Pregnancy can be defined as a delicate and sensitive stage when it comes to gratifying appetites while also choosing safe and healthy eating choices. While Crawfish is nice seafood for every human, many young pregnant women also seek to know if it is Safe to Eat Crawfish During Pregnancy. They ask: can you have crawfish while pregnant? Keep reading as we walk you through our opinion on crawfish for pregnant women.
Crawfish is seafood, and seafood should be included in your diet on a regular basis unless you are a strict vegan or vegetarian. Fish such as white fish, pink/oily fish, and shellfish like prawns, lobster, and bug are all examples of this.
In addition to protein and B vitamins, seafood is an excellent source of iodine and omega-3 fatty acids, and iron and zinc, among other nutrients. Because your baby’s developing brain is composed of around 70% fat, iodine, and fatty acids are especially crucial. Research into the several essential benefits that both iodine and fatty acids may bring is currently underway, particularly in the areas of neurological development and future intellect.
Because of worries about food safety, many women are unsure about the recommendations for incorporating seafood in their diet. There is a major concern about the presence of mercury in the water, which is a heavy metal that can accumulate in the tissues of large predatory fish after they consume smaller prey. However, this type of fish is found in relatively small numbers in Australia. Also regarded as safe, canned salmon is typically a practical option to increase your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids.
Pregnant women should avoid eating raw seafood because it may contain the Listeria bacteria, resulting in Listeriosis and being extremely dangerous to the unborn child. Ensure that any seafood you ingest throughout your pregnancy is well-cooked before consuming it. This excludes sashimi as well as foods such as cold prawns (even if they are pre-cooked) and shellfish off the menu. Hot prawns or shellfish are perfectly safe when served as part of a hot cuisine; however, they must be thoroughly cooked to at least 63 degrees and consumed while still hot.
Before diving into the main topic, can you have crawfish while pregnant? Let’s give you a quick insight on what a crawfish is, how crawfish looks, and many more.
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Table of Contents
What Are Crawfish?
Crustacea such as crawfish, shrimp, and lobster are little crustaceans that live in fresh water and have a flavor that is comparable to shrimp or lobster. In the United States, around 95 percent of the crawfish consumed comes from Louisiana, although they are popular throughout the world, from Sweden to Spain and Nigeria, among other places. There are countless marshes, rivers, and lakes on the earth where you can discover this common crab crawling around.
Many individuals have seen crayfish, and many have eaten them, regardless of whether they are referred to as “crayfish,” “crawfish,” “crawdad,” or even “mudbug.” It is a well-known freshwater crustacean that is closely related to lobster, and it is particularly close to the hearts and palates of Cajun food enthusiasts around the world.
The majority of crayfish reside in calm streams or backwaters, typically hiding behind river stones and logs to avoid detection. They swim backward swiftly in order to flee; however, when they “walk,” they do so slowly and lazily. They have pincer claws, like lobsters and crabs, and getting a nip from one can be severe. They employ their claws for both defensive and hunting purposes.
Crawfish is considered lean fish, as it has a fat content of less than 2%. In addition to being high in cholesterol (95,7 mg per 100 grams), crawfish were also found to be high in fat. Despite the fact that the cholesterol content of seafood varies depending on factors such as nutrition, age, gender, spawning cycle, season, and geographic location, Donmez (2009) found that freshwater fish had a lower cholesterol content than marine fish on average.
EPA and DHA were found to be the most prevalent PUFAs in crawfish. The EPA concentration in crawfish was determined to be 11.6 percent, and EPA levels in crawfish were found to be greater than in DHA, compared to other fish. Crawfish had the highest concentrations of linoleic acid (14,9%) and arachidonic acid (22,6%) in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
The Origin of Crawfish
A large portion of the crawfish industry in the United States is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Since then, the FDA has confidently claimed that crawfish are free of mercury.
On the other hand, imported crawfish are not subjected to the same amount of scrutiny, and their mercury content is commonly labeled as unknown. The use of organically sourced crawfish is essential for the safety of both you and your child.
Farmed and Wild Crawfish
If you choose crawfish that has been caught or farmed in the United States, you should be safe in terms of mercury levels in the shellfish you consume.
