Eating salmon during and after pregnancy
When it comes to what to eat, and what not to eat during pregnancy, there are a number of conflicting messages, especially when it comes to seafood.
During pregnancy, it is advisable to avoid raw seafood, like sashimi, but you can and should have wild low mercury fish like salmon!
Salmon is a nutritional powerhouse
Salmon is an excellent source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid. Salmon is also rich in protein, vitamin B12 and it is also one of only a few sources that has natural vitamin D.
During fetal development, salmon’s naturally rich source of long chain omega-3s is vital for the development of the baby’s brain, eyes and nervous system. These amino acids are needed for all cellular functions from the internal organ to those cute little fingers and toes!
Vitamin B12 and omega-3 are thought to help ward off postpartum depression. Salmon is also great for breastfeeding moms because it contains large amounts of DHA and it is said that salmon can increase breast milk production.
How much salmon should you eat?
To achieve adequate DHA intake, pregnant mothers, mothers of a newborn and even breastfeeding mothers should aim to consume at least 200mg DHA per day – this is equivalent to 1 to 2 oily fish meals a week (such as salmon or sardines).
When dietary intake of omega-3s during pregnancy is lacking, the omega-3s will be drawn from the mother’s own supply, which depletes her levels. Research has shown that this can lead to an increased risk of postnatal depression.
How to prepare salmon?
To be safe, eat freshly cooked seafood. Make sure it is eaten immediately and any leftovers are stored in the fridge and used within a day of cooking.
It is best to avoid chilled seafood, whether it’s raw or smoked ready-to-eat product. This is because it is at higher risk of harbouring listeria which could be dangerous for the expectant mother and the unborn baby.
Here’s a recipe from THS kitchen that’s healthy and flavorful:
- 1 salmon steak
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 sliced lemon
- 1/8 ground black pepper
- 1/8 salt
- 1/8 ground pepper
- 1/8 fresh coriander leaves
- 1/8 julienne deep fry ginger (optional)
Marinade the salmon steak with ground black pepper and salt. Set aside for half an hour before cooking.
Heat up a medium non stick pan with olive oil. Place the marinated salmon steak to cook for 3 minutes on low heat. Turn salmon steak over and cook for another 5 minutes or until it is brown.
Salmon steak is ready to serve. Garnish with ground pepper and fresh coriander leaves. Place the edamame next to the salmon steak. Last but not least, queeze the fresh lemon and enjoy!