Can You Eat Seaweed While Pregnant?

Can You Eat Seaweed While Pregnant?

So you know that sashimi is off the table for now. But what about the other tasty sushi ingredients? Can you eat seaweed while pregnant?

In this article: 📝

  • Can pregnant women eat seaweed?
  • Risks of eating seaweed when pregnant
  • Can pregnant women eat seaweed salad?
  • Is dried seaweed okay for pregnancy?
  • Seaweed during pregnancy—the bottom line

Can pregnant women eat seaweed?

So, is seaweed safe during pregnancy?

The answer is, generally, yes.

Seaweed can be safely consumed in moderation during pregnancy—welcome news for anyone who loves this salty snack.

Not only is it safe, it also contains some power nutrients that are important for both you and your baby.

Seaweed is a good source of:

1. Iodine

This mineral plays a vital role when it comes to regulating your thyroid function.

By helping your thyroid produce the right hormones at an optimal level, iodine plays an important part in your baby’s growth and development.

Experts recommend that you increase your intake of iodine by 50% when you’re pregnant—and including seaweed in your diet can be a good way to do so.

But there’s a big caveat here that we’ll get to in a moment.

2. Iron

You need about 30 milligrams of iron a day when you’re pregnant to stave off iron deficiency anemia.

That’s because your blood volume has increased—by almost 50%.

Seaweed can help you meet your iron intake requirement.

But it’s also important to talk to your doctor about whether you should be on iron supplements.

3. Omega-3 fatty acids

According to the American Pregnancy Association, omega-3s are particularly important in your life right now.

They have been shown to decrease all sorts of pregnancy risks, including preeclampsia, low birth weight, and pre-term labor.

They may also help to stave off depression.

That being said, if you are feeling down right now, reach out.

Talk to your healthcare practitioner, family member, or your Peanut community.

You don’t have to go through this alone.

4. Fiber

Yep, it’s vital during pregnancy.

It helps to decrease the risk of diabetes and preeclampsia, and prevents constipation.

Along with this, various types of seaweed also contain protein and carbohydrates, and vitamins A, B, C, E, and K.

Vitamin C is particularly important here as it helps your body to absorb the iron that the seaweed contains.

No wonder it’s skyrocketing to stardom as a food trend right now.

But before you head off to the bulk section, there are some important points to be aware of, the most pressing of which concerns iodine.

Risks of eating seaweed when pregnant

While small amounts can be beneficial for your baby’s neural development, too much iodine can be a problem for your thyroid.

What’s more, it could lead to a condition called fetal hypothyroidism, which can impact your baby’s physical and mental development, and lead to heart problems.

Okay. So you need iodine—but not too much. So, how do you strike a balance?

According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended dietary allowance for iodine during pregnancy is 220 mcg.

That’s about as much as you’d find in one serving of nori, the kind of seaweed used for sushi. This is a type of red seaweed.

Brown seaweed, the type often found in soups, has particularly high levels of iodine, meaning that it can cause trouble if consumed in large quantities.

Stick to one serving of brown seaweed per week. (That’s around 32g.)

Brown seaweeds include arame, wakame, and kelp.

Can pregnant women eat seaweed salad?

Seaweed salad should be okay to eat when you’re pregnant—but it’s important to check what kind of seaweed the salad is made from.

Seaweed salads often contain wakame, which is a brown seaweed with high iodine content.

That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorite salad right now—but moderation is key.

Unfortunately, you can’t add sashimi to this mix quite yet.

For now, stick to food that is well cooked to avoid harmful bacteria and parasites getting into your system.

Is dried seaweed okay for pregnancy?

Dried seaweed is a great on-the-go snack that is both delicious and nutritious.

It’s safe to consume in moderation when pregnant—but just watch out for any hidden ingredients that might be lurking in the wings.

Along with the iodine content, dried seaweed also contains sodium.

Too much sodium during pregnancy may lead to bloating, as well as increase your risk of preeclampsia.

Seaweed during pregnancy—the bottom line

There’s no reason to ditch the seaweed during pregnancy.

In fact, because of its nutritional properties, it can be a welcome addition to your pregnancy diet.

But to stave off the negative effects of having excess iodine and sodium in your diet, it’s a good idea to limit your intake.

However, provided you eat it in moderation, it’s safe to consume.

Enjoy, mama!


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