can you eat oysters while pregnant ?- Pregnant can cause weird changes in your body, such as pregnancy brain (brain fog), bleeding gums, excessive perspiration, and hair growth in unexpected places. Then there are the food desires, of course. If you’re wanting anything, most foods are okay to consume while pregnant, so go ahead and indulge in another pickle slice!
Keep in mind, however, that not every want is a safe craving. So, if you’re craving oysters more than usual, here’s what you should know before eating shellfish while pregnant.
can you eat oysters while pregnant ?
The simple answer is that eating oysters during pregnancy can be safe (and even beneficial). However, this does not imply that all varieties and preparations of oysters are safe to consume.
Oysters are frequently served uncooked. While some people may have raw oysters without ill consequences, ingesting raw oysters — or any form of raw meat or seafood — while pregnant is risky.
The immune system is weakened during pregnancy. When your immune system is weak, you are more susceptible to infections like food poisoning. This can make you sick if you consume bacteria-infested raw or undercooked food.
Infections from Listeria and Vibrio vulnificus are two kinds of food poisoning. In rare situations, food borne diseases during pregnancy might result in difficulties such as miscarriage, stillbirth, or early delivery.
You should avoid not just raw oysters but also smoked oysters when pregnant. They are theoretically cooked during the smoking process, although not necessarily at a safe temperature.
Why Consuming Oysters During Pregnancy Could Be Beneficial ?
Any meat product that is offered raw or that has not been thoroughly cooked is considered dangerous for a pregnant woman. Oysters, on the other hand, include a number of nutrients that can be useful to a pregnant lady.
- Oysters include a high concentration of vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and different omega 3 acids. All of these components are highly suggested for a pregnant lady in order to maintain her heart healthy and to reduce inflammation.
- Among the several nutrients necessary to keep a developing child’s brain development on track, zinc is a critical one. While it is available in tiny amounts in a variety of foods, oysters contain a significant proportion of it, making them an excellent choice during pregnancy.
- Protein consumption is another element that pregnant women must consider. Oysters have a high protein content while being low in fat and calories. This makes them an ideal complement for pregnant women who are battling to maintain a healthy weight.
What kinds of preparations are acceptable?
Because raw oysters pose a danger of contamination and food illness, only consume oysters that have been thoroughly cooked — either by frying, broiling, baking, or boiling.
Before eating oysters at a restaurant, be sure they’re thoroughly cooked. Oysters that have been fully cooked will have a hard texture.
How to Cook Oysters at Home Safely ?
Take precautions to avoid cross-contamination while preparing oysters at home. Cooked oysters (as well as other foods) should never come into touch with raw seafood. Cross-contamination can also result in food illness.
- It’s also critical to properly wash your hands after handling raw seafood. Use warm soap and water, and don’t touch your face until you’ve washed your hands.
- Also, only purchase fresh oysters. Their shells should be completely closed and smell like sea water. Cooking oysters with already-opened shells is not recommended.
- To be safe, prepare oysters immediately after purchasing them. Refrigeration and afterwards cooking raises the risk of food illness.
- Boil oysters for 3 to 5 minutes before frying, broiling, or baking for enhanced protection. Boiling eliminates microorganisms on the shell and ensures that the seafood has been completely cooked before consumption.
- After boiling, the oysters can be fried or broiled for about 3 minutes, or baked for 10 minutes.
How much mercury is in oysters?
So you’ve mastered the cooked-not-smoked rule, and you’re craving a heaping dish of fried oysters from your favorite seafood spot. Then you start thinking about mercury.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, oysters are among the “best options” when it comes to consuming shellfish while pregnant.
Moderation is still important — you should limit yourself to 2 to 3 meals of seafood on this list per week — but the fact that oysters are in this lowest-mercury group should offer you some peace of mind.
Too much mercury in the body can be harmful to a developing baby’s neurological system. As a result, the FDA develops these guidelines to assist pregnant women in avoiding mercury poisoning.
However, seafood (especially shellfish) is also beneficial to you and your growing child. Aim to consume at least 8 ounces (and up to 12 ounces) of low mercury seafood each week. (This translates to around 2 to 3 servings.)
Other low-mercury alternatives besides oysters include salmon, sardines, shrimp, scallops, and crab.
What are the advantages of eating oysters for both mom and baby?
Protein, zinc, iron, potassium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids are all found in oysters. Protein and zinc promote healthy fetal development, while potassium helps maintain fluid equilibrium.
