Pregnancy is a time for women to eat food that is not only healthy for themselves but for their babies as well. This usually means increasing the daily amount of fruits and vegetables eaten, along with lean meats, and complex carbohydrates. One of those ways to increase good-for-you foods during pregnancy is to incorporate seaweed into the diet. This is because seaweed is healthy to eat during pregnancy.
A food that has been enjoyed in Asian cuisine for generations, seaweed is not only delicious but is packed full of vitamins and minerals that are good for people, young and old. From seasoning in main courses to snacks and even ingredients in soups, seaweed is a versatile marine plant that can be eaten daily. And because of the different varieties of seaweed that exist, a new take on the plant can be had consistently.
Here is why women should eat seaweed during pregnancy.
Seaweed Is Safe To Eat During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, women cannot go wrong when they choose to eat superfoods. And a superfood that is healthy to eat during pregnancy is seaweed.
According to Healthline, seaweed is a great choice for pregnant women to eat in order to meet their daily recommendations of vitamins and minerals. This is because a serving of seaweed contains vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, omega-3s, iodine, folate, iron, fiber, antioxidants, and more.
Therefore, if mothers-to-be are craving a seaweed-filled dish while expecting, they can go ahead and indulge. Their bodies and their babies will thank them for it.
Health Benefits Of Seaweed While Pregnant
Given the number of vitamins and minerals in seaweed, it is clear that it is healthy to consume. But, when women eat it with consistency during their pregnancies, they are making their babies stronger for it.
There are several minerals found in seaweed that help with babies’ development during pregnancy. Some of those minerals include:
- Iodine: Women who consume iodine during pregnancy help with the development of babies’ brains, nervous systems, and thyroid, according to Cambridge University Press.
- Omega-3s: According to Obstetrics & Gynecologyomega-3s during pregnancy help with babes’ brain and neurodevelopment.
- Iron: Getting enough iron during pregnancy is so important that expecting women do not develop anemia. And according to WebMD if anemia does not get under control, there is a risk of babies being born at low birth weight.
- Folate: According to the Centers for Disease Controlit is important to get enough folate during pregnancy to help prevent conditions in babies such as spina bifida and anencephaly.
With all the health benefits that come with eating seaweed, it is a plant that should not only be eaten during pregnancy but by those who are trying to get pregnant as well.
Considerations Before Eating Seaweed During Pregnancy
Before jumping in head first and making seaweed a staple of the daily diet, there are some things that pregnant women should consider first.
According to SF Gate, while the iodine in seaweed is good to eat to support a healthy pregnancy, too much iodine in the diet can actually cause complications in the pregnancy.
In order to not consume too much iodine via eating seaweed, it is recommended that pregnant women only eat brown seaweed one time per week., per publication. This is because the iodine per serving is far greater than any other type of seaweed.
However, the popular green variety that is in restaurants and used for dried seaweed contains far less iodine. And because of this, there are not any specific limits to the amount that can be consumed by mothers-to-be.
The other thing that pregnant women need to be concerned about, according to HiPregnancy, when eating seaweed is the sodium levels. This does not pertain to fresh seaweed, necessarily. Instead, it has to do with processed and pre-packaged seaweed instead.
To flavor seaweed that is shelf-stable, there can be quite a bit of sodium present. Therefore, reading labels before purchasing will help pregnant women make the healthiest choices when it comes to seaweed. Making both themselves and their babies strong and fit for it.
Source: Healthline, Cambridge University Press, WebMD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Centers for Disease Control, HiPregnancy, SF Gate