Are you feeling conflicted about eating seafood? Do you embrace the idea of getting healthy omega-3 fats in your diet â€” but worry that they might come with an unhealthy dose of mercury? If so, youâ€™re far from alone â€” thatâ€™s one reason that the average American is not eating the recommended amount of fish and seafood.
The official recommendations for seafood consumption from the American Heart Association and the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans are to eat fish at least twice weekly â€” at least 8 ounces total â€” but only one in 10 of us do. The average person eats 3.5 ounces per week, and that drops to an average of 2 ounces during pregnancy â€” despite the recommendation that pregnant and breast-feeding women increase fish intake to up to 12 ounces per week.
If youâ€™ve been playing it safe by limiting how much fish you eat, the good news is that you can relax. Thereâ€™s a game-changer in the seafood and mercury debate â€” selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant mineral that helps prevent free radical damage to your cells, but itâ€™s also an essential part of a few dozen enzymes (selenoenzymes) that protect your brain from damage. This is where seafood comes in.