Pregnant and feeling anxious? Perhaps it's time for a tuna sandwich. Doctors have discovered a link between eating fish and anxiety symptoms for pregnant women. Those who eat less fish are more likely to have higher levels of anxiety. Did you catch that? MORE fish = LESS anxiety. LESS fish = MORE anxiety. Am I making you anxious? Also: It has to be dark and/or oily fish.
That means fish like tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel -- fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Eating as little as one serving of fish per week could make a big difference. Sounds pretty simple, right? Just eat more fish. There's just one little problem.
WHAT IF EATING FISH CAUSES YOU ANXIETY? Because it sure makes me anxious. First of all, there's the mercury issue. Big, top-of-the-food-chain fish like tuna are loaded with the stuff. So great, you ate lots of tuna to lower your anxiety levels, but what about all that metal junking up your system and your baby's system? (Because mercury and other heavy metals can cross the placenta.)
And then there are all the environmental problems with eating fish. For example, we're running out of fish. And the way we fish for fish is wrecking the ocean. And we're loading the ocean with garbage, which the fish eat. Fish are eating our dumped meds, including our birth control pills. And the ocean is getting too hot for the fish. You get the idea.
I know, I know: CTFD. So here's what I'm thinking -- let's just focus on the fish that are 1. high in omega-3s, 2. low in mercury, and 3. not as much of an environmental disaster story. So that leaves... mackerel, sardine, wild-caught salmon, anchovies, and herring. By the way, many of those are delicious grilled, and with the exception of the salmon they're relatively inexpensive, too. So that should cause you less... you know, anxiety.
How much do fish do you normally eat?
Image via Jeremy Keith/Flickr