The truth is, pregnancy is wonderful, but at times, very confusing because there are many things you’re confused about. For instance, if you’re a fan of seafood (like I am), then you’ll ask your self can pregnant women eat octopus?
Is octopus healthy at all? And if it is allowed, what are the benefits of eating octopus?
As you can see, there are so many “fuzzily” things that it’s no wonder many pregnant women want to just stop obsessing over any food item and just them all!
But that’s not what you’re supposed to do. So if you want your pregnancy to go smoothly, without experiencing any issues then there are some aspects of it that must be carefully thought through.
Today, the octopus is my focus and I’ll try to answer various questions concerning it, including the main one can pregnant women truly eat octopus or should they turn to something else?
Can You Eat Octopus While Pregnant? Is It Safe?
Even though for many years I wasn’t drawn to it because, to be frank, its appearance wasn’t the most appealing to me (I changed my mind in the meantime).
However, I understand that it’s considered a delicacy; hence lots of pregnant women want to know if they can eat octopus while pregnant.
So what have I concluded so far?
For starters, I’ll let you know that pregnant women can eat octopus. However, just like with any other sort of seafood, you must adhere to particular precautions to avoid food poisoning and other complications.
Since octopus can be defined as shellfish, you must cook it properly before eating it. The same goes for all kinds of shellfish.
There are various benefits of eating octopus, which is why it’s a great idea to add it to your dietary regimen, however, do not overdo it.
Why is that?
Well, that’s because, at the end of the day, it does contain mercury (luckily, it’s not that high in mercury). Therefore, it should be eaten in moderation. One to two servings per week will get the job done.
Speaking of the numerous benefits of eating octopus, it’s worth adding that it’s a great source of protein and offers a couple of nutrients, like vitamin B12 and iron.
That’s one of the reasons why you can eat octopus while pregnant. It’s going to positively affect your baby’s health and potentially prevent various defects, like spina bifida and anencephaly.
How Can Octopus Be Defined?
Although a lot of people adore eating octopus (particularly the ones who love to eat seafood), a vast majority of them are not quite sure how it can be defined.
And that’s important to know, now that we established that pregnant women can eat octopus.
What I do know is that it is a mollusk and is part of the cephalopod family and (as previously stated) can be defined as shellfish, although it doesn’t have a shell.
If you cook octopus the right way, it will taste almost exactly the same as lobster. Interesting, right?
Even though it’s been concluded that pregnant women can eat octopus, I would like to remind you once again that it must be well-cooked.
If you’re craving to eat it and even prepare it all on your own, then I suggest using as many ingredients and spices (that you’re allowed to) as possible to take this dish up a notch.
Otherwise, the meat of the octopus will not be too tasty to you (and it would be such a shame to overlook it since there are so many benefits of eating octopus).
Generally speaking, the octopus can be eaten both cooked and raw. However, the raw option is a lot chewier.
Can Pregnant Women Eat Octopus That’s Cooked?
Is octopus healthy when it’s cooked? Can you eat octopus while pregnant if it’s properly cooked? The answer to both of these questions is YES!
And more importantly, if it’s well-cooked, you can even eat it cold!
Furthermore, pregnant women can eat octopus, particularly if they decide to mix it with other things, such as paella, potato salad, and seafood stew.
If you would like to know what is the best and safest way to eat octopus (this refers to the ladies that were wondering if pregnant women can eat octopus), then take a look at some of my ideas below!
Boiled or Baked Octopus
In case you didn’t know, octopus is oftentimes boiled before being cooked once again in a different method.
Why is that?
As previously stated, the octopus can be very chewy; hence it’s necessary to cook it thoroughly to avoid that strange (challenging-to-eat) texture.
So yes, you can eat octopus while pregnant (referring to the cooked one). Just keep in mind if you obtain a big one, it’s going to take some time to cook it properly. In some instances, it takes around one hour.
If you’ve never prepared it before, yet you would like to try it, test it by putting a fork or sharp knife into the fattest part of it.
If you realize that it is tender, it means it’s well-cooked.
Can Pregnant Women Eat Octopus That’s Grilled?
This is, for sure, one of the most popular ways of consuming octopus. It’s especially famous in Spain and Greece.
Generally speaking, if you want to reap the benefits of eating octopus, then opt for this alternative, since you’ll get an octopus that’s fully cooked.
Now, if by any chance you are not one hundred percent sure it’s cooked the right way, then just cut the thickest part of it in half to make sure the inside is cooked all the way through.
Based on the facts that were just provided, it’s easy to conclude that pregnant women can eat octopus that’s grilled.
Can You Eat Octopus While Pregnant That’s Known as Fried Octopus Balls
I wouldn’t call this a typical dish, but rather a snack or an appetizer that can frequently be found in Japan.
Every piece of octopus is properly cooked as the balls are deep fried. So, yes, pregnant women can eat octopus that’s prepared this way.
If you want to jazz things up a little bit, then be sure to add some mayonnaise to it. However, before you do, ensure that pasteurized eggs are employed to make mayo.
