Is It Safe Eating Sushi During Pregnancy?

Eating Sushi During Pregnancy

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While some experts feel that there is nothing wrong in eating sushi when you are pregnant as they feel choosing the right kind of fish would be best for the baby and the mother, there are others who strictly avoid eating anything raw at this time. We have compiled a few reasons for you to know the safety criterion to devour sushi while you are expecting.

Eating Sushi During Pregnancy – Why It Is Unsafe?

‘Sushi’, a Japanese delicacy, comprise of cooked vinegared rice, vegetables, sometimes tropical fruits and raw fishes. There is a constant global argument regarding the good and bad effects of sushi consumption during pregnancy. Some are of the opinion that pregnant women must not eat sushi as it contains raw fish which can trigger bacterial infection. Read on to know more about why this food item is not safe.

  • Sushi can have small parasites like tapeworms or bacteria which might infect you when you consume it. If you get a tapeworm infection while you are pregnant, it w
    ould deprive your body of all nutrients, thereby affecting the growth and development of the fetus in your womb.
  • Pregnancy suppresses your immune system which makes you prone to get various ailments. When you consume sushi made with raw fish, it might trigger an array of complications in your body ranging from mild to severe like miscarriage, preterm births, etc.
  • Even though a parasitic infection would not pass through your placenta, it can still affect the gastrointestinal region or the liver. This can also cause malnourishment, anemia and miscarriage.
  • When you eat sushi prepared with raw seafood varieties like king mackerel, swordfish, shark or tile fish, it would be high in mercury levels, which can be toxic during your pregnancy.
  • Though the risk of being infected by parasites while eating raw sushi is very thin, it is essential to stay safe without taking any chances to carry your baby to full term.

[ Read: Seafood During Pregnancy ]

Can Pregnant Women Consume Sushi?

It is safe to eat sushi and any other dish made with raw fish when you are pregnant. It all depends on what type of fish you consume, and you need to be sure that it is frozen. Moreover, you should not consume some fish like oily fish and tuna.

Sushi with raw fish:

Raw fish like salmon contains parasitic worms such as anisakis, that makes you ill. The worms can cause disorders in people if taken in raw or undercooked forms. The condition that results with the worm infection is known as anisakidosis (also called anidakiasis or anisakiosis). It can cause symptoms like nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea and severe abdominal pain.

The infection is painful and can be life threatening as well. Eating fish contaminated by the worm can also cause an allergic reaction. Therefore, the best way to eat raw fish is by freezing it. The freezing temperature can kill the parasite and makes it safe to eat.

Some farmed fish can be eaten raw, and they do not require freezing treatment before making sushi. It is because farmed fish do not contain worms due to different rearing methods.

Sushi with cured fish:

Smoked fish used in sushi need not be frozen since smoking also kills parasitic worms in the fish.Other methods like pickling or salting can make raw fish edible with no worries of infections.

Sushi with shellfish:

Some sushi is also made with shellfish like prawns, shrimps, scallops and crabs. But when pregnant, you should only eat cooked shellfish because raw can contain bacteria and viruses that may lead to food poisoning.

Sushi at restaurants and shops:

You need to be very careful when you choose to eat sushi from outside. You should also ask whether the sushi is made from fish or shellfish. If it is shellfish, you should take only choose the cooked one. Also, if it is raw fish, you should opt for farmed variety or fish that has been properly freezed.

Sushi made at home:

Preparing sushi at home is the best way to have the healthy dish. Make sushi at your home and be sure that you freeze the fish for four days before preparing it.

How About Vegetable Sushi During Pregnancy?

A vegetable sushi is a perfect meal for pregnant women as it contains vegetables instead of raw fish. It is served in almost all the sushi restaurants, and there is no chance of any parasitic infection since there is no raw fish.

It is one of the greatest supplements for pregnant women as vegetables contain a good amount of vitamins. Vitamins like vitamin A and B offer great benefits. Vitamin A strengthens the bones and teeth of the growing fetus, and vitamin C improves iron absorption that is helpful for both mother and child. When you order sushi outside or when you are preparing at home, choose orange or yellow bell peppers, carrots and spinach as they have an immense vitamin C and A that benefit your health.

Choosing the right veggies helps you to get the proper supply of nutrients during pregnancy. A combination of spinach, broccoli and peas will offer folate and iron. Folate improves the health of the placenta and prevents any neural tube defects. And iron helps to keep the hemoglobin levels stable and normal.

[ Read: Tuna During Pregnancy ]

Sushi with cooked fish or raw fish purely depends on the personal discretion of the expecting mother. However, we are sure that all moms would agree that sticking to sushi with cooked fish would be the safer option than raw fish. And moreover you also have an option of vegetable sushi that is quite nutritious. Eat the sushi of your choice and enjoy your pregnancy!

Do leave your valuable comments on is sushi safe during pregnancy and experiences in the section below:

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