How much mercury is in shrimp or prawns?
Shrimp are low in mercury, averaging 0.009 ppm (parts per million) according to the FDA. To put this into perspective, scientists consider 0.1ppm to be a high mercury level, so shrimp have less than ten times this mercury amount.
Shrimp are also classed as a ‘best choice’ seafood for women of childbearing age, according to the Fish Advice from the Environmental Protection Agency.
However, a lot depends on the origin and rearing methods of the shrimp. The numbers given are only an average. If you consume wild shrimp that have been caught locally, the environment or waterways agency in your area will be able to inform you whether the shrimp are likely to have higher levels of mercury.
Can you eat seafood while pregnant?
Many women steer well clear of all seafood while pregnant. And that’s fair enough.
Some seafood is notorious for being high in mercury, a substance that can interfere with your child’s immune system if consumed in sufficient amounts.
It is naturally occurring in the atmosphere, gathers in rivers and streams, and eventually makes its way to the ocean where fish absorb it. And it can end up on your plate.
Better safe than sorry, as the old wise woman says.
However, the truth is that not all seafood contains the same amounts of the substance.
Watch out though. Finding out which fish are safe for consumption and which should be avoided requires research.
Recommendations for Seafood Intake in Pregnant Women
Due to worries about contaminants and heavy metals like mercury harming the developing fetus, many pregnant women in the United States consume very little fish. As a result, they don’t consume enough omega-3 fatty acids. Numerous pregnant women consume little to no seafood, according to surveys, potentially depriving the fetus of vital nutrients (Coletta et al. , 2010).
In 2007, Hibbeln et al. demonstrated that mothers who consumed less seafood than 340 grams per week while pregnant had a higher risk of having children who scored in the lowest quartile for verbal intelligence quotient (IQ), as opposed to mothers who consumed more seafood than 340 grams per week.
Similarly, Innis When compared to the DHA intervention group, they discovered that more infants in the placebo group had visual acuity below average.
Low maternal seafood consumption has also been linked to a higher risk of prosocial behavior, fine motor skills, communication, and social development outcomes that are less than ideal (Hibbeln et al. , 2007).
In order to support the best visual and cognitive development of the fetus, polyunsaturated fatty acid consumption during pregnancy is now included in consensus recommendations and practice guidelines from the World Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Early Nutrition Academy, and the Child Health Foundation (Koletzko et al.). , 2008).
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) both suggest pregnant women consume one to two servings of seafood per week to get at least 200 milligrams of DHA per day. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) also adopted these recommendations (Coletta et al. , 2010).