Pregnant women who eat two portions of fish a week are likely to give birth to children who have 60% less chance of suffering from ADHD in their first years of life. ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, results in short attention span, restlessness and being easily distracted. The later effects are sleep disorders and learning difficulties.
However only include one of the portions from oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel, and that cuts from very large fish such as tuna and swordfish are totally excluded because of the potential of higher mercury levels. White fish such as haddock, cod, flounder, turbot, halibut are excellent options, and may be happily consumed many more times a week. For example poached smoked haddock for breakfast, battered plaice fingers for lunch and a whole grilled flatfish for dinner, and that is just one day.
The research carried out at the University of Public Health in the USA. Taking body samples at birth and studying food diaries whilst pregnant. The children were then studied until eight years old, ADHD being mainly diagnosed between the ages of three and seven. Whilst high levels of mercury from tuna and swordfish were likely to produce negative results, no firm understanding has been reached why eating portions of smaller and less oily fish produces results better than those for women eating no fish.
Other than undeniably, it is a fact that a diet with fresh natural food is better than one that will include a greater proportion of junk food, which unfortunately is the norm. The healthy diet will satisfy the daily Recommended Daily Intake of all nutrients, which is of course what need to sustain a fit and healthy body.
For many centuries the regular eating fish has been beneficial in health terms, over eating red meat and processed meat products, the latter which are usually higher in calories and saturated fats for similar weights of fish.
Fish has the benefits of being:-
- Low in harmful fats
- Low in salt
- High in vitamins and minerals
- Offers great flexibility with around 20,000 species in the waters of the world
- Has numerous options in cooking methods
One could question why is so much harmful red meat eaten as against much more healthy fish. One thought is to put it down to the Ostrich Syndrome, and just bury your head in sand when in doubt. The only problem with that is that the Ostrich, bless them, are vegetarian.
In a lot of respects this is another instance of witnessing the results of the straight forward and blindingly obvious.
We are what we eat, and the healthier we eat will result in us leading longer, fitter and more fulfilling lives.