calamari in pregnancy

Can Pregnant Women Eat Calamari?

Pregnancy requires you to eat a healthy diet made with nutritious foods that supports not just you, but also your baby. Looking at the high concentration of Omega 2 fatty acids, proteins, and other nutrients, Calamari makes a healthy addition in your pregnancy diet. It provides all the necessary nutrients that your growing baby requires.

However, due to the presence of mercury in it, many expectant women are unsure whether to eat it or not. This article will tell you how safe is to Calamari, and the right ways to incorporate in your pregnancy diet.

Calamari and Nutrition

Calamari has a high nutritional value. It has plenty of proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, folate, vitamin A, a B vitamin and various other essential nutrients that supports a healthy pregnancy. It is low in saturated fat, and sodium. It is healthy when eaten in steamed, or sautéed, or grilled form with less oil.

A three-ounce serving of this dish offer 15 grams of protein, 1.48 mg of zinc, 0.85 mg of iron that is needed for forming cells, producing insulin, and enzymes in fetus, and maintaining right levels of RBC, respectively. Presence of B vitamins especially folate, and vitamin B12 aids in the prevention of birth defects in the unborn baby. However, mercury content in it makes it a serious concern among pregnant ladies.

Calamari and Mercury content

Almost all types of seafoods have some amounts of mercury. Its high presence in food, can negatively impact the central nervous system of the baby. In regards to mercury content, Calamari is found to have the least amount of it.

This makes it the safest foods among all other varieties of sea foods. When you eat it on an occasional basis, and in moderate amounts, it serves as a healthy addition to your diet.

Certain seafoods have high concentration of mercury tilefish, marlin, king mackerel, and swordfish. It is important to stay away from these foods to guard yourself against its harmful effects.

What is the recommended dose of Calamari?

Practice portion control when you plan to eat Calamari in pregnancy. Doctors permit to eat up to 5 ounces of Calamari per week. It is considered to be ideal during pregnancy and helpful for sound development of your baby. Eating it in this amount will preserve its goodness, and low intake of mercury will save you from any side effects.

How to cook Calamari the right way?

Below are a few guidelines that you should follow to get the maximum nutritional benefits this healthy seafood:

  • Properly clean it. Cook it thoroughly to destroy any bacteria present in it. Eat freshly prepared Calamari with your choice of fresh vegetables, and ingredients to make it delicious for you. A freshly bought, and prepared Calamari is completely safe to consume. It can be eaten in grilled, deep fried, sautéed, or boiled in the stew form. Whichever method you choose, ensure that it is thoroughly cooked.
  • If you are eating it at a restaurant, ensure that it is reputed, and trusted. It should ensure best level of hygiene, healthy cooking methods, and adheres to food safety standards.
  • If you are buying it from outside, and want to prepare it at home, then ensure that it is best in quality. Check the date of expiry, hygiene, and freshness of the product, before purchasing it from the store.
  • Only purchase it from reliable vendors. It should be fresh. Cook it within twenty-four hours from buying it.
  • Do not go for deep-fried version of Calamari as it is low in nutritional value, and high in unhealthy saturated fat. It will make you prone to weight gain, and heart ailments. Choose healthier varieties like sautéed, or steamed calamari with fresh vegetables. Eat with a tossed green salad, and brown rice.
  • If you have any sort of allergy towards it, then it is advised to not consume it.
  • Also, as pregnancy is a critical phase, it is advised to always consult your doctor before you include it in your diet.

Also read: What fish to eat and avoid in pregnancy?


Eating a balanced diet provides the required amount of essential minerals, and vitamins that your body needs on a daily basis. Calamari is completely safe in pregnancy when you eat it in moderate amounts.

Prefer high quality Calamari, and cook it thoroughly so that it is devoid of any side-effects. This dish can be eaten in various delectable varieties to make your pregnancy diet delicious, and healthy. So, go ahead and relish these varieties as an infrequent treat in judicious portion sizes.

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