Seaweed During Pregnancy – Is it Safe Have, Health Benefits and Risk Associated

4 min read

Written by Ambili Kartha

Ambili Kartha

Seaweed During Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, you want to be extra cautious about what you consume. Anything you eat can find its way to your developing fetus and sometimes can affect it negatively. To avoid such unnecessary complications, it is always better to ensure you consume only pregnancy safe foods. What about seaweed? Can you consume seaweed during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, many varieties of fish or seafood are off the diet chart as they may not be safe for the developing fetus. Many fish contain high amounts of mercury, which is not safe during pregnancy. So, it is natural to worry about seaweed, another superfood from the ocean with many health benefits to it. Let’s look a little closer to understand how safe or unsafe seaweed is during pregnancy.

In This Article

What is Seaweed?

Seaweed is algae that grows in water bodies. You can find it in seas, rivers, and oceans, growing on rock bodies. Seaweed is rich in many nutrients like vitamins A,B, C, and K, iodine, magnesium, zinc, iron, etc. The high concentration of such essential nutrients make seaweed a superfood. Seaweed comes in black, brown, red, and green in color. The nutritional value differs from color to color.

Is it Safe to Have Seaweed During Pregnancy?

Is it Safe To Have Seaweed When Pregnant_ _

Some variants of seaweed may contain high amounts of iodine in them. Hence, it is important to consume seaweed in moderation, to avoid excess consumption of iodine. 

Seaweed comes in different colors and varieties, different varieties have different concentrations of iodine in them. 

  • Brown seaweed has the highest amount of iodine in them. So, monitor your intake.
  • Red seaweed looks green in color and is one of the most commonly found seaweed variants. These are safer than the brown variant, for consumption during pregnancy.
  • Green seaweed is perfectly safe for consumption during pregnancy. It even offers multiple benefits for those with digestive issues and constipation during pregnancy.

Nutritional Value of Seaweed

Every 100g of dried seaweed contains-

Nutrients Value
Calories 306
Sodium 102 mg
Total Carbohydrates 81 gm
Dietary Fiber 7.7 gm
Protein 6.2 gm

They hardly have any cholesterol or fat.

Amazing Health Benefits of Seaweed During Pregnancy

Health Benefits Of Seaweed In Pregnancy

Some of the most important health benefits of regular consumption of seaweed during pregnancy are-

  • Rich source of proteins such as spirulina and chlorella and contains all essential amino acids.
  • Helps reduce depressive symptoms in pregnancy.
  • A very good source of vitamin B12 for vegans and vegetarians.
  • Rich source of vitamin C which helps improve immunity and increase iron absorption – both of which are very important during pregnancy.
  • Contains many minerals like iodine, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, potassium, and even calcium.
  • Rich in iodine – deficiency of which can lead to neurological impairments in the baby.
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties that help pregnant women, as many pregnant women suffer from inflammations and joint aches.
  • It contains omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for the baby’s brain development.
  • Rich in antioxidants that help fight free radicals in the body and improve overall health.
  • Contains high amounts of fiber, that helps relieve pregnancy related constipation.

[Read : Fiber Rich Foods During Pregnancy]

Are There Any Risks Associated With Eating Seaweed During Pregnancy?

Just like any other food item, seaweed has its own set of risks despite all the benefits it offers. Consuming seaweed carries the following risks-

1. It Is Rich in Iodine 

Excess iodine during pregnancy can reach the baby. It can induce hypothyroidism in the baby and affect its mental and physical development.

[Read : Iodine For Babies]

2. Rich in Vitamin K 

A high amount of vitamin K may interfere with blood thinners given to many pregnant women. 

3. High  Potassium Content

People with a heart or a kidney condition must avoid seaweed as it is rich in potassium. Your kidneys may not effectively filter out the potassium, leading to other complications.

Safety Measures to Consider While Having Seaweed

Safety Measures To Consider While Having Seaweed

Here are some safety measures to ensure your consumption of seaweed during pregnancy does not have a negative impact on you, your pregnancy, or the developing baby-

  • Consume seaweed in moderation
  • If you want to increase the quantity, change to a variant low in iodine
  • Check with your doctor to rule out the possibility of seaweed interfering with your pregnancy medications
  • If you are already suffering from thyroid issues, it is best to avoid this superfood
  • If you are consuming salads with seaweed, check the type of seaweed they use in it
  • The sodium content in seaweed can cause bloating
  • Dried seaweed sold as snacks may contain other ingredients unsafe for pregnant women

Seaweed is a superfood that can help pregnant women meet many of their nutritional requirements. When you are pregnant, you should always be mindful of the quantity and the variant you consume. When you consume seaweed in limited quantities, it can be very beneficial during pregnancy. And, always check with your doctor before including any new food in your diet, like seaweed, during pregnancy.

[Read : Sodium During Pregnancy]


1. How Much Brown Seaweed Can You Consume During Pregnancy?

Brown seaweed is extremely high in iodine and a little excess consumption can have negative effects. Do not consume more than one serving per week. Ensure you do not exceed the daily iodine limit of 220mcg.

2. Is Seaweed High in Mercury?

No, seaweed contains low amounts of mercury unlike many fish varieties. So, you need not worry about consuming too much mercury while pregnant.

Read Also: Is It Safe To Eat Salmon During Pregnancy?

Ambili Kartha,B. Sc Zoology (St Xavier’s college for women)

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