Crawfish also known as crayfish is a type of crustacean seafood that is likely found in fresh waters. It is no wonder many pregnant women are reluctant to give up this seafood during their trimesters and will go to any available website site asking, “Is it safe to eat crawfish during pregnancy?”
Crawfish are generally safe during pregnancy just like many other shellfish. They belong to the category of seafood with a low level of mercury hence are safe to eat while pregnant. However, you have to limit your intake to two servings per week due to the mercury content which cannot be removed by cooking. Eating fish during pregnancy is important for the brain health of your unborn baby which is why it is recommended to eat at least two serving of low-level mercury fish per week.
Benefits of eating crawfish during pregnancy
Crawfish contains proteins which are about 14 grams per serving which help in the bodybuilding of your unborn child. It is also packed with vitamins which are necessary for boosting the immune system of the pregnant woman. You can also get vitamin B6, B12, riboflavin and thiamine which are essential in the vision health of your fetus and promote healthy skin and hair in both mother and fetus.
It contains minerals such as zinc, phosphorus, calcium, iron, magnesium which contribute to the boosting of your energy levels, development of strong bones and teeth, and formation of nerve endings, tissues, cartilages and muscles of the fetus.
Crawfish contain the DHA form of omega 3 fatty acid which is essential for the neural development of your fetus. Crawfish also contains about 70 calories in a serving which is quite low and can help in maintaining your weight during pregnancy. Crawfish are mostly found in clean waters which means they are not as contaminated as other fishes.
How to cook crawfish to make it safe for consumption?
According to the US Food and Drug Association (FDA), all uncooked and raw seafood should be cooked at a temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to kill any bacteria and make it safe for consumption.
Cook crawfish till the skin is red. You can also check if the inner flesh is opaque to ensure it is properly cooked. Avoid eating raw crawfish while pregnant as it could lead to adverse bacterial infection such as listeriosis or toxoplasmosis which could come with grave consequences such as miscarriage or fetal deformity. Always cook your seafood to avoid any pregnancy complications.
According to SFGate, crawfish contains about 115 mg of cholesterol which is almost 40 percent of the daily recommended value for cholesterol.1 Eating too much of crawfish might lead to high cholesterol levels so you might want to eat in moderation. Also, remember to eat only two servings per week to avoid mercury toxicity.