You are at a restaurant and going through the menu; your eyes are drawn to the shrimp. And as it’s been a while since you had some, you can’t seem to settle on any other meal.
Typically, pregnancies and seafood don’t go together, which makes you wonder Can pregnant women eat cooked shrimp?
Pregnancy comes with unique cravings, and we usually find ourselves at crossroads on what’s good for the baby and what’s tasty to the mouth. So, is it okay to have some pieces of cooked shrimp on your plate?
Yes, hun, you can have your shrimp!
Furthermore, it comes with beneficial nutrients that are good for you and your growing baby. However, you may have to watch out for the amount and number of times you consume it.
Can pregnant women eat shrimp?
What you need to know about eating cooked shrimp during pregnancy
If you love seafood, you are probably tired of ‘seafood is a no-go zone for pregnant women.’ Although it is true, shrimp is undoubtedly an exception.
In support, the FDA recommends seafood for pregnant and breastfeeding mums thanks to the significant nutrients.
But that isn’t a card to go all-in on seafood meals.
You need to know the kind of seafood that is suitable for you.
Why is seafood discouraged for women eating for two? Some of them contain a high level of mercury, which is unquestionably harmful.
After consumption, excess mercury will find its way to the placenta, posing a threat to your developing baby’s nervous system.
To ensure a healthy baby, you may have to avoid the swordfish, king mackerel, shark, fresh tuna, orange roughly, and tilefish.
How about shrimp?
Shrimp belongs to the group that contains negligible mercury, making it safe.
You could also consider canned tuna, tilapia, cod, trout, salmon, pollack, and catfish.
If your cravings seem to be leaning on the seafood lane, it may be best to know the safest amount to take.
Take two or three servings for each week and ensure it doesn’t go beyond 8 to 12ounces. If you have to weigh your seafood intake, so be it! But everything to keep the baby safe is of at most importance.
What are the benefits of shrimp to expectant mothers?
Your doctor, friends, and family will encourage you to have a balanced diet, especially during pregnancy, for the baby’s development, and that is how it should be.
It may even be best to come up with a diet plan that your nutritionist can approve of. Explore these interesting ideas on what pregnant women can eat for breakfast.
And including shrimp and other recommended seafood may be a good idea, thanks to the essential nutrients and vitamins they gift you. These include omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA and EPA. Ever wondered why prenatal vitamins include them?
They minimize the chances of facing a preterm birth at 37 weeks or even less.
Furthermore, an adequate intake of nutrients ensures your baby is not born underweight.
That’s not even all. Omega-3 fatty acids also have a hand in the fetal brain and eye development, together with good eyesight.
Therefore, arming yourself with omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is probably a good idea.
Moreover, seafood, shrimp included are also good sources of protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin B-2, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Let’s not get started on the benefits of iron during pregnancy.
It helps the body generate enough blood for you and your baby. In turn, this combats anemia and increases your energy levels, which you badly need at this time.
Precautions to keep in mind
As I had said earlier, pregnancy presents weird cravings, and raw seafood could be one of them.
However, you are highly discouraged as it lowers your immunity system. Whether raw or not fully cooked, please stay away from it like a pandemic. For uncooked shrimp, it tends to be gray.
Failure to which foodborne diseases could be the next thing on your problems list.
And since pregnancy is a sensitive period, getting sick may only make the experience worse. Moreover, that is keeping your baby at risk.
Therefore, you need to be off-limits for uncooked seafood, be it raw sashimi, oysters, sushi, or ceviche. As you make your order the next time, it may be best to confirm if they are fully cooked.
Sounds unfair to sushi lovers!
Fortunately, most sushi restaurants have cooked variants that may include crab or tempura shrimp.
At the same time, ensuring that the eatery has an excellent reputation and safety standards is essential. You could also mention that you are expectant; it could help.
A better and sure alternative is preparing the shrimp yourself.
You can start by rinsing them in cold water, then get rid of the heads, shells, legs, tails, and intestinal tract.
Rinse your hands thoroughly afterward to avoid ingesting any potential bacteria in raw shrimp. This way, you will cook it exhaustively and at an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit or 62.8 degrees Celsius.
This means you may have to include a food thermometer in your following shopping list.
Once cooked, shrimp should turn milky white. I know you probably feel weary most times, especially in the third trimester, but you could get someone to help you.
Can you take cold shrimp?
Yes! A shrimp cocktail is more than okay, provided it’s thoroughly cooked in advance.
Where do you get your seafood? Please do not go for a fishing expedition and prepare it for dinner.
It is advisable to check in with the regional fish advisories as pollution may contaminate some water sources. With that in mind, it’s safe to get your shrimp from the grocery stores or fish markets that have a good rating.
The higher the rating, the safer for you and the baby.
One last thing, Can pregnant women eat cooked shrimp?
To quiet the rumors, pregnant women can eat cooked shrimp! Furthermore, the FDA supports it.
The omega-3 fatty acids it provides are suitable for you and the baby.
Apart from shrimp, you have various options from canned tuna, tilapia, cod, trout, salmon, pollack, and catfish. Provided they are cooked well, satisfy your cravings for seafood.
However, you need to avoid taking it daily and instead stick to the recommended intake.