Can You Eat Clams When Pregnant?
Pregnancy is a time when you need to pay extra attention to your diet. In other words, you should have a healthy, balanced diet to support a healthy pregnancy and give birth to a healthier baby. Seafood is the best option on the table! Consuming seafood like clams when pregnant provides several health benefits to you and the growing baby as well.
In this article on Hipregnnacy, we will cover the most important points and the answers to your top questions about eating clams when pregnant, including its benefits, mercury levels, and ways to consume it during pregnancy. Read on to learn more about clams and pregnancy.
Is it safe to eat clams during pregnancy?
Pregnant ladies can enjoy consuming seafood and shellfish during pregnancy, but only the ones which are low in mercury and are properly cleaned and fully cooked before eating. The same goes for clams! That means you can consume clams when pregnant, but you should wash them properly and cook them thoroughly until the shells open.
Consider you should avoid consuming any raw seafood, like clams, oysters, or octopus while pregnant, as they may contain listeria or other bacteria such as vibrio vulnificus. These harmful bacteria can put you at the risk of food poisoning when pregnant; therefore, the food which is made with raw seafood is a big no-no during pregnancy.
Fortunately, cooking can make your favorite seafood a pregnancy-safe option, except the ones fall into the category the category of fish to avoid while pregnant. It is good to know that for washing the clams, you can soak them in saltwater, or scrub them under running water.
Let’s continue to see how much beneficial are clams for pregnant ladies.
Health benefits of eating clams when pregnant
Seafood is a nutritious food for pregnant ladies, due to its high nutritional value. The following section will show you benefits of adding clams into your diet during pregnancy, including;
- Developing a healthy immune system
Clams are rich in vitamin C, which can improve your immune system during pregnancy, protect cells from damage, fight infections, make collagen for skin, bone, and tendons.
- Providing omega-3
Consuming clams when pregnant provides omega-3 fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Having omega-3 while pregnant can support visual development of the baby, lower the risk of preeclampsia, prevent preterm labor, and reduce depressive symptoms in women with prenatal depression.
- Supporting normal growth and development of the baby
This kind of shellfish is rich in protein, which is needed for the growth and development of the fetus, maintaining energy and building up muscle as well. The same goes for eating calamari during pregnancy, as the squid is one of the best protein resources for pregnant ladies.
- Preventing anemia
Clams are rich sources of iron, which is highly needed during pregnancy. sine clams are rich in iron, they can help you meet the level of the iron your body needs while pregnant, to transport oxygen, support metabolic processes, and preventing anemia as well.
It is good to mention that the same goes for consuming crawfish when pregnant, as it is rich in iron.
- Providing vitamin B-12
Having clams when pregnant provides your body vitamin B-12. You should know that this vitamin is needed for brain development of the fetus, and to prevent congenital disabilities.
Furthermore, vitamin B-12 aids in maintaining the nervous system of the both mother and the developing baby. It is good to know that lox is similar to clams, as it is high in vitamin B-12. To learn more about eating lox, check article titled “Is it ok to eat lox while pregnant?”.
Are clams high in mercury?
Generally speaking, pregnant ladies should avoid consuming high-mercury foods to prevent food poisoning while pregnant. When it comes to seafood, you may get confused to choose the safe option, which is low in mercury.
For instance, you may ask; “Can pregnant women eat lobster? Is it safe to eat clam when pregnant? or Can you eat shrimp while pregnant?” The answer to all mentioned questions is yes, as lobster, clams, and shrimp are low in mercury and won’t put you at the risk of pregnancy complications.
The mercury content level of clams is 0.009 PPM. This means clams have 0.009 parts per million concentration of mercury. This average is considered very low, and proves that consuming clams when pregnant is safe for expecting mothers.
It is good to know that all clam species are considered low in mercury, therefore, enjoy eating them while pregnant, but only in moderate amounts.
Can you eat clam chowder while pregnant?
Clam chowder is a delicious soup, typically made with clams, shallots, vegetables, and meat. This soup is one of the most popular ways of eating clams when pregnant.
Studies prove that pregnant ladies can enjoy eating clam chowder during pregnancy, but there are 3 points they should take into consideration while consuming cooked clams when pregnant.
- Pregnant women should avoid consuming large quantities of clam chowder while pregnant. Always, moderation is a key!
- If you want to add milk or cream to your soup, you should use pasteurized products.
- It is recommended to use fresh clams instead of canned ones to make clam chowder.
Follow the above guidelines to prevent any possible risks, including foodborne illness. Do not forget to consult your doctor or healthcare provider before having clams when pregnant. If your doctor is ok with consuming it, add it into your pregnancy diet plan.
How to consume clams when pregnant?
There are several ways to eat clam during pregnancy, which are covered in the following section. Before discussing them, let us tell you that the only way to make clam a pregnancy-safe food is to cook it completely before serving it.
Here are some general guidelines to show you how much time you need to cook clams thoroughly, including;
- Steamed clams when pregnant; 5-10 minutes until the shells of clams are opened.
- Baked clams when pregnant; about 10 minutes at 450f / 230c.
- Fried clams when pregnant; at least 3 minutes at 375f / 190c.
- Boiled clams when pregnant; at least 3 minutes.
Hipregnancy covered the top points and guidelines you required to know about consuming clams when you’re pregnant. Now, you know that clam falls in to the category of what can a pregnant woman eat, due to its high nutritional value and low mercury levels.
If there is any point you want to mention or if you want to share your experiences about eating clams when pregnant, contact with us via comment.
1. Can you eat oyster and clams while pregnant?
Yes, it is ok to eat oysters and clams during pregnancy, if they have been fully cooked. Hipegnancy warns you about consuming raw oyster or clams while pregnant, as they can cause infections.