Friday, February 18, 2011

Another Important Nutrient in Fish Benefits Unborn Babies

Fish is a bit of a slimy subject to discuss with pregnant moms. On one hand, they're warned about the risk of mercury contamination from tuna, and the risk of food poisoning from raw or improperly cooked fish. But on the other hand, fish is loaded with some key nutrients that are absolutely essential for their baby's healthy growth and development. Now, a new study suggests that there's another reason for expectant moms to chow down on more fish - it contains a key nutrient that can help prevent pre-term births and other complications.

You may have heard of the co-enzyme Q10 as it's name is splashed across the labels of many face and body creams, but it's actually a very important nutrient that everyone should be getting in their diets. For those of you biochem students, you've probably heard this co-enzyme referred to as ubiquinone, an important participant in the electron transport chain in the production of ATP. CoQ10 is a beneficial antioxidant that is extremely important for energy and blood circulation, encourages a healthy immune system and helps reduce the effects of aging. But of the greatest importance to moms-to-be, CoQ10 has been associated with lower rates of miscarriages, pre-eclampsia and pre-term births.

Some great sources of this nutrient include oily fish (such as salmon and tuna), organ meats (such as liver), and whole grains. Through a balanced diet, most people actually get enough of CoQ10, but excluding foods like fish might jeopardize your ability to consume sufficient amounts. You might also have realized that by consuming plenty of fish, particularly the oily kind, you'll be loading up on omega-3 essential fatty acids which are extremely important for the healthy development of a baby's brain and central nervous system.

Sure, supplements are always available, but think of all the other benefits that eating oily fish provides, including lots of protein and vitamin D. In addition, the safety of supplements is often questionable, and you don't want to have any other reason to worry for the safety of your unborn child! So tonight, cook up a nice piece of salmon and both of you can enjoy the benefits.