Being pregnant is an exciting process filled with so many changes as you and your body prepare for the arrival of your little one. To ensure the optimal development of your baby, you’ll need to avoid a few food and drinks in the meantime, like alcohol. Many expecting mothers are also warned against consuming seafood due to concerns of mercury contact, so many people naturally assume that all seafood is unsafe to eat.
However, the reality is that seafood can be safe to eat when prepared properly. Crawfish offers many benefits during pregnancy as long as they are low in mercury, which means you are potentially missing out on some nutritious, delicious foods. Here’s what you need to know about eating crawfish while pregnant:
When is Crawfish Acceptable to Eat While Pregnant?
If you’re a crawfish lover, the good news is that you don’t have to swear off the delicious shellfish while pregnant. It is entirely safe to eat when it is fully cooked and is low in mercury than other seafood, containing an average of 0.033 parts per million (ppm) of mercury. Seafood with 0.1 ppm or less is considered low in mercury by the Food and Drug Administration. For this reason, you can eat adequately cooked crawfish at any point in your pregnancy.
Crawfish is full of nutrients that are good for you and your baby. It’s considered a lean protein, making it an excellent low-fat choice. It’s also replete with iron, niacin, copper, selenium, and trace amounts of vitamin C and A. However, it’s crucial to eat only 12 ounces of seafood a week or roughly two to three servings. Crawfish are smaller than lobsters and crabs, so it’s easy to eat more crawfish and stay within the recommended dietary guidelines.
When Should You Stay Away From Crawfish During Pregnancy?
The only time you should stay away from crawfish while pregnant is if it isn’t cooked thoroughly and correctly, so the main issue lies in accidentally eating undercooked seafood. Luckily, crawfish usually isn’t consumed raw, but there is still a risk of eating it undercooked. Doing this will potentially expose you and your baby to pathogens, bacteria, and parasitic diseases that could leave you both very sick. It’s also best to avoid imported crawfish since it is difficult to determine their mercury levels.
Cooking Crawfish at Home
Whether you’d like to enjoy the tasty shellfish at the best crawfish restaurant in Houston or in the comfort of your home, it’s essential to know how to handle and prepare them properly. That means using separate cutting boards and utensils when handling raw crawfish to avoid cross-contamination and reducing the risk of transmitting harmful pathogens. Thoroughly wash your hands, utensils, surfaces, and appliances used when touching raw crawfish.
Additionally, note that pregnant people have weaker immune systems since their body is working full-time to support two people. For a crawfish to be safe to eat, it must have reached an internal temperature of 165ºF, so you may want to use a cooking thermometer to ensure that it’s properly cooked.
The safest crawfish to eat are those caught or raised in the United States, which are lower in mercury than those caught in other places. For this reason, you don’t have to avoid crawfish while pregnant, which means you can enjoy tasting and sampling good crawfish near you. As long as it’s properly cooked and domestically sourced, you can have your fill without guilt or regret.
Looking for the best crawfish restaurant in Houston? We’ve got it all and more at Crawfish Cafe. We have been voted the best crawfish around serving Viet-Cajun crawfish and seafood, including littleneck clams, gulf blue crabs, black mussels, snow crab legs, shrimp, and more. Check out our menu today to start satisfying your crawfish cravings!
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