There are exceptions to this when it comes to collecting pet crawfish. Keep an eye out for marine signs to make sure the water you’re fishing in does not contain any harmful contaminants.
What’s the Difference Between Crawfish and Crayfish?
The term “crayfish” is commonly used in Northern America by locals to refer to these sea animals. People on the West Coast and in portions of the Midwest refer to them as “crawdads,” whereas Southerners refer to them as “crawfish.” In the end, what you call these animals is mostly determined by where you were born and raised in the world.
The various names for them are often reserved for certain geographical areas and are often considered slang. When you travel around the world, though, things become even more complicated. They are referred to as “yabbies” or “kouras” in Australia, and these animals are referred to as “freshwater lobsters” in Singapore.
To get technical, the name “crayfish” is the accepted term in normal American English for this type of seafood. But when it comes to cooking and eating, the phrase “crawfish” is more commonly heard.
What Does a Crawfish Look Like?
Crawfish are crustaceans that resemble small lobsters in appearance. They have distinctive features, including a prominent set of powerful pinching claws on either side of their body, a robust carapace, and a large, flat tail. While the majority of crawfish species are a deep blue or red color, certain species might be greenish-black or brown in appearance.
In general, crawfish is prepared in the same way as other seafood: by boiling, grilling, or steaming, depending on the preference. The crawfish meat has an appealing appearance and texture, light pinkish-white, and sweet-tasting.
Women who are concerned about mercury levels in their bodies may wonder if it is safe to consume crawfish while pregnant.
Are there Mercury in Crawfish and how they affects pregnant women?
Although it is well known that mercury occurs naturally, it can also be created as a result of pollution from industry. The term “methyl mercury” is used to describe the latter case.
Methyl mercury is a pathogenic (toxic) substance that can interfere with the development of your fetus’s brain, as well as the central nervous system and kidneys.
Some types of fish, particularly those that rely on other sea life for their survival, can contain high levels of methyl mercury, which can cross the placenta and have a negative impact on your developing kid.
Is There Mercury in Crawfish?
It is common knowledge among pregnant women that they must monitor their mercury consumption, which includes when mercury is present in fish and seafood.
There is little mercury in crawfish from the United States; however, because it is regarded as a small amount, crawfish is considered one of the safest forms of shellfish to consume while pregnant.
How Much Mercury Is In Crawfish?
Just to give you an idea of how low the mercury concentrations are, seafood containing up to 0.1 parts per million (PPM) of mercury is still considered “low.” Crawfish contain such low levels of mercury that pregnant women do not have to be concerned about consuming the fish during their pregnancy.
Crawfish from the United States, both farmed and wild, are considered to be low in mercury. As one of the world’s largest producers of crawfish, the United States is the most likely place you’ll come across this particular variety of the creature.
However, it is important to note that imported crawfish are classified as having “unknown” levels of mercury; thus, it is usually best to stay with farmed or wild crawfish from the United States.
For those who want to go wild crawfishing for themselves, be sure there are no marine advisories in the area stating that there may be pollution or other hazards with certain local bodies of the water before you set out to crawfish.
What’s the Nutrition of Crawfish?
In many parts of the world, crawfish is a popular delicacy. Crawfish’s nutritional profile can be summarized as follows:
- The white meat of crawfish is low in calories and fat, making it a good choice for those on a diet. On average, 100g of the tail’s flesh has only 77 calories and 0.95 grams of fat.
- A lot of protein may be found in the tail meat, which is white in color and meaty. There are 15.97 grams of protein per 100 grams of lean beef, which accounts for 27 percent of the recommended daily intake (RDI), and it is high in all necessary amino acids in a balanced ratio.
- Researchers 2 discovered that eating seafood may lessen the risk of heart attack, stroke, obesity, and hypertension. Compared to other foods, polyunsaturated fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, are abundant in seafood and much less saturated fat, which is beneficial to your cardiovascular health.
- The American Heart Association 3 suggests consuming seafood, particularly crustaceans, in order to meet the fatty acid, protein, mineral, and fat-soluble vitamin requirements.
- A small source of vitamin A and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (in comparison to oily fish like salmon), crawfish is an underutilized food item (PUFA).
