Is It Safe to Eat Crab During Pregnancy?

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Crabs are one of the tastiest and also nutritious seafood because they contain proteins and Omega-3 polyunsaturated acids but no saturated fat. But are they good during pregnancy? Many good things become not-so-good during this time. However, this is not the case with crabs. In this article, we will discuss whether it is safe to eat crabs during pregnancy or not.

In this article:

Is It Safe to Eat Crab During Pregnancy?
Factors to Consider When Eating Crab While Pregnant
Health Benefits of Crab During Pregnancy
Can You Eat Snow Crab Legs while Pregnant?
Recommended Amount of Crab for Pregnant Women

Can Pregnant Women Eat Crab?

Yes, you can eat crab as long as it is hygienically made and properly cooked. You should not eat the organs and guts of shellfish and fish as they’ll have high levels of mercury. Check with your doctor before consuming crab, especially when your cholesterol levels are not under control.

is crab safe during pregnancy

Factors to Consider When Eating Crab While Pregnant

You need to take care when choosing crabs as your already overloaded system will have to struggle to fight with the harmful substances.

Choose King Crabs

In the case of crabs, the most secure choice during pregnancy is King crab. Other popular varieties include blue crab, snow crab, and Dungeness crab, but these aren’t considered as safe as king crabs because they’re high in mercury.

Take Advice from Fish Advisories

Contamination levels vary from one water body to another. You should be careful of crabs caught in local waters. Therefore you’ve got to see with the rules and native fish advisories whether the crab is safe to eat or not.

Avoid Raw Crab or Precooked Crab Dishes

Raw crab or pre-cooked crabs might be infected with microorganisms and parasites which will cause gastrointestinal disorder. They affect not only the mother’s health but also the child’s development.

Do Not Eat Undercooked Crab Meat

Undercooked meat is as hazardous as raw meat. So, never eat crab if it’s cooked insufficiently. In properly cooked crab, heat destroys the harmful microorganisms and parasites, which makes proper cooking of crabs so important.

Health Benefits of Crab During Pregnancy

Even as you concede to your food cravings, consider the wholesomeness of the food you eat during your pregnancy. Here are the advantages of eating crab but consult your doctor before eating it.

Aids Overall Development of the Fetus

Crabs happen to be a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, protein and vitamins D and A. This implies that eating crabs during pregnancy will promote your baby’s overall development.

Boosts Your Immunity

Amino acids and antioxidants, which happen to be present in crab meat help in improving your energy and immune levels during pregnancy.

Fights Anemia

Crabs contain healthy levels of iron. Iron protects you from pregnancy anemia. It also helps maintain healthy hemoglobin levels in the baby after delivery.

Rich in Calcium

The rich calcium levels present in crabs promote bone and teeth development within the unborn child, which makes crabs a good source of calcium.

Can You Eat Snow Crab Legs while Pregnant?

Snow crab legs contain a little amount of fat that’s sufficient for your body’s everyday needs. But, it also contains high sodium levels, which might be harmful if you’re taking in excess. Therefore, you ought to make sure you cook them properly with healthy toppings. You can cook them by steaming, boiling, barbecuing or frying but they can’t be eaten half-cooked or raw.

Recommended Amount of Crab for Pregnant Women

Pregnant women can typically eat up to six ounces of crab twice every week. King crab contains the lowest mercury levels and it’s the simplest option. Other crabs like blue crab, snow crab, and Dungeness crab contain higher levels of mercury, and therefore you should consume less than six ounces of these crabs per month.

Recipes

Crab Cakes

You will need:

  • 1/3 cup of dry bread crumbs
  • ¼cup of seeded and diced green bell pepper
  • ¼cup of seeded and diced red bell pepper
  • 2 thinly sliced green onions
  • 4 chopped sprigs of fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp of hot pepper sauce
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tbsp. of mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ a tsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp of Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp of seasoning
  • ¼ tsp of dry mustard
  • ¼ tsp of onion powder
  • 6 ounce of drained and flaked crab meat
  • ½ a cup of dry bread crumbs
  • 1 cup of canola oil to fry the cakes

How to:

  • In a big pan, heat the oil and add the flattened crab cakes one by one. Do not add too many at a time, as it will make it difficult to turn the cakes in the oil while you are frying them. Cook it on one side till it turns golden brown, and then flip to the other side and fry till it turns golden brown too.
  • Now add the crab meat into the mix and toss-up again. Using your hands, take the mix in your palms and roll it up into small balls. Now flatten the balls to form small cakes.
  • Mix 1/3rd of the bread crumbs, the green bell pepper, the red bell pepper, the green onions and the parsley in a big bowl. Now you have to add the egg whites, the mayonnaise, the lemon juice, the Worcestershire sauce, and the Dijon mustard.
  • Next, add the seasoning and the dry mustard and give it all a toss. Now you have to add the onion powder and mix it all up again. Try to make sure you mix everything well so that everything is coated properly.
  • Place the remaining breadcrumbs on a plate and roll the crab cakes in the bread crumbs to get a crunchy texture once they are fried.
  • Take the cakes out of the pan and dry them on a paper towel before serving.

Garlic Crab Legs

You will need:

  • 3 and a ½ pounds of legs of Alaska king crab along with the shell
  • 6 ears of fresh corn
  • 1 and a ½ cups of butter
  • 3 tsp of minced garlic
  • 1/8th tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp of seasoning or as per taste
  • Water

How to:

  • Add water in a large pan and bring it to a boil. Once the water starts to boil, add the crab legs and the corn in the pan. You have to keep boiling it till the corn has turned tender, and the crab legs turn opaque and are flaky.
  • Sometimes, the crab can finish cooking before the corn does, so make sure you keep checking about once every five minutes for the same. Once it is done, drain off the water. Use a sharp knife to make a slit in each of the crab leg shells.
  • In another pan, melt the butter and add the garlic, the red pepper, and the seasoning. You have to stir it all together and then add the cooked crab and the corn. After this is done, mix everything well and sauté it for about five to ten minutes.

Happy eating!

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6104785/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6033312/

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