One outstanding source of protein is fish. It is prepared in various ways; boiled, fried, roasted, or grilled. Catfish is a ray-finned fish found in freshwater environments. It is considered to have a high concentration of nutrients and is also notable for being low in calories.
Should pregnant women eat catfish pepper soup? This article elucidates the nutritional value of catfish, its health benefits and potential side effects in pregnancy.
What is catfish pepper soup?
Catfish pepper soup is a delicacy typical to Nigerians and cuts across some parts of West Africa. It is typically known for its spicy broth that appeals to the taste buds. It is prepared using a specific type of fish, Catfish, known as "point and kill," as its chief ingredient.
This mouthwatering dish may serve as an appetiser during ceremonies. It can also be eaten alone, with any swallow of choice or boiled rice, boiled yam, agidi or any meal you choose.
The ingredients used for its preparation include but are not limited to catfish, fresh pepper, nutmeg, scent leaves, tomatoes, seasoning cubes, uda, ehuru and any other spice of preference.
During preparation, the catfish is first carefully and thoroughly washed with salt, lime and hot water to remove its slime and specks of sand. Afterwards, boil over a fire with the desired quantity of water and ingredients.
Nutritional value of catfish
Catfish is a good source of protein, essential vitamins and minerals. A 100-gram serving of catfish can provide the following;
- Total lipid fat(2.85g)
- Magnesium (28mg)
- Potassium(419 mg)
- Sodium (50mg)
- Fatty acids(0.636g)
Health benefits of catfish pepper soup in pregnancy
Asides from serving as a relief to respiratory issues, catfish pepper soup, has several benefits in pregnancy. They include:
- It is a wonderful source of protein: As a lean fish, catfish is an excellent source of protein. It serves the purpose of building the body tissues and muscles.
- Aids great vision: Eating catfish pepper soup can help improve the health condition of your baby's eyes and lower the risk of visual impairment due to omega-3 acids.
- Has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties: These properties are found in the spices used and help to combat free radicals that are not right for the body.
- It boosts brain performance: Omega-3 in fish and other seafood helps develop your baby's brain.
- Improves cardiovascular health: The omega-3 content in catfish helps reduce inflammation, improve the muscles, and maintain a healthy heart.
Is it safe to eat catfish pepper soup in early pregnancy?
Catfish is the best kind of fish that can be safely consumed in moderation by everyone and can be eaten during and after pregnancy. It is rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals, ideal for the formation and development of the baby.
Pregnant women are susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency. A serving of catfish pepper soup may yield about 69% of the daily recommended ingestion of vitamin B12. The iron content equally helps to boost blood production, thereby preventing anaemia. Also, the omega-3 fatty acids in catfish are essential for developing the foetus.
It is often rumoured that consuming spicy meals at the early stage of pregnancy leads to a miscarriage. However, it is safe to say such is unfounded and should be debunked as a myth, as no scientific evidence supports the claim. There is nothing wrong with eating catfish pepper soup at any stage of pregnancy. The spices used are generally safe for consumption, but consume cautiously; too much can cause an adverse effect.
Catfish pepper soup alternatives
In cases of allergic reactions or mere preference, there are other alternatives for catfish, like chicken pepper soup, goat meat pepper soup or assorted meat pepper soup. However, of the mentioned, catfish remains the healthiest due to omega-3 fat.
Does catfish pepper soup have any side effects?
Excessive consumption of catfish pepper soup may cause allergic reactions like hives, nausea and bowel upset in some persons. Also, natural/freshwater catfish is more nutritious than homegrown.
Catfish reared locally can harm your health because they are cultivated with hormonal feeds filled with steroids and other toxic chemicals to make them grow and yield profit. These chemicals are cancerous. It can be contaminated with mercury, a toxic substance that poses serious health issues to pregnant women. It is best to take it in moderation.
When cooking and eating catfish pepper soup, always ensure it is properly cooked, as low-processed or undercooked meals can give chances to foodborne diseases. Also, take note of any symptoms of an allergic reaction after consumption or with skin contact.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Can I eat catfish pepper soup in my first trimester?
Catfish pepper soup is safe for consumption in all trimesters of pregnancy.
Will catfish pepper soup make my baby have strong bones?
It most likely will because it contains calcium which contributes to the formation of bones.
Can I eat fried catfish?
You can eat fried catfish during pregnancy but in moderation.
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