- Vitamin A-concentrations are low, with only 57 IU per 100g and omega-3 fatty acid concentrations of 0.152g. Vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for the maintenance of healthy mucosae and skin, respectively.
- Freshwater crawfish eat zooplankton and small insects that are rich in B-complex vitamins. Many nutrients are found in the meat of the crawfish, including folates, vitamin B6 and thiamin, as well as riboflavin and vitamin B12.
- Mercury levels in crawfish and other invertebrates are extremely low since they are at the bottom of the food chain. According to the FDA, pregnant women should eat at least 8 ounces (340 grams) of low-mercury seafood every week.
- Crawfish is a good source of iron (10.5 percent of the recommended daily intake), selenium, iodine, calcium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus (36.5 percent of the recommended daily intake), and magnesium.
Having learned so much about crawfish, let’s get back to our original question: Can you have crawfish while pregnant The answer is yes.
Can You Have Crawfish While Pregnant?
Yes, you can eat crawfish while pregnant as it is actually safe for pregnant women. Everything revolves around ensuring that your crawfish are precisely cooked to at least 145 degrees F, and it is ideal for taking no more than 12 crawfish per week.
You love eating Crawfish a lot, and now you are pregnant; wondering if it is safe to eat crawfish during pregnancy.
If you’re a fan of crawfish, the good news is that you don’t have to give up the delectable shellfish when you’re pregnant as long as the crayfish is properly prepared. While fish is generally recommended to be avoided during pregnancy, crawfish are packed with nutrients that are beneficial to both you and your unborn child. It is regarded as a lean protein, making it a great low-fat option for a protein source. It also contains significant levels of iron, niacin, copper, selenium, as well as trace amounts of vitamins C and A.
When thoroughly crawfish cooked, it is completely safe to consume and contains significantly less mercury than other seafood, with an average concentration of 0.033 parts per million (ppm) of mercury. The Food and Drug Administration considers seafood containing 0.1 parts per million (ppm) or less mercury to be low in mercury. As a result, you are permitted to have thoroughly prepared crawfish at any time during your pregnancy.
However, it is crucial to remember that raw shellfish might contain hazardous bacteria and pathogens and that raw crawfish can host parasite infections, particularly if they are harvested from the wild.
How Much Crawfish Can You Have While Pregnant?
It’s advisable to keep your intake of crawfish (and other seafood) to a minimum each week in order to avoid any mercury-related health problems for you or your unborn child.
Consuming no more than 12 ounces of seafood each week, or approximately two to three servings is essential for good health. Being smaller than lobsters and crabs, it is possible to consume more crawfish while still adhering to the government’s dietary recommendations.
When to Not Have Crawfish While Pregnant
If you are pregnant, the only time you should avoid crawfish is if it hasn’t been cooked properly and correctly; hence, the major concern is accidentally consuming undercooked shellfish. Fortunately, crawfish is not typically consumed uncooked, but there is still a risk of consuming it that is not well cooked. It is possible that you and your baby will be exposed to pathogens, germs, and parasite disorders, which might cause you and your baby to become very sick.
Furthermore, imported crawfish should also be avoided because it is difficult to ascertain the amount of mercury present in them.
Is Crawfish Good for Pregnant Women?
As we have stated in this article, you can have crawfish while pregnant when it is properly cooked; however, pregnant women may worry whether crawfish are safe for them to eat or not.
Crawfish are a wonderful source of lean protein, and they are low in fat and saturated fat, making them a healthy option. They’re also a great source of iron, copper, selenium, and niacin, among other nutrients. Aside from that, crawfish contains trace quantities of vitamins A and C.
There is cholesterol in crawfish, but this is only an issue if you are required to monitor your cholesterol intake by your healthcare practitioner and have been advised to do so.
As far as seafood goes, crawfish can be a nutritious option for pregnant women, especially when boiled or steamed instead of fried.
Benefits of Having Crawfish While Pregnant?
Now that you have found the answer, can you have crawfish while pregnant? Let’s see what benefits you get from crawfish for eating it while pregnant.
