Every woman tries to eat as correctly and fully as possible with a conscious approach to pregnancy. The question arises: “what can you eat during the gestation period, and what not?” Seafood is extremely healthy, but is it safe to eat shrimp while pregnant? These products can harm the baby due to the high concentration of mercury.
Shrimps are sometimes referred to as dubious seafood. Let us consider in more detail information about shrimp and their likely harm and benefits during pregnancy.
Should you eat shrimp while pregnant?
Shrimp can be eaten by pregnant women with basic and individual precautions. Shrimps are harmless and will become the richest and most nutritious part of the menu with the right processing, preparation, and choice of product.
Do not use shrimp as a complete meal replacement or daily diet. Eat them in reasonable amounts and only when freshly prepared. It is an excellent source of iodine, omega fatty acids, protein, and vitamins for pregnant women.
Benefits of shrimp for pregnant women
Pregnant women do not have strict dietary restrictions. You don’t have to cut out your favorite seafood completely. Here is an example of the most obvious benefits of shrimp:
Source of Protein – Shrimp meat is an ideal source of easily digestible protein. Its constituent amino acids are the basis for the construction of tissues growing inside the body. Fetal growth is impossible without high-quality protein.
A storehouse of vitamins – Shrimp are quite high in vitamin B12. It plays an important role in the absorption of iron. Red blood cells (erythrocytes) are formed thanks to this vitamin. This improves hemoglobin synthesis. Shrimps contain vitamin D. It helps to better absorb calcium, and maintain healthy bones, teeth, and joints. There is vitamin E provides a healthy state of the epithelium of the uterus.
Wide mineral composition – Shrimps contain a large number of useful minerals: iodine, selenium, potassium, chromium, and magnesium. The concentration of these elements far exceeds their quantity in meat. This product contains many other useful elements such as sodium, phosphorus, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, fluorine, etc.
Omega 3 – Seafood is an indispensable source of fatty acids. Omega-3s are an important component for maintaining healthy skin, proper functioning of the heart muscle, and strengthening the immune system. A wide range of their positive effects on the body is priceless.
What can be dangerous shrimp during pregnancy?
It cannot be said that it is possible to eliminate all risks when eating shrimp during the gestation period. There are several likely negative qualities of this product:
Cholesterol – Shrimp can raise blood cholesterol levels. This property is dangerous for those women whose cholesterol levels were initially high. Abuse of shrimp can cause damage to blood vessels. High cholesterol in pregnancy is normal. Make sure that the indicators do not jump over the mark of 15 mmol / l.
Allergic reactions – It is better to use shrimp with caution, having a hypersensitivity to seafood. This is a rather risky product that often causes serious allergic reactions, up to anaphylactic shock. Avoid shrimp if you notice a rash, swelling, or other symptoms.
The content of mercury and other harmful elements – Always keep an eye on the source of seafood. Some reservoirs contain a lot of carcinogens and dangerous metals. Mercury levels are quite high in some regions and can be deposited in shrimp. Arsenic is no less dangerous. It is often found in questionably caught fish and shellfish.
Parasites – Shrimps can have parasites like all living organisms. Some of them pose a direct threat to health. Many shellfish, crabs, and shrimp may contain Angiostrongylus cantonensis. They are the causative agents of angiostrongyliasis. A dangerous disease affects the human brain and nervous system causing meningitis. Poorly processed shrimp are potentially dangerous.
Which shrimp to choose?
More than 100 kinds of shrimp come to the shelves of shops and markets. The most popular and in demand are tiger, king, and northern shrimps. It is believed that tiger shrimps are healthier than king shrimps. This is due to their size and higher concentration of omega acids, protein and trace elements. These large shrimp are inferior in terms of their taste and ecological qualities.
The most “clean” in composition and tasty are small northern shrimps. This is because they live in the North Seas where it is very cold and environmentally friendly and there is a lot of wild plankton. These shrimp do not accumulate a lot of heavy metals and are often more harmless. They have a pleasant sweetish taste and iodine smell.
Cold water shrimp are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They must be non-industrial and live in a natural environment. Then their benefits are doubled.
Precautions When Eating Shrimp
The harm from shrimp is minimal if you do not use them as a daily dietary product during the gestation period. Use precautions when using this product:
Avoid raw shrimp – Shrimp can cause poisoning if poorly processed without thermal exposure. At best, it will just be vomiting or diarrhea. An intestinal infection that is in no way compatible with pregnancy at worst. Processing is also important for the fight against parasites. Do not eat sushi or salads that contain raw seafood.
