It has been established that pregnant women that eat fish , gives birth to children that has better cognitive and fine-motor skills at the age of 3 than those whose mothers did not eat fish while pregnant. Also, women that eats about 2 servings of fish per week while pregnant have their children at age 3 performing better than those who don’t eat fish., if you decide to asses their receptive vocabulary and their visual-spatial , visual motor and fine motor skills. Worthy of mention here is the fact that the most important developmental stage of the brain is from the womb, and that is what makes this discovery to be very important. By the time that the pregnant woman s second trimesters i.e. the period when all the critical process of establishing the correct interconnections are taking place, almost all the neurons have been established.
The brains control the thinking, behavior, and every other cognitive abilities of the system. This therefore suggests that any abnormalities in the brain which may occur early in the developmental stages of the brain can lead to abnormal thinking or behavior later on.
Fish is a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids which is a very important component and this makes fish to be an important source of food. Omega 3 is a major component of the brain structure. Just as everything in life that has both the positive and the negative sides, eating fish during pregnancy has its own negative effects. Mercury, which has a negative effect in the development the brain, can equally be found in fish. When the unborn baby comes, in contact with a higher than average mercury, the child will score lower on the above tests. Now, how do you know the fish that has a high level of poison? Check the fishes that feed on other fishes, e.g. swordfish and tuna fish. These fishes have longer longevity than others and this their longevity is sustained by feeding on other fishes thereby accumulating more poison in the process i.e. when their level of mercury is increasing as a result of other fishes they ate, they are in the process elevating their level of poison content. Shrimps, sardines, and salmon are species with low mercury levels and therefore are good for consumption by everybody.
Fatty acids plays an important role in the early development of the brain, but their functions does not end there. They can equally be important for maintaining a healthy brain throughout our lives. The search for health promoting effects of fish is still on and the next search is to find out if it can prevent certain psychiatric disorders. Until the result is out, let us keep our fingers crossed.