Calamari During Pregnancy Is It Safe To Eat?

5 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.

Once you become pregnant, your entire diet undergoes a complete change. You want to include only good and healthy food in your diet. A wholesome diet consists of a perfect balance of fresh veggies, fruits, whole grains, and seafood. This will ensure you have a healthy baby and normal pregnancy as far as possible. Seafood is essential for a healthy lifestyle. However, safety around the consumption of certain kinds of seafood due to the mercury composition may bother you during pregnancy period and make you apprehensive about consuming them. Calamari is one such seafood that you may be hesitant about consuming calamari during pregnancy. The good news is that calamari is wonderful seafood that is quite low in mercury content and can be safe to eat calamari during pregnancy. To know more about this, keep on reading.
What Is Calamari?
Calamari And Mercury
Eating Calamari During Pregnancy Is It Safe Or Not?
Nutritional Value And Benefits Of Calamari During Pregnancy
How To Consume Calamari while pregnant?
Precautions While Consuming Calamari During Pregnancy

What Is Calamari?

Calamari is actually Italian for Squid, which is excellent seafood high in omega 3 Fatty acids, proteins and, at the same time, low on sodium and saturated fats. It has been proven that around five ounces of calamari during pregnancy can be safely consumed every week.

Calamari And Mercury

The risk of mercury in fish is a concern during pregnancy due to its negative effects on the nervous system development of the unborn baby. Almost all varieties of fish contain some traces of mercury in them. Still, it is advisable to keep seafood as part of your pregnancy diet due to its numerous nutritional benefits. But you need to choose the safest option available carefully. Ensure that you stay away from fish like tilefish, swordfish, shark, marlin, and king mackerel. As far as calamari is concerned, it is low in mercury and is safe to consume calamari during pregnancy. Other low-mercury options include shrimp, crab, salmon, trout, scallop, etc. Restrict your consumption to not more than 12 ounces of these low mercury fish each week in your pregnancy diet to obtain maximum benefits.

Eating Calamari During Pregnancy Is It Safe Or Not?

You are consuming about five ounces of calamari during pregnancy. Every week five ounces are considered safe and are beneficial for your developing baby also.
Calamari is the Italian name for ‘squid,’ which has high nutritional value in it. Calamari is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, and other essential nutrients; and is low in sodium and saturated fat content also. What about the mercury levels, though in it?

Nutritional Value And Benefits Of Calamari During Pregnancy

Unlike many other kinds of seafood like swordfish and shark, calamari has immense nutritional value when consumed during pregnancy. This seafood is loaded with many nutrients and vitamins that are absolutely essential during this delicate phase.

  • Rich in proteins: A single serving of calamari has been found to have around 15gms of protein that meets a considerable amount of protein requirement during pregnancy, which is essential for healthy development and growth of your fetus. Protein aids the proper development of your fetus’s cells thereby adding to the little one’s weight
  • Loaded with Iron: Calamari is also packed with iron that is vital during the pregnancy period. Iron is the main essential during pregnancy and helps to increase your blood hemoglobin levels and also ensures a proper flow of blood through your uterine walls. It is also important in the formation of the red blood cells of the fetus
  • Vitamin C: Calamari has high amounts of Vitamin C which are vital for building your immunity levels and ensuring that unwanted infections are kept at bay
  • Packed with Vitamin B 12: This is one vitamin that is necessary for the proper growth and development of your unborn baby, especially the nervous system. Vitamin B 12 is absolutely important to avert any birth anomalies in your fetus and calamari is rich in vitamin B12
  • Vitamin A: Calamari is also packed with excellent quantities of Vitamin A that is important for the cognitive growth of your fetus. Vitamin A helps to sharpen your fetus’s brain. Thus calamari can be a wonderful addition to your pregnancy diet
  • Loaded with Zinc: This wonderful seafood also is rich in zinc that is yet another mineral that helps in the production of insulin and other enzymes in your unborn baby
  • Rich in Folate: The importance of folate during pregnancy need not be emphasized. Folic acid is vital in ensuring that neural anomalies in your fetus are averted. Calamari is rich in folate or folic acid which gives you one more reason to include this seafood in your pregnancy diet

How To Consume Calamari while pregnant?

Some guidelines you must follow while consuming the calamari during pregnant to obtain the best from this nutritious seafood is given below:

  • Avoid eating deep fry calamari during pregnancy. Deep fry reduces its nutritional value as well as adds unhealthy saturated fats into it, which may contribute to excessive weight gain for you.
  • Eat calamari, which cooks under steam so that the nutrients are intact in it, and is easy to digest in your digestive system.
  • Prepare calamari at home with fresh vegetables and other ingredients that can make tasty for you.
  • Sauté calamari makes a tasty snack in green salads.
  • Clean the calamari properly and cook it well.
  • Before you purchase calamari, check the expiry date, freshness of the product, and hygiene of the shop.

If you have allergic to calamari, then stay away from eating it during pregnancy. Before you start eating the seafood, make sure to consult your doctor as the doctor can suggest to you if you need it in your diet or not during pregnancy.
calamari in pregnancy

Precautions While Consuming Calamari During Pregnancy

A lot depends on how calamari is served. Given below are some simple guidelines that will help to ensure that you get maximum benefits out of this seafood when included in your pregnancy diet.

  • Ensure you do not eat deep fry calamari during pregnancy, as it totally reduces its nutritional value. Deep frying adds unwanted saturated fat which will only contribute to your already increasing weight during the pregnancy period
  • The best option would be to eat calamari steamed or just sautéed which not only tastes yummy but also provides you with its rich nutrient supply
  • You could add sautéed calamari to your green salads as a mid-day snack that you are sure to enjoy when hunger pang strikes you
  • Eating calamari prepared at home is, of course, a better and safer option rather than going to a restaurant to eat it
  • Ensure that the calamari you purchase is cleaned thoroughly and cooked well before eating
  • If you are buying calamari from a supermarket, ensure you check the expiry date and also its freshness and hygiene before you buy it
  • If you are allergic to seafood, you should avoid eating calamari so that unwanted adverse effects during pregnancy can be avoided
  • And last but not least; make sure your doctor gives you a green signal to eat calamari as he will be able to advise about the diet most suitable for you during this sensitive phase

So, the verdict is calamari is safe to consume during pregnancy but ensure that it is eaten in moderation. Make sure that you do not go overboard on this tasty seafood so that unnecessary side effects can be avoided. So go ahead and lookup for some wonderful recipes that will help you to incorporate calamari into your pregnancy diet.
Did you include calamari in your diet when you were pregnant? Do leave your experience in the comments section below.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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