions of these children when they completed 14 months and five years old, Forbes reports.

Below are some facts on a fish's nutrients a woman must know before conceiving.

Nutrients in fish can help improve brain cognitive functions in an infant. Studies show that the children of mothers who had more quantity of fish during their pregnancy show better IQ performance, Live Science reports. There didn't seem to have the chance of developing autism in these children. 

Children of mothers who had 21 ounces of fish in a week do not show the signs of mercury. Uncontrollable eating of fish leads to the excess deposit of mercury; it is unhealthy for the fetus' nervous system. Omega-3 fatty acids in the fish help brain development in the fetus. Fish like tuna carries mercury; at the same time, this kind of fish possesses omega-3 fatty acid and DHA, which helps brain growth.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommend that pregnant women can consume two to three servings of fish each week. They can eat the fish like salmon that holds small content of mercury. Children who are exposed to fish have the special language learning skills. Women who are trying for a child should consume fish like salmon and catfish, which are considered to have less mercury.

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