Fish flesh contains good amounts of protein and essential fatty acids, but it also contains mercury from the polluted waters that the animals swim in. And the larger the fish, the more mercury may have accumulated in their flesh.1
The World Health Organization (WHO) says: ‘Exposure to mercury – even small amounts – may cause serious health problems and is a threat to the development of the child in utero and early in life.’2 Mercury is one of the top ten chemicals or groups of chemicals that WHO says is of major public concern, and no wonder! It may have a toxic effect on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs, kidneys, skin and eyes.3
And, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ‘The most common way people in the U.S. are exposed to mercury is by eating fish containing methylmercury.’ 4
Up to 10 percent of American women of childbearing age carry enough mercury in their bloodstreams to put their developing children at increased risk for developmental problems.5
The EPA says, ’In past outbreaks of methylmercury poisoning, mothers with no symptoms of nervous system damage gave birth to infants with severe disabilities. This presented evidence that the nervous system of a developing infant may be more vulnerable to methylmercury exposures than an adult nervous system. Mothers who are exposed to methylmercury and breast-feed may also expose their infant children through their milk.’6
Why take the risk? Protein and essential fatty acids can be found plentifully on a plant-based diet, without the side order of mercury.
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