7 May, 2024 @ 17:37
1 min read

Children under 10 should avoid eating these types of fish, according to health agency in Spain

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Tartaki of bluefin tuna, with a wakame salad, egg roe ‘tobiko’ and mayonnaise wasabi

AS any parent of a small child will know, getting them to eat healthy foods such as fish can be something of a challenge. But even if you are lucky enough to have kids that love nothing more than some of Spain’s finest catches, there are a few that you should take particular care with. 

Pez espada, atún rojo and cazón – swordfish, bluefin tuna and dogfish – are fish that are not recommended for children under the age of 10. 

Despite being a good source of protein, essential nutrients and Omega-3 fatty acids, these fish can be risky to the health of the under-10s and pregnant women given their high mercury content. 

Large predatory fish, such as swordfish, bluefin tuna and dogfish, are prone to high levels of mercury due to human industrial activity, which sees the pollutant make its way into lakes, rivers and seas, and then into the digestive tracts of fish. 

Read more: Cult leader who ‘fed his followers mercury’ arrested in southern Spain

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Tartaki of bluefin tuna. Experts advise that even adults should monitor how much fish they consume if it may contain mercury.

Once ingested by humans, it can affect the nervous system, which is a particular issue for the under-10s, as well as for unborn babies, given that mercury can pass from the mother to a foetus via the placenta. 

The Aesan health agency in Spain, which belongs to the national Health Ministry and is in charge of promoting healthy lifestyles among citizens, recommends that adults don’t exceed more than three or four servings of fish that can contain mercury a week. 

As for children aged between 10 and 14, the limit should be 120 grams every month, while the under-10s should avoid them altogether. 

There are, of course, many health benefits to eating a fish such as tuna. But as the experts from Aesan point out, it is better consumed once the human body is better developed so that the benefits exceed the risks.

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