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Anxiety in pregnancy is associated with the lack of fish in diet

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Anxiety in pregnancy is associated with the lack of fish in diet

According to a research conducted by scientists at the University of Bristol and the Federal University of Rio de Janiero, Brazil, women who do not consume fish during pregnancy are more prone to anxiety. The link was made during a study on the type of diet in pregnancy and it showed that eating fish during pregnancy reduces anxiety. During pregnancy, many women are stressed and excessive stress can harm both mother and fetus: it may affect the health of the mother on the log term and, on the baby, it might cause premature birth or low birth weight. Researchers analyzed the diet during pregnancy of more than 9500 pregnant women. They divided the diet into five major categories: health-conscious, traditional, processed, confectionery and vegetarian diet. In this way it was found that women who eat seafood during pregnancy were less likely to suffer from stress. Those who did not eat seafood had a 53% higher risk of experiencing high levels of anxiety in the 32nd week of pregnancy compared to women who regularly consumed seafood. According to the study, the amount of fish deemed sufficient meant more than two fish meals of white fish and one meal oily fish per week.

fish in diet


Researchers believe that these results are due to the fact that the nutritional needs of a pregnant women are higher during pregnancy due to fetal growth. Dr Juliana Vaz, the report’s senior author, said that one important message is that in order to have normal pregnancy, women do not have to do anything special, but to have a healthy diet. A healthy diet means a diet containing whole grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish: three meals of fish per week with at least one portion of oily fish (sardines, salmon, tuna). She added that the fast food and sweets should be consumed in minimal amounts because are low in nutrients. Dr Pauline Emmett, senior dietician at Children of the 90s, and a co-author of the report, noted that this association may be due to the omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish. Vegetarians can also have their intake of omega 3 fatty acids in the diet because  hazelnuts, walnuts, flax oils, algae oils are rich in these compounds; there are also products on the market that contain omega 3 fatty acids. However some vegetarians are happy to occasionally eat fish. She stressed that it is highly recommended for vegetarians to eat fish sometimes because it is not clear which ingredient in fish is most effective.