Calamari during Pregnancy:Is it Safe?

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Pregnancy along with being a happy news also brings along with itself a list of several do’s and don’ts for a pregnant woman. During pregnancy it is important to make the right choice regarding what to eat what not to,  so as to support a healthy pregnancy. So, you must consult your doctor once before you include or exclude something in your diet. Talking of Calamari, it is one of the safest food items during pregnancy as seafood contains a large amount of nutrients. Generally certain seafoods are not recommended during pregnancy due to the mercury content in them,  but calamari is completely safe due to the low mercury content in calamari. Let’s explore more into the facts about calamari.

In this article:

What is Calamari?
Is it Safe for Pregnant Women?
Nutritional Value of Calamari
Precautions while Consuming Calamari during Pregnancy

calamari

All You Need to Know about Consuming Calamari during Pregnancy

What is Calamari?

Calamari is the Italian word for squid,  which is an amazing seafood. It is a storehouse of omega 3 fatty acids and proteins. The low content of sodium and saturated fats in calamari make it safe for weekly consumption of calamari during pregnancy.

Is it Safe for Pregnant Women?

Mercury has negative impact on the formation and development of the baby’s nervous system, so mercury contamination is a threat during pregnancy. Thus,the environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration advises pregnant women to refrain from eating seafood or shellfish due to the mercury content in it. But,  Calamari is said to be safe as long as it is fresh and properly cooked. So, it is advisable to buy calamari only from trustworthy vendors or eat in good restaurants that follow food safety standards.

The American Pregnancy Association suggests that one can eat up to two 6- ounce meals of calamari in a week. This will provide one with all the required nutrients and also keep the intake of mercury low.

Nutritional Value of Calamari

Calamari is not just safe but it also contains some of the key nutrients that is needed by a pregnant woman to support healthy pregnancy. It contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and protein. Here is a detailed insight of the nutritional value if Calamari.

  • Protein: 15 grams of protein is present in a single serving of calamari. It is sufficiently equal to a portion of protein requirement of a pregnant woman for the healthy growth of her baby. Thus, helping in the proper development of the fetus’s cells and weight gain of the baby.
  • Iron: calamari is also loaded with iron,  which is very helpful in increasing the hemoglobin level in the blood. It ensures the proper flow of blood through the walls of the uterus. Iron is also essential for the formation of the red blood cells of the fetus.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is vital for building of the immunity level in the body. Every hundred grams of calamari contains 4.2 mg of vitamin C. Thus,  maintaining the immunity of the body and ensuring that unwanted infections are avoided.
  • Vitamin B12: Amongst all the vitamin B complexes present in calamari,  Vitamin B12 is present in a large amount. Packed with Vitamin B12 calamari helps in the growth and development of the unborn baby and his nervous system. It is also essential to prevent any birth anomalies in the fetus.
  • Vitamin A: vitamin A is essential for the cognitive growth of the unborn baby. It is helpful in sharpening the brain of the fetus.  Thus, including calamari in your diet can provide your body enough amount of Vitamin A as 100 gm of calamari contains 35 IU of Vitamin A.
  • Zinc: Another nutrient present in Calamari is zinc. The 12 percent RDA of zinc in Calamari helps in the production of insulin and other enzymes in the body of the unborn baby. It helps in healing of wounds and growth and maintenance of the tissues
  • Folate: Folic acid is essential for preventing neural anomalies in the fetus. So the presence of folate or folic acid in calamari makes it a vital part of your diet.
  • Other Minerals: Along with these minerals Calamari also contains 16 percent RDA of copper(helps in forming Hemoglobin and keeps bones and blood vessels healthy); 27 percent RDA of phosphorus (strong bones and teeth); 8 percent RDA of magnesium and 63 percent RDA of Selenium (prevents oxidative stress and regulates thyroid hormone action).
  • Other Vitamins: Apart from Vitamin B12 several other vitamin B complexes are present in calamari, such as, riboflavin(25 percent RDA), Choline(12 percent RDA) and niacin(10 percent RDA). Riboflavin is helpful in energy metabolism and choline is helpful in averting birth defects and promote brain and memory development of the baby.

Precautions while Consuming Calamari during Pregnancy

Although calamari is considered safe for consumption during pregnancy,  a lot depends on how it is served. So let’s look into some precautions to take once you decide to include calamari in your diet.

  • Avoid eating deep fried calamari as it will lead to compromising with the nutritional value of calamari.
  • Steamed or sautèed calamari may not taste yummy but they are recommended during pregnancy owing to the rich nutritional supply.
  • You can add steamed calamari to your green salads as a part of your mid day snacks.
  • Eating homemade calamari is a safer option than eating at a restaurant.
  • Calamari should be cleaned thoroughly and cooked well before serving to remove the mercury content.
  • While buying calamari from the market you must ensure that it’s fresh,  hygienic and safe.
  • Always take your doctor’s advice before adding anything to your diet. Same goes in the case of adding calamari to your diet.
  • Never consume calamari if you are allergic to seafood.

Conclusion

So, these facts make it very evident that calamari is safe and healthy for pregnant women. Some other low-mercury seafood are shrimp, crab, salmon, trout, scallop, flounder, haddock and whitefish. But, taking any of these more than twelve ounces a week can be a little risky. So, enjoy your favourite calamari even during your pregnancy without any fears but with a bit of caution.Healthy Eating!  Happy Parenting!

References

https://www.workingmother.com/momlife/13647664/can-pregnant-women-eat-calamari/

https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/can-eat-calamari-pregnant-2679.html

https://www.livestrong.com/article/371144-can-you-eat-calamari-when-youre-pregnant/

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