Buy the product only in trusted places – Never use the services of spontaneous markets. You should see under what conditions the shrimp was stored and how they look and if there is an extra smell. Places of sale must have a good reputation rating.
Do not eat pickled food – The quality of shrimp in the marinade is questionable by all experts in proper nutrition. You can easily hide a product of a poor quality or even completely spoiled with spices and marinade. Give preference to raw foods for later cooking when choosing shrimp.
Don’t overeat – You should not eat 1-2 lbs at once if you want shrimp. Be content with small amounts. The concentration of iodine and other metals may be too high and it is not safe for health.
In what quantity can shrimp be consumed during pregnancy?
Shrimp should not be part of your daily diet. This product can be part of separate dishes or go as a pleasant snack. You can use them no more than 2-3 times a week, like a sea fish. The optimal number of these inhabitants of the deep sea should not exceed 0.25 lb per day. This refers to already peeled and ready-made shrimp.
Shrimps can be an ingredient in salads, rolls, and sushi, paella. You can eat them separately with rice and soy sauce. Many people make a shrimp smoothie and drink it like a protein shake. This is a wonderful and very healthy drink for athletes and pregnant women. It is extremely rich in protein, amino acids, fats, and vitamins.
How to cook shrimp for pregnant women?
It is better for women in the position to use more thorough processing of shrimp. First of all, they need to be washed under running water. Further, it is recommended to either pour boiling water over and let stand in it or boil for 5-7 minutes.
After that, you can start the main cooking. Shrimps are most often fried in butter or olive oil. Remember that if there was a preliminary heat treatment, then you do not need to fry for a long time. Do this until browned and remove from the stove, otherwise, the shrimp will become too tough.
What shrimp should be avoided during pregnancy?
It is worth paying special attention in choosing shrimp not only to their freshness, variety, and manufacturer. It is very important to pay attention to some details that must be taken into account when buying. Consider the options for shrimp, which are better to refuse during pregnancy:
Not curled – Give preference to shrimp with the most twisted tails in the assortment of seafood stores. This suggests that the clams were frozen alive. This indicator confirms the freshest condition of the product and its highest quality.
A lot of ice and hoarfrost – Don’t buy shrimp that have a lot of ice or snow in the package. This state indicates a violation of the integrity of the package or a failure of the temperature storage regime. These shrimp have most likely been thawed repeatedly for various reasons. Re-freezing causes ice to form.
Damaged – Quality shrimp should not have damage on the shell, head, or tail. They will be whole, not deformed, and not broken. The origin of the damage is difficult to establish. They are not always mechanical and can be mutational.
Too bright or too pale color – Boiled shrimp have a pinkish tint. It cannot be too bright or completely pale. A yellow tint indicates that this individual was sick. Do not be afraid of a greenish head in shrimp – this is normal, but it is better to get rid of black heads.
Sticky shrimp – Shrimps from a good manufacturer are covered with a thin layer of glaze and they crumble in the package. The shrimp stuck together in one mass were incorrectly frozen or thawed on the way to the store.
Cooled – It is better not to buy cooled shrimp when pregnant. There is no guarantee that they have been stored correctly. They are most often laid out in supermarkets on ice without freezing. Unscrupulous sellers freeze them and then, having thawed them, they sell them again as cooled.
Such shrimp are already dead and should not be consumed during pregnancy. This can be hazardous to the health of the woman and her baby due to the risk of poisoning and infestation.
Cocktail shrimp – These are shrimp that are ready to eat. They are most often vacuum-packed and simply cool. Rarely are they frozen. These shrimp have been cleaned and cooked at the factory. The packaging says that they do not need to be cooked but only thawed. Pregnant women should avoid pre-cooked seafood.
At what stage of pregnancy can you eat shrimp?
It is most beneficial to consume shrimp in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. At this time, the laying of the main internal organs of the child takes place. The neural tube is formed, the brain is structured, and the skeleton and muscles of the heart are strengthened.
Shrimps are rich in trace elements and vitamins that will become indispensable sources for the growth and development of the fetus. Eating seafood and shrimp prevents the risk of preterm birth.
The use of shrimp in the later stages can provoke the development of allergies in a child. The mother’s immunity drops in the third trimester. This often causes previously unresolved allergies. It is better to give up potentially dangerous foods starting from the 27th week.