Omega-3 fatty acids promote brain development in your baby and can help minimize the risk of preeclampsia and premature birth. Iron reduces your chances of getting anemia, which is more frequent during pregnancy.
Oyster alternatives for pregnant women
But what if you don’t care for oysters? Or does the notion of eating oysters make you sick to your stomach instead of yearning them?
Don’t worry, there are alternative options for obtaining the same benefits.
Consult your doctor about taking fish oil supplements or flaxseed oil, or increasing your consumption of low-mercury seafoods. Salmon, sardines, herring, and freshwater trout are also high in omega-3s.
Zinc-rich foods include peanuts and pumpkin seeds. Take your prenatal vitamin on a regular basis to get iron, zinc, vitamin D, and other essential elements.
Food poisoning symptoms
Food poisoning can be risky during pregnancy. So, in addition to avoiding bacteria-containing foods, you should be aware of the signs of a food borne disease.
Food poisoning symptoms include:
- stomach ache
Food poisoning is generally just transitory, lasting a few hours to a few days.
However, if you are pregnant and experience symptoms, you should consult a doctor. This is especially true if you:
- are unable of keeping drinks down
- have bloody vomiting or stools
- have diarrhea that lasts more than three days
- show indications of dehydration
What about steamed oysters?
Fish and shellfish, including oysters, are safe to eat during pregnancy if well cooked. Cooking fish kills harmful germs and viruses, which may be especially damaging to you and your baby when pregnant. Both the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration advise pregnant women to eat only fish and shellfish that have been cooked to 145 degrees F.
Oysters, along with salmon and pollock, are on the FDA’s list of “best choice” low-mercury seafood.
Oysters’ Pregnancy Benefits
All forms of seafood are good for your health and the development of your kid, especially the brain. As a result, the FDA and ACOG advise pregnant women to consume 8 to 12 ounces (or two to three servings) of low-mercury shellfish such as oysters each week.
One 3.5-ounce meal of cooked oysters contains around seven grams of protein (all nine necessary amino acids), three grams of fat, and numerous key nutrients for pregnancy, including:
Vitamin B12: One serving of cooked oysters contains more than six times the RDA for vitamin B12 during pregnancy. This vitamin is essential for the development of the brain and central nervous system.
More than seven times your RDA for zinc. Zinc promotes healthy growth and development in your infant.
DHA and omega-3 fatty acids: approximately three times the RDA. This omega-3 fatty acid is essential for brain and eye development and may even lower the risk of premature delivery.
Choline: Approximately one-third of your RDA. This vitamin aids in the development of your baby’s brain.
Iron: Approximately one-third of your RDA. Iron is required for the formation of hemoglobin, the protein found in red blood cells that transports oxygen to other cells.
Considerations Before Consuming Oysters While Pregnant
While eating properly cooked oysters during pregnancy presents the least risk and the most benefit to the mother, there are a few points to bear in mind before taking oysters in any form.
When creating cooked oyster dishes, use fresh oysters rather than chilled ones.
When preparing oysters, make sure they are properly cooked and have a firm and nutritious texture.
Oyster eating should be avoided, especially during the first and latter trimesters, as these are high-risk times.
Consume oysters in moderation, along with any seafood that comes with them.
Is it safe for pregnant women to consume raw oysters?
Because freshly shucked and raw oysters are the most usual method to serve them, I’ll start with raw oysters.
Raw or undercooked oysters should be avoided by pregnant women. This is due to the fact that they may contain hazardous germs, poisons, or other diseases that can cause significant food poisoning
Every country, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, advises against eating raw oysters
Vibrio vulnificus, which causes vibriosis, is one of the most well-known infections found in oysters. Vibriosis has the ability to badly illen anybody, not just pregnant women.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 80,000 people in the United States contract vibriosis each year by eating raw seafood (particularly oysters).
Approximately 100 of those persons die; however, fatalities are more common in those who are already immunocompromised or have other underlying health problems
Women are not “immunocompromised” during pregnancy in the same manner that the CDC describes it; nonetheless, there are still major changes to the immune system during pregnancy, and it is prudent to avoid any bacterial or viral illnesses
Cooking is the only technique to kill vibrio germs. There is no other approach that works – it is a misconception that condiments such as vinegar, spicy sauce, lemon juice, or alcohol would destroy bacteria. Even if the oyster isn’t completely cooked, it poses a risk and should be avoided during pregnancy.