Health Benefits Of Eating Eel During Pregnancy
The benefits of eating eel while pregnant include the following:
Eels possess a high amount of calories, as high as 1,350 calories per pound and 303 kcal per 100 grams of meat. Adding the fish to your pregnancy diet can fulfill your increased energy requirement and help fight fatigue (1).
Eel is an excellent source of proteins. Protein content in eel is as high as 18. 4 g per 100 grams of meat. You are aware that proteins are the building blocks of our body’s cells. Regular protein consumption during pregnancy promotes the fetus’s growth and development.
Arginine, an amino acid found in eels, stimulates the release of human growth hormone (HGH) at rest. Eating fish can help you gain more muscle tone and reduce the amount of fat your body stores while pregnant. By including fish in your meal plans, you can prevent yourself from gaining weight over the course of these nine months. Due to its ability to stop the growth of cancerous cells, arginine lowers the risk of breast cancer. So, adding it to your diet is a must. Related:
Vitamin A and B12 are abundant in eels (2). It can boost your body’s antioxidant levels during pregnancy, which will help you fight macular degeneration, avoid oxidative stress, and get rid of free radicals. The risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, and neural tube defects like spina bifida, anencephaly, and encephalocele can also be reduced by it for your child (3).
Does Eel Contain Mercury? If so, How Much?
Eels are rarely farmed and are often caught wild (source: EDF). This means that their mercury content can vary, depending on where they’re caught and what their habitat is like.
The two most common food species, freshwater and conger eels, are historically considered to be “low” in mercury (source: NRDC), though the EDF Seafood Selector has the current status as “elevated” (source: EDF).
To find out more, I sourced information from Japan, the country that eats 70% of the world’s global eel catch (source: Wikipedia).
The Japanese government conducted a study on eel mercury levels in 2000 and 2001. Anago (conger eels) averaged 0.048 PPM (parts per million) mercury, and Unagi (freshwater eel) was only slightly higher at 0.052 PPM. In both instances, this is considered to be a very low level of mercury (source: Food Sanitation Council of Japan).
As a result, it can be assumed that eels have a low average mercury content, making them a safe fish for pregnant women to consume as part of a balanced diet.
Note that if you’re in the UK, the NHS recommends that you eat a maximum of two portions of oily fish a week, due to concerns about pollutants such as dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (source: NHS). Eel is classed as an oily fish (source: Medical News Today), so would fall under these recommendations. In other countries, there is no stated limit.
What happens if you eat raw eel?
You cannot eat an eel that is raw or undercooked because eels are toxic to humans. The smallest amount of blood can be fatal and result in death.
Eel in avocado rolls is always prepared cooked, and it is frequently served with a sweet and sour eel sauce. You must never eat eels raw because doing so can be harmful to your body’s health because eel blood is toxic when consumed raw.