Fishes are healthy containing a lot of nutrients that our body can hardly get from just any other foods. However, there are some fishes that contain significantly high amounts of an element known as mercury and this makes the risk associated with their consumption higher than the benefits they can provide.
Mercury is a naturally occurring heavy metal that can be seen in the air where they mix with carbon or water droplets, in the soil as well as in the water bodies. When they get into the waterbodies they normally contaminate fishes as well as planktons so small fishes can consume contaminated planktons and end up getting consumed by bigger fishes and the cycle continues. Bigger fishes are known to contain this heavy metal in large proportions.
This metal known as mercury is toxic and can cause several health effects in the body depending on the consumption or exposure quantity as well as your sensitivity to it. Exposure to mercury in food could cause neurological and behavioral issues and when you’re exposed to extremely high amounts of mercury from food or other sources, it can result to severe health crises such as kidney damage, lungs damage, CVS breakdown, digestive tract abnormalities.
These fishes with severe health damage potentials include
This species of fish known as tuna can hold an average mercury load of 0.689 ppm and a high load of 1.816 ppm.
They are among the highest sources of mercury with an average mercury load measuring 0.995 ppm and highest loads measuring 3.22 ppm.
The king mackerel has an average of 0.73 ppm of mercury. This species can reach 1.67 ppm in some cases.
Like I wrote earlier, seafoods like fish are important to the body because of the nutrients they provide. These nutrients include omega 3s, vitamin D, vitamin B12 etcetera. Thus we shouldn’t discriminate them totally. There are some fishes with relatively low levels of mercury concentrations. Some of them include –
It’s important to note that overconsumption of these fishes can still increase their concentrations in the body leading to their possible implications coming forth. Thus, their consumption should be at most twice a week.