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A new study done in Spain shows that eating fish during the pregnancy leads to having smarter kids.
For the study, 2,000 mothers and their babies were monitored starting with the first pregnancy semester and ending when the child was five years old. The researchers discovered that the women who ate more fish during their pregnancy had kids with improved brain functions. Even when the pregnant women ate 21 ounces of fish, the negative effects still didn’t outweigh the benefits. Actually, there were no signs of mercury or other bad ingredient that is usually associated with the fish intake.
The researchers collected data from population studies done in Spain, from 2004 until 2008. They focused on the consumption of fish during their pregnancy and discovered that some of the women ate sea food three times per week when they were pregnant. The women who ate more than 500 g of sea food per week, their kids proved to have better developed brains. Also, the autism traits were reduced when the future mothers ate large quantities of fish. The period that was the most important to the brain development of the babies was the first semester. Also, the fish that influenced the brain development the most were the large and the lean fish.
The national dietary guidelines recommended no more than 12 ounces of fish per week for the pregnant women. This quantity was set because of the potential harm that could come from the pollutants found in fish. According to the team of researchers, more studies should be done in order to see which quantity of fish is best to be consumed by the pregnant women.
One of the researchers said that people should follow the recommendations they have in each country, but she said that the American guidelines could be less strict when it comes to eating fish during the pregnancy. Doctor Ashley Roman from the Maternal Fetal Medicine at NYU, said that the study’s findings eating fish during the pregnancy leads to having smarter kids are good to know by the future mothers and by doctors as well. She also said that the protection from autism given by eating fish is also very important but she recommends that the pregnant women should avoid the fish that have high quantities of mercury, like catfish, giant mackerel or shark.
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