Can Pregnant Women Eat Crab

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Many expectant mothers wonder – can pregnant women eat crab? – but the answer is not as simple as you may think.

Can Pregnant Women Eat Crab?

If you are a seafood lover and don’t know how you’ll be able to give up crab while you’re pregnant, you will be happy to know that crab can be safe, in moderate amounts, when prepared properly. There are some types of seafood that are prohibited during pregnancy, such as those with a high risk of mercury contamination, as well as those known for carrying foodborne illness.

Most experts recommend consuming no more than 6 ounces of seafood per week, to avoid the likelihood of heavy metal risk to your child. Be sure that the crab or any seafood you consume is thoroughly cooked from a reputable restaurant, or even better, prepare at home for yourself. Make sure you do not consume raw crab meat or any form of sushi or sashimi.

An orange-colored crab on a white background.

Picking crab meat can be tricky, but worth it. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Benefits of Crab for Pregnant Women

Despite the care that must be taken, there are some benefits of eating crab for pregnant women, including the following:

  • Speeding up the development of fetus
  • Strengthening your immune system
  • Preventing anemia
  • Strengthening the bones

Crab is extremely dense in nutrients and can provide a wealth of protein, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to vitamin A, vitamin D, and iron. Finally, crab is also relatively low in calories and low in saturated fat, so you won’t pack on any unnecessary pounds.

Precautions for Pregnant Women Eating Crab

Before eating crab as a pregnant woman, there are a few tips and guidelines that you should follow to keep you and your baby safe:

  • Choose King crab legs, as they are consistently rated as being low in mercury content.
  • Follow the news of recent fish advisories to know whether locally caught crab will be contaminated in any way.
  • Avoid any raw or undercooked crab (or any raw seafood, for that matter).
  • Handle all your crab in a hygienic way and keep your cooking surfaces clean.
  • Stay away from frozen crab meat, as well as any that has been refrigerated or smoked.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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