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To get pregnant, swap those steaks out for seafood and fish.

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Want to get pregnant, and in the shortest time possible? According to research, you should be incorporating more seafood into your diet. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in May 2018 shows that 92% of couples who eat seafood more than twice a week get pregnant within a year, as compared to 79% of couples who consume seafood less regularly.

This study, which was conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, had over 500 participating couples record their seafood intake and sexual activity in journals. The couples who consumed more fish had sex more frequently, and got pregnant more quickly as well. However, it is unclear as to whether seafood does improve fertility, or whether couples who eat more fish simply tend to be healthier in general.

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That being said, not all fish (and seafood) are equally safe to consume. The FDA has categorized several commonly eaten seafood into three categories – “Best Choices”, “Good Choices”, and “Choices to Avoid”; according to the regulatory body, the “Best Choices” which are safe to eat two to three times per week include:

  1. Atlantic mackerel

  2. Black sea bass

  3. Clam

  4. Cod

  5. Crab

  6. Sardine

  7. Scallop

  8. Shrimp

  9. Squid

  10. Tilapia

Good choices, with a recommended serving of one per week, include:

  1. Grouper

  2. Chilean sea bass

  3. Snapper

  4. Spanish mackerel (also known as tenggiri batang, tek ka or chuk kau)

  5. Striped bass

  6. Yellowfin tuna

And choices to avoid are:

  1. King mackerel

  2. Swordfish

  3. Bigeye tuna

In the local context, the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has been monitoring mercury levels in fish that is sold locally since the 1980. According to AVA spokesperson Goh Shih Yong, fish consumed in Singapore typically has zero to low levels of mercury.

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While the FDA stipulates that fish must not contain more than 1 part per million (ppm) of mercury, AVA has set the bar higher, and the rule in Singapore is that fish have to contain less than 0.5 ppm of mercury.

According to the Health Promotion Board (HPB), adults should consume two or more servings of fish a week, with a single serving amounting to approximately 90g. Apart from (possibly!) helping you get pregnant, fish has plenty of other health benefits. Amongst other things, consuming fatty fish such as salmon reduces your risk of heart disease, and lower blood pressure.

As for the wild vs farmed salmon debate, a Straits Times report published earlier in 2018 states that farmed salmon is safe to consume. According to this report, farmed salmon actually contains less parasites than wild salmon, and it’s also fresher. To err on the side of caution, look for Norwegian farmed salmon – these are fed with manufactured feed which do not contain any GMOs.

Alternatively, you might find purchasing tinned fish a more convenient option. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), both fresh and canned fish have similar amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, and a USDA study even found canned salmon contains slightly higher levels of two omega-3s as opposed to fresh salmon. Go ahead and enjoy your tinned fish; it’s good for you!

Fertility consultation with BeNatural’s fertility coach, Marie Otsuka

If you and your partner would like to learn more about conceiving, come down for a 45-minute consultation with Marie Otsuka, BeNatural’s fertility coach. In this session, Marie will seek to understand the couple’s situation, and offer insights she’s gained through her 10 years of experience in working with infertile Singaporeans. Slots are limited and on a first come first serve basis; contact us here to schedule an appointment!

+65 3165 2202

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