A recent review of 44 research studies found “moderate and consistent evidence” that eating seafood during pregnancy is associated with having smarter children when compared to eating no seafood.
- The results of 44 research studies were included in this analysis, surveying over 100,000 mother-child pairs.
- Children of seafood eaters had lower risks of ADHD, better grades in school, and higher IQs by as much as 9.5 points compared to children of women who ate no fish during pregnancy.
- Benefits began when mothers ate 4 oz (a single serving) of seafood a week. Higher intakes of more than 8-12 oz (2-3 servings) per week were associated with the greatest benefits.
- These positive effects likely occur because seafood is rich in key nutrients for fetal and child development, including iodine, vitamins D and B12, iron, zinc, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
- The study found no negative effects of seafood’s mercury content on child brain development.
Bottom line: Eating even a little bit of seafood during pregnancy will help support your baby’s brain function and intelligence. You can read more about the FDA’s recommendations for fish and seafood consumption during pregnancy here.
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