Women might feel less stressed during pregnancy by eating more fish, a new study suggests.
Those who never ate seafood had a 53% greater likelihood of having high levels of anxiety at 32 weeks of pregnancy compared with those who ate it regularly, according to a study by Children of the 90s at the University of Bristol and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
The findings, published in the journal PLOS ONE, indicate that two meals of white fish and one meal of oily fish each week would be an adequate amount of fish to consume.
They identified the link when they assessed the diets of more than 9,500 pregnant women and put them into five categories roughly described as health-conscious, traditional, processed, confectionery and vegetarian.
The researchers made the findings on fish after accounting for a total of 14 factors, including drinking, smoking and adverse family circumstances during pregnancy.
Women in the top third of the vegetarian type of diet pattern were found to be 25% more likely to experience anxiety than women in the bottom third.
The scientists suggest this may be due to a lack of meat and fish at a time when a woman's nutritional requirements are higher than usual due to the demands of the foetus.
Women in the top third of the health-conscious dietary pattern were said to be 23% less likely to have high levels of anxiety when compared with women in the bottom third.
And they reported that those in the top third of the traditional diet pattern were 16% less likely to have high levels of anxiety when compared with women in the bottom third.
Copyright Press Association 2013