I keep hearing that women who are pregnant should avoid fish that are high in mercury. Are there specific types of fish that pregnant women should avoid?
There has been a lot of press lately on the risks associated with high mercury intake, particularly to pregnant women. If a woman is exposed to high levels of mercury while she is pregnant, both she and the baby can be at risk. A high level of mercury during pregnancy has been linked to developmental delays and nervous system damage to the baby.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration recommend that pregnant women, those who may become pregnant and women who are nursing avoid consuming fish that are high in mercury. Their recommendations include:
Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury.
Eat up to 12 ounces per week of fish and shellfish that are low in mercury.
Be careful when purchasing tuna. Light tuna has less mercury than albacor...
<p><strong>What Is Constipation? </strong></p>
<p>Constipation is more a complaint than a disorder—in fact, it is the most common gastrointestinal complaint in the United States. Constipation is characterized by infrequent bowel movements with stools that are often hard and sometimes painful to pass. The condition results when intestinal contractions slow down, allowing more time for the bowels to remove water from food wastes.</p>
<p>The normal frequency of bowel movements varies greatly from person to person—it is perfectly normal for some people to have three bowel movements a day, while others have as few as three a week. Constipation involves the passage of hard stools less than three times in a week, usually accompanied by bloating and discomfort. Any change in a person’s usual frequency of bowel movements, however, may be a sign of a more serious underlying disorder.</p>
Vegetables, fruits (especially dried fruits), and some cereals (whole wheat, bran, or oatmeal) are excellent sources of fiber. It is easy to remember that the harder a vegetable is (like celery), the more fiber it has. For fiber to work, it is very important to drink plenty of water to help with the passage of stool in the intestines.
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