Can a Pregnant Woman Eat Calamari?

Many people ask, “Can a Pregnant Woman Eat Calamari?”. The answer to that question is YES. However, you need to note a few things before devouring that bowl of fried Calamari.

Pregnancy comes with many food restrictions. Therefore, “Can a Pregnant Woman Eat Calamari” is not out of place. However, it is important to note that eating properly cooked Calamari during pregnancy negatively affects the mother or fetus.


Calamari and some seafood—containing omega-3 are good sources of nutrients for pregnant women.

However, Calamari contains mercury which can be toxic to humans. Mercury can be found in the soil, air, and water, and excessive intake of this heavy metal can adversely affect the body’s vital organs.

Pregnant women usually have a weakened immune system. This is why most pregnant women avoid eating Calamari and other seafood during pregnancy to avoid exposure to high mercury.

But the question is, does Calamari contain high mercury?

Can a Pregnant Woman Eat Calamari Despite its Mercury Content?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Calamari only contains 0.024 per million Trusted Sources of mercury — which is very low compared to tuna, marlin, swordfish, and sharks.

Therefore, Calamari is a healthy and safe choice during pregnancy if cooked properly and consumed moderately.

What is the safe amount of Calamari a pregnant woman can consume?

Calamari, which contains a low amount of mercury, can consume 2 to 3 servings per week by a pregnant woman. Anything more than this may be considered unsafe, especially for the fetus.

It is important to note that exposure to high mercury levels during pregnancy may harm fetal development. It could lead to cognitive impairment and increase the tendency of cerebral palsy.

How should I cook my Calamari to be healthy?

Calamari is only safe to eat during pregnancy if it’s properly prepared. For a healthy plate of Calamari, ensure the squid is properly cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F (62.8°C).

Here are the different ways to cook squid to make it safe for consumption:

  • Baking
  • Grilling
  • Frying
  • Sautéing

Searing squid could have been an option but not for pregnant women because the inside might still be raw, although the outside might appear cooked.

Avoid raw squid for the sake of your health and your baby’s. You may become infected with the Toxoplasma parasite if you eat raw or unpreserved food during pregnancy.

Toxoplasma parasites are found in contaminated food. It can cause serious complications for pregnant women.

If you have leftovers after eating your Calamari, ensure you properly store them immediately in the refrigerator. It doesn’t take long for harmful bacteria to grow in unpreserved Calamari.

What are the health benefits of eating Calamari during Pregnancy?

We met a pregnant woman in a rural community, and she asked, “Can a pregnant woman eat Calamari?”
She asked, “Are there health benefits of eating Calamari during pregnancy?”

The simple answer to those questions is YES. Calamari contains nutrients that are useful during pregnancy.

The omega-3 content in Calamari helps improve fetal brain development. Calamari is a great source of vitamin E, protein, copper, zinc, iron, and selenium, which benefit a pregnant woman and her fetus.

Is other seafood safe to eat during pregnancy?

At this point, you may wonder if Calamari is the only safe seafood to eat during pregnancy. Aside from Calamari, a pregnant woman can consume other low-mercury fish.

Some of the other low-mercury fish include:

  • Sardine
  • Catfish
  • Crawfish
  • Whitefish
  • Salmon
  • Cod
  • Flounder
  • Whiting
  • Herring
  • Lobster

Eating 2 or 3 servings of low-mercury fish weekly is advisable.

Other low-mercury fish include:

  • Snapper
  • Mahi-mahi
  • Grouper
  • White croaker
  • Bluefish

However, Eating a serving of fish in this group is safe weekly.


Calamari is safe and beneficial during pregnancy if properly cooked and eaten proportionately.

Generally, a pregnant woman can eat 8 ounces of seafood containing low mercury per week.

Finally, consult your doctor to ensure you eat the right quantity weekly.

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