Can You Eat Seaweed When Pregnant?

Can You Eat Seaweed When Pregnant?

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When you are pregnant, you may be required to make certain changes in your diet. If you are a seaweed fan, you may want to know ‘is it okay to eat seaweed while pregnant’ or is it something that is considered off-limits. Well, there are some types of seaweeds that you may safely consume during pregnancy, you need to be careful while consuming seaweeds. Find out how safe is it.

What is Seaweed and Its Types?

Seaweed has joined the category of superfood category because of its abundant health benefits. It is also considered a natural remedy for many medical ailments. Seaweed is popularly used in many Asian cuisines in both fresh and dried forms. Apart from many culinary benefits, it is also rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, and fibre. Belonging to the algae family, seaweed is usually found in red, brown and green varieties. The red variety is usually used in making sushi (nori), brown variety is often used to make soups and stews because of its chewy texture, and green variety is usually used to make salads and soups. Almost all varieties of seaweeds are safe for consumption during pregnancy; however, talking to your doctor is suggested before making any dietary alterations.

Nutritional Value of Seaweed

Nutritional values present in 10 grams or two tablespoons of ‘Raw Wakame seaweed’:

Nutrient Value
Carbohydrate 0.9 grams
Protein 0.3 grams
Vitamin A 35.0 IU
Vitamin C 0.3 mg
Calcium 14.0 mg
Magnesium 10.5 mg
Potassium 4.9 mg
Phosphorus 8.1 mg
Sodium 85.3 mg

Health Benefits of Seaweed in Pregnancy

Eating small amounts of seaweed may fetch you many essential nutrients. Some of the benefits may include:

  • Seaweeds are a rich of omega 3 fatty acids; it may help in better development of the foetal brain.
  • It is rich in fibre and thus may help in keeping digestion troubles and constipation at bay during pregnancy.
  • It is a good source of anti-oxidants and may help in dealing with various kinds of medical ailments such as anxiety, depression, asthma, celiac disease, arthritis etc.
  • The abundance of vitamin C in seaweed helps in aiding the absorption of iron present in these seaweeds.
  • It is helpful in the development of sexual organs, and it is also beneficial in reducing the chances of breast cancer.
  • It is said to enhance female fertility and reduce the symptoms of PMS.

Health Risks Associated With Eating Seaweed while Pregnant

Seaweed is power-packed with many important nutrients but it is important that you limit its intake or consume it in moderation. If it is consumed in more than required amounts it may lead to possible complications during pregnancy. This is because seaweed has high amounts of iodine in it and more amount of iodine in the body may hamper the proper functioning of the thyroid. It may cause various medical complications during pregnancy and it may even harm your unborn baby. The daily recommended dosage of seaweed is 220 micrograms approximately and you should limit the intake to one serving per week. However, this may be true in case of brown seaweed but it has higher amounts of iodine in comparison to green or red varieties. Thus you may not be required to limit your green or red seaweed consumption to one serving per week. However, talking to your doctor before adding seaweed to your pregnancy diet is strictly recommended.

It is also believed that consumption of seaweed is good for lactating mothers as it may increase the mother’s milk supply. However, excessive amounts of it may lead to high amounts of iodine is both the mother and her baby, which may sometimes even cause hypothyroidism in babies.

Try This Delicious Seaweed Recipe

You can make some delicious dishes using seaweed; however, do not forget to consume it in moderation in order to avoid any kind of complications. Here is a detectable salad recipe using seaweed that may help in boosting your iodine levels.

Yummy Wakame Salad Recipe

This is a healthy seaweed salad pregnancy recipe is quick to make and super yummy. It can be used as a side dish or main course. Here is what all you may require and how you can make it:

Ingredients

  • Wakame Seaweed (dried)- ¾ ounce
  • Small apple tart- 1
  • Scallions, thinly sliced- 2
  • Garlic, minced- ½ teaspoon
  • Fresh ginger, grated- 1 teaspoon
  • Sugar- 1 teaspoon
  • Soy sauce- 2 to 3 tablespoon
  • Rice vinegar- 2 to 3 tablespoon
  • Sesame oil- 2 tablespoon
  • Sesame seeds, roasted- 1 tablespoon
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped- 2 tablespoon

How to make

  • Take the dried seaweed and soak it in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Once it is soft, squeeze out the excess water and chop it in strips.
  • Take a big bowl, mix sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger and garlic in it.
  • Dice the apple tarts and mix them in the above dressing.
  • Add scallions and cilantro and mix well. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and relish this delicious salad.

You can make seaweed soup during pregnancy to pep up your iodine levels too.

Yummy Wakame Salad Recipe

Safety Considerations

There are umpteen foods available that may contain seaweed in it. As discussed in the above sections that you need to be cautious regarding its intake during pregnancy. The ready to eat varieties of seaweed snacks may contain a higher level of iodine and sodium, therefore, it may be a better idea to eat fresh or low-sodium dried seaweed during pregnancy. It is ok to eat seaweed while pregnant, however, do not take any dietary supplements that may contain seaweed in them, until or unless it may have been suggested by your health care provider.

You may add these wondrous algae in your diet, however, it is also better to stay safe especially when it concerns the health of your unborn baby. Therefore, ensure that you eat it in limited amounts. Have a healthy and safe pregnancy!

Also Read: Eating Bitter Gourd in Pregnancy