Fish are a great source of protein and omega 3’s which are essential for brain development, anti-inflammatory effects, proper insulin function, etc. However, with the oceans becoming more and more polluted, it is difficult to find fish that are not contaminated with mercury, PCBs, dioxins…These compounds are fat-soluble, meaning that they will be stored in fat. So big fish that eat little fish will acquire all the small fish’s stored toxins. When we eat the fish, we are exposed to a load of toxic compounds which we definitely do not want in our bodies prior to pregnancy.
It has been said that when testing newborn baby’s umbilical cord blood, 200 chemicals have been found. Before the baby has even entered the world, he/she has already been exposed to detrimental chemicals in the womb!
How can we help remedy that?….detoxification is a whole other topic that I will address in the future…but for now, cut exposure altogether. Avoid high mercury fish such as swordfish, shark, tile fish, king mackerel, and ahi tuna. It is better not to consume large fish that are factory farmed. Wild caught fish are safer….however, I would even go a step farther and say cut it out altogether 6-12 months prior to conception. This would be one of those scenarios where I could recommend a fish oil supplement to get an appropriate amount of omega 3’s. Make sure it is a professional grade supplement that has been tested for rancidity. Fish oil is one of the supplements worth investing in. As the world becomes more and more toxic, take the steps to reduce your total body burden of harmful chemicals and heavy metals. Keep the baby’s palace a safe place to grow.
Dr. Jyoti Matthews