If you’re pregnant and have a taste for crawfish, you’ll be happy to discover crawfish is a nutrient-rich food to satisfy your craving. A lean protein source that is low in fat and saturated fat, crawfish, in particular, is well-liked by health-conscious consumers. Shellfish is also a great provider of the following nutrients:
- Vitamin A and C (in small quantities).
What Happens if Pregnant Women Eat Crawfish?
There are two possible approaches to answering the question, “can you have crawfish while pregnant?” and “is it safe to have crawfish while pregnant?”.
Food poisoning can occur if you consume crawfish that is uncooked or undercooked. Throughout the cooking process, whether you’re boiling, steaming, or frying the meat, make sure the temperature of the meat remains at a high enough degree. This isn’t a good thing in the best of circumstances, but because your immune system is compromised while pregnant, the situation could become substantially worse.
Safety Precautions to Having Crawfish While Pregnant
Despite the fact that eating low mercury fish and seafood, such as crawfish, while pregnant is recommended as a healthy element of a prenatal diet, there are several crucial safety measures to keep in mind.
Eat Crawfish Fully Cooked
To consume crawfish safely during pregnancy, you must ensure that it is fully cooked before devouring the whole thing. If you are not the one cooking the crawfish or other forms of shellfish, make sure to request that the meat in your dish be completely cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees, even if you are not the one preparing it.
Source Your Crawfish Carefully
Due to the possibility that some crawfish are caught in regions where water toxins are present, it is crucial for pregnant women to be cautious of where their seafood comes from. Also, check to see that the crawfish you are planning to eat hasn’t gone bad. The meat should not have a fishy odor, should not be slimy, and should not otherwise appear “off.”
Limit How Much Crawfish You Eat
As long as the crawfish is well cooked, it is okay to consume it up to two to three times per week at the most, with a weekly limit of 12 ounces altogether.
Seafood to Avoid While Pregnant
During pregnancy, certain types of fish are not permitted to be consumed. These certain fish should not be consumed during pregnancy due to the high concentration of pollutants such as mercury that can be found in certain foods.
Even if you are purchasing from a store or purchasing canned food, make certain that it does not include mercury because it is extremely harmful to pregnant women, as well as to those who are planning to become pregnant and those who are breastfeeding, and it destroys the brain of the infant.
The following types of fish should be avoided while pregnant:
- King mackerel
- Mexican tilefish
- Orange roughy
Signs That You Consumed Contaminated Crawfish
While you can have crawfish while pregnant, do not forget that there are some crawfish that may be contaminated and have the potential to harm you and your baby.
If you believe you’ve consumed infected crawfish, look for certain signs and symptoms that indicate contamination. The likelihood of food poisoning is the most alarming indicator to watch for. It is possible for the following symptoms to appear anywhere between 1 hour and 28 days after consuming infected foods:
- A reduction in one’s appetite
- Stomach aches and pains
You should seek medical assistance as soon as you feel you have food poisoning because your immune system is weakened during pregnancy and should not be ignored.
Wrapping up on if you can you have crawfish while pregnant
Whether or not to eat crawfish is entirely up to the individual. Some people do not care for it; it is not harmful if you do not consume it at any point during your lifetime. The same as with regular fish, it’s a fantastic source of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and sodium.
Crawfish, or as some people refer to it as crayfish, is very popular seafood and is a form of seafood that is extremely healthy and low in fat. It is completely safe and beneficial for a pregnant woman to consume crawfish, or as some people refer to it, crayfish. On the other hand, if you really want an authentic, old-fashioned crawfish dish, don’t waste any time thinking about it.
On answering your question: can you have crawfish while pregnant? Research has it that crawfish are safe for pregnant women but you must be mindful of not having contaminated crawfish. Everything revolves around ensuring that your crawfish are precisely cooked to at least 145 degrees F, and it is ideal for taking no more than 12 crawfish per week.
If you have any concerns regarding seafood while pregnant, do not hesitate to discuss them with your doctor.
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- Topic: Mercury Levels in Commercial Fish and Shellfish (1990-2012) by U.S Food and Drug Administration
- Topic: Seafood Consumption and Components for Health by Ryota Hosomi, Kenji Fukunaga, Munehiro Yoshida at NCBI
- Topic: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids by American Heart Association