Can I Eat Calamari While Pregnant? Calamari, also known as squid or octopus, is a popular seafood option for many people. Some cultures even consider the tentacles of the squid as a delicacy and pair it with various dipping sauces. As such, you might be wondering if calamari is safe to eat while you’re pregnant. These sea creatures are rich in protein but have low amounts of micronutrients and minerals. Furthermore, eating calamari often may lead to high levels of mercury and other toxins in your body. Therefore, it is recommended that you limit consumption to once or twice a week and avoid certain types when possible.
What is Calamari?
Calamari is a seafood item that comes from squid and octopus, two types of cephalopods. It is best consumed fried or as a salad, similar to how squid is served in Asian cuisine. Similar to shrimp and other crustaceans, calamari is a type of shellfish. Calamari is eaten around the world and is often served as an appetizer in seafood restaurants. There are two main types of squid that are eaten: – Giant squid: This species is served in dishes like takoyaki, tempura, and sashimi. – Humboldt squid: This is the type of squid served in dishes like fried calamari and squid risotto.
Avoid When Eating Calamari
It is important to avoid eating squid while pregnant due to its levels of heavy metals like mercury. This is because these metals can be passed on to the developing fetus and hamper its development. Babies from mothers who ate large amounts of squid while pregnant often have lower IQs than those whose mothers did not. Here are the foods to avoid when eating calamari due to high mercury levels: – King mackerel: This is one of the most contaminated fish in the world and should be avoided when possible. – Swordfish: This fish is high in mercury and should be avoided unless necessary. – Snapper: Snapper is one of the fish that should be eaten in small amounts.
How to Select and Store Calamari
When selecting squid, be sure to avoid any that is discolored or smells bad. Squid should be white or light grey in colour and firm to the touch. It should also have a fresh smell without any hint of ammonia. – If storing squid, avoid storing it in the refrigerator. This is because it grows bacteria and loses its taste when kept in the fridge. – Instead, wrap it in plastic and place it in a sealed container in the freezer. This can be kept up to a year. When storing calamari, be sure to keep it refrigerated and tightly wrapped. This will stop it from losing its taste and colour.
Nutrition of Calamari
Calamari is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. However, it also contains high amounts of sodium and cholesterol. A 100-gram serving of fried calamari contains the following: – Calories: 210 – This is a low calorie food. – Protein: 34 grams – This is higher than many other meats. – Sodium: 2000 mg – This is high in sodium, so be sure to drink lots of water when eating. – Potassium: 680 mg – This is a mineral that is important for brain function. – Cholesterol: 155 mg – This is high in cholesterol. – Iron: 6 mg – Iron is important for forming red blood cells. – Vitamin B6: 2 mg – This is important for hormone production.
Mercury in Calamari
Mercury is a dangerous toxin found in many seafoods. This is because bacteria in the waters break down and release the toxin. This can be harmful to people who eat a lot of seafood, especially pregnant women and children. – A study found that consuming high amounts of mercury during pregnancy led to lower IQs in children. – A 100-gram serving of fried calamari contains 54.5 micrograms of mercury. – A pregnant woman should consume no more than 2-3 servings of fish per week. – These should have less than 16 micrograms of mercury per serving.
How to Cook Calamari
You can prepare calamari in many ways. You can fry, grill, bake, or boil it. You can also add it to salads or soups. You can also add it to sandwiches with lettuce and tomato. You can also try it in stir fry, pasta, or risotto dishes. For the best flavour and texture, you should use a little oil when frying and not overcook calamari. You can also marinate it in lemon juice, herbs, and spices before frying.
Calamari is a popular seafood option for many people. It is best consumed fried or as a salad. It is rich in protein but has low amounts of micronutrients and minerals. Eating calamari often may lead to high levels of mercury and other toxins in the body. While it is safe to eat calamari while pregnant, you should limit consumption to once or twice a week. You should also avoid certain types of calamari due to high mercury levels. For the best flavour and texture, you should fry calamari and not overcook it.