Pregnancy is a time you get crazy cravings and an urge to eat a particular dish poorly. Pregnancy is also a time when you need to be extremely careful of what you eat as many food items are known to affect pregnancy in many ways – from minor allergic reactions to more severe problems like preterm labor and miscarriages. So if you are craving for shrimp during pregnancy and if you are wondering if it is safe. Can pregnant women eat shrimp, this article will help you. Read on the article given below.
What are the Benefits of Eating Shrimp during Pregnancy?
Can pregnant women eat shrimp? Shrimp is a portion of healthy food and also a storehouse of nutritional values. Shrimp is equipped with plenty of vitamins and minerals that are good for you and your baby. Find out what is the benefit of eating shrimp during pregnancy:
Shrimp is an all-round healthy option that has low-fat content in it, so there are no concerns regarding weight gain at an unhealthy level.
Shrimp has a high level of protein, which is key to fetal growth also. A majority of the shrimp edible portion is water (75%). Out of the remaining 25%, 80% is proteins. And the good thing about eating shrimps is that it is rich in amino acids also.
For every 100 gm of shrimps you ate, you gain 1.8gm of iron, which is significant for overall baby growth and development. Iron also reduces the risk of anaemia in pregnancy and helps with blood supply to the baby. It also reduces the risk of the premature birth of the baby.
A good source of omega-3:
Another element key to your pregnancy that can be found in shrimp is high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. What are these? Nutrients help in the development of your child’s nervous system and eyes. It contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and also studies showing that women who consume safe seafood give birth to a baby with more enhanced cognitive skills.
Skip the pills:
Go all naturals with shrimp during pregnancy and do away with the vitamins and minerals supplement such as calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium. These are essentials to stimulate bone health, fluid balance, and also regulate the production of enzymes. The 100g of fresh shrimp above would equip you with 100mg calcium, 40μg of selenium (boosts mother’s immunity), and also 300mg phosphorus. This yummy seafood delicacy also contains the ideal amounts of vitamins A, D, E, B3, and B12.
What Are Some Of The Things To Keep In Mind While Consuming Shrimp During Pregnancy?
The reason why many people worry about consuming shrimp during pregnancy is that many aquatic delicacies (e.g., seafood) contain high levels of mercury, and this can be toxic to the nervous system, especially in pregnant women. Although shrimp contains less amount of mercury, you need to take care of the following aspects when you consume shrimp during pregnancy:
It is better to limit your consumption to 200 gm to 350 gm per week. This is roughly two or three meals
Make sure you have thoroughly cooked shrimp – avoid half-cooked or raw shrimps in dishes such as salads, sushi, and sashimis. This is because:
Uncooked versions might contain parasites and worms that might be harmful to you and the baby
Uncooked shrimp also includes antibiotics and listeria, which can even lead to miscarriage
Remember that mercury is seen in varying amounts in different water bodies. This means that you need to do a bit of research and find out the source of your shrimps and make sure it is not alerted as a high mercury water body.
What Are The Ways To Ensure Shrimp Can Be Consumed Safely?
One of the most important things to remember is to clean shrimp very thoroughly before cooking. Use warm water to clean the shrimp properly. Remember to remove the intestinal tract and vein at the back of the shrimp
If you are using frozen shrimp, make sure you thaw it properly to ensure proper deveining. A pointed vessel can be used to devein shrimp
Shrimps lose the harmful bacteria when you cook it at 74 degrees, so make sure you do that. It is best to boil
Since shrimps are not uniformly shaped, make sure you inspect the entire shrimp after cooking to ensure that the whole body parts are cooked
The usual Indian way of cooking – whether as a curry or in a tandoor – are safe ways to consume shrimp. It is best to cook shrimp at home and not have it from a restaurant because you cannot be sure of the source of the shrimps or if it has been cleaned and cooked thoroughly
If you live in any of the Asian countries, you would have seen shrimp paste condiments that are very popular. These are also safe to consume. They can be bought in raw form from any grocery store and later cooked at home. These can be added to rice, salads or beans
Ensure that shrimp is not only prepared but also stored well
If Shrimp During Pregnancy Are Safe, Are All Seafood Safe To Consume During Pregnancy?
No. As we mentioned before, some of the fishes contain high amounts of mercury, which is converted into methylmercury, which is toxic to the human body, especially impacting the nervous system. There are four fishes you absolutely must avoid during pregnancy and lactation. These are:
Tilefish (especially from the Gulf of Mexico)
Apart from this, it is also wise to avoid fishes from any local water body that is known to be contaminated. If you are worried about missing out on the nutrition these fishes contain, you can always opt for the fishes with low mercury content. These include salmon, tuna, cod, catfish, and even shrimp. If these are not some of the fishes you like to include in your diet, then you might want to ask your gynaecologist about adding Omega 3 – supplements like cod-liver oil capsules to your daily intake. Remember to follow the safety guidelines before adding shrimp during pregnancy diet so that you can keep all worries at the baby and enjoy it thoroughly. So mommies, don’t forget to let us know if you had shrimp during pregnancy, and in what ways did you add it to your pregnancy meal. Do leave your experiences in the comments section below.