What About the Whole Baby Octopus?
Avid octopus lovers will tell you that this is one of the most popular delicacies in the world, particularly in Europe.
Just like squid, the whole baby octopus can be fried, boiled, and grilled. Just make sure to remove the insides from the head. Only then will it be entirely safe for pregnant women.
Can Pregnant Women Eat Octopus that’s Pickled?
After giving you the green light to all those aforementioned questions, it’s time (sadly) for one rejection.
Unfortunately, no, you cannot eat pickled octopus.
Well, that’s because there’s a risk of infection when you eat it.
The biggest threat in these instances is harmful Listeria bacteria which can be found in raw seafood, fish, undercooked meat, raw cheese, and raw milk and can potentially cause food poisoning.
There are numerous risks to eating pickled octopus.
If, by any chance, Listeria enters your body, you will most likely be dealing with fever-like symptoms and simultaneously put your baby at risk, which can lead to infection or even premature delivery.
But don’t worry; these things rarely occur; I just want to remind you that they are not nonexistent.
So what can be done if you accidentally eat a pickled octopus?
If you unintentionally ate pickled octopus (or raw octopus, for that matter), make sure to call your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
He or she will probably tell you to run some blood tests to see whether you’ve been exposed to Listeria. If that’s the case, you will most likely have to take some antibiotics. No biggie!
In case you didn’t know, this is one of the most famous dishes in the Mediterranean region.
So what do we know about it?
It can be described as thin slivers of dressed octopus that are normally served cold. Although it’s typically served cold, it doesn’t necessarily have to be this way.
At times, octopus is cooked or boiled before it is cut into pieces for carpaccio. However, as I stated above, it can frequently be served raw.
Therefore, it would be smart first (if you’re eating anywhere outside of your house) to see if it’s served raw. If it is, then it wouldn’t be advisable to eat it due to the aforementioned bacteria.
As the name suggests, this is one of the most popular dishes in Japan, and just like pickled and carpaccio octopus, it can vary in its preparation.
Oftentimes, it is first boiled shortly, and only then cooked. If that’s the situation with the octopus you’ll be consuming, then it’s okay to eat it during pregnancy.
On the flip side, if it is served raw (or in some instances it can be served alive, that’s particularly the case with Japan), then you should definitely steer clear of it (this refers to pregnant women) and opt for something else.
As I mentioned numerous times, the octopus must be cooked thoroughly in order to be safe for pregnant women.
What Are the Main Benefits of Eating Octopus While Pregnant?
As stated above, there are various health benefits to eating octopus. First and foremost, it’s a good source of protein, contains omega-3 fatty acids, and is loaded with minerals and vitamins.
Since it is generally considered low-calorie food, it’s ideal for women who consume only healthy foods because they want to either maintain a healthy weight or want to lose weight.
If you want to eat it in a healthy way, then you can make an octopus salad, or opt for grilled octopus.
Fried octopus is generally not recommendable for weight loss because you’ll be needing more oil, and/or butter.
So if you’re interested in learning all about the various health benefits of eating octopus, then check out this interesting information below.
It Decreases the Chances of Cancer
The taurin that can be found in octopus comes with an amino acid that can lower inflammation in the body and acts as an antioxidant that safeguards cell damage linked with cancer.
Additionally, although octopus has a certain amount of mercury levels (fortunately, it’s low in mercury), it’s worth mentioning that it is filled with antioxidants that are capable of decreasing cancer risk, such as folate, selenium, and vitamin B12.
Enhances Cardiac Health
As I stated previously, the octopus has omega-3 fatty acids which can help you lower blood pressure and at the same time, slow down plaque pileup in the arteries, lowering stress on the heart.
Besides that, with its assistance, you’ll be able to successfully reduce fats and triglycerides in your blood, decreasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, or any other heart-related issue.
It helps With Depression too!
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) represent omega-3 fatty acids that can be found in the octopus that can effectively alleviate the symptoms of depression and other mental health conditions.
Enhances Cognitive Health
Octopus is packed with magnesium and is widely known to be associated with healthy brain activity, such as learning processes and memory power.
Another great thing about it is the fact that it is capable of decreasing the risk of degenerative illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Prevents Neural Tube Defects
As suggested above, octopus is high in iron and vitamin B13 which can be amazing sidekicks when you want to successfully treat anemia and want to prevent things like spina bifida, neural tube defects, and anencephaly.
Now that we have come to the end of this interesting (how humble of me) article and concluded together that pregnant women can eat octopus, the only thing I would like to add is this:
Whenever you decide to eat it, just make sure that you’ve followed all the instructions I added above because, at the end of the day, you do not want to risk anything now that you’re in that blessed state.
Well, hello there!
My name is Jennifer. Besides being an orthodontist, I am a mother to 3 playful boys. In this motherhood journey, I can say I will never know everything. That’s why I always strive to read a lot, and that’s why I started writing about all the smithereens I came across so that you can have everything in one place! Enjoy and stay positive; you’ve got this!