Can Pregnant Women Eat Sushi?

image001 Pregnant women need to follow a strict diet plan and any seafood would always make the “off the menu” list. Then can pregnant women eat sushi? Sushi is something that you would have to avoid for you and your child’s sake. And if you’re wondering why you can’t have seafood during pregnancy then the answer is simple. Seafood contains toxins and heavy metals.

However, all is not lost! Once you have successfully become a mother, you can always reacquaint yourself with the sumptuous taste of sushi and other such foods which you weren’t even allowed to touch during pregnancy.

Can Pregnant Women Eat Sushi?

Sushi should be avoided by pregnant women simply because of the severe side-effects that it can cause. While there isn’t a great chance of getting a parasitic infection because of eating sushi, there still remains a possibility. With your immune system already vulnerable because of pregnancy, some food can cause greater problems than in normal circumstances.

Eating sushi can cause parasitic infections such as anisakiasis because raw fish present in sushi may contain small parasitic worms. The infection can cause pain in the abdomen, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and allergies. In pregnant women, the infection can also cause gastrointestinal and liver problems and can also lead to anemia and malnourishment. All this isn’t just dangerous for the mother, but can serious affect the baby as well. In extreme cases, the infection might cause a miscarriage.

Seeing the extent of damage that can be caused, sushi remains a big no-no. Sushi using cured fish remains a better option as the chances of parasites present in the raw fish surviving the curing process remain minimal. To cure the raw wild fish, it is frozen beforehand so as to kill any worms. In some cases, there is no need to freeze the fish, for example, in the case of smoked salmon in which the worms die when the salmon is cooked.

Can pregnant women eat sushi? Check out the video below for more informaiton:

What About Vegetable Sushi for Pregnant Women?

A vegetarian sushi which contains vegetables instead of raw fish is a perfect meal for pregnant ladies and is offered in almost all the sushi restaurants. Since there is no raw fish in it, the chance of getting a parasitic infection are nullified completely.

Vegetarian sushi can actually turn out to be a great supplement for pregnant women if it contains vegetables that have a lot of vitamins. Vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin C offer great health benefits. Vitamin A improves the rate of growth of babies’ bones and teeth, while vitamin C increases iron absorption which is also really helpful for the health of both the mother and the child. When ordering sushi at a restaurant or when making it at home, choosing orange or yellow peppers and shredded carrot (vegetables that offer vitamin C) and spinach (vegetable high in vitamin A) would do wonders for your health.

Moreover, choosing the right vegetables in the vegetarian sushi can also help you get a supply of important minerals during the pregnancy. Selecting a combination of peas, spinach and broccoli in a sushi would help you gain both iron and folate. Folate is a very important mineral that improves placenta health and helps in prevention of neural tube problems, while a constant supply of iron keeps the all important hemoglobin level normal and stable.

What Other Foods Should Pregnant Women Avoid?

1. Seafood High in Mercury

Seafood that is high in mercury should largely be avoided during pregnancy because mercury has the potential of harming developing nervous system of the baby. The FDA and the EPA disapprove eating of shark, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel during pregnancy, as all four of them contain high levels of mercury. To remain on the safe side, the FDA and EPA recommend that pregnant women should not eat over 12 ounces of seafood (around two average meals) in one week. In simple words, you can easily try seafood consisting of items such as shrimps, salmon, Pollock, catfish, trout or canned tuna twice every week without any complication.

2. Undercooked or Contaminated Seafood

Undercooked or contaminated seafood should be avoided because they contain viruses that can cause serious complications during pregnancy. Seafood such as sashimi, scallops and raw oysters contain raw fish and shellfish; thus, they should be avoided during pregnancy. Similarly, fish caught from local waters should also be avoided if local fish advisories point out that the water is even slightly polluted. To remain on the safe side, pregnant women should also not eat refrigerated or uncooked seafood such as lox and kippered jerky. However, eating canned seafood items is considered safe. All in all, cooked seafood is the best for pregnant women with the food cooked at internal temperatures of up to 63 to 64 °C.

3. Undercooked Meat, Poultry and Eggs

With the immune system not at its best during pregnancy, bacterial food poisoning caused by undercooked meat, poultry or eggs can cause serious illness and can affect the growth of the baby in extreme cases. It is for this reason that meat and poultry should be checked with a meat thermometer after being cooked to ensure that no part of it is undercooked. Moreover, egg yolks should be cooked vigorously and shouldn’t be eaten if both the egg white and the egg yolk aren’t firm. Refrigerated meat spreads can also contain bacteria and thus, are better avoided during pregnancy.

4. Unpasteurized Foods

Unpasteurized food can also cause foodborne illness and should be avoided. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have cottage cheese or mozzarella cheese as these low fat dairy products aren’t unpasteurized. You only need to avoid juices as well as feta, brie and blue cheeses which don’t contain a label saying that they are pasteurized.

Here is a video to show you how to keep a healthy diet during pregnancy:

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