Can pregnant women eat squid? How to eat squid during pregnancy!

Can pregnant women eat squid is a common question among expectant mothers. The presence of mercury in squid raises concerns about its potential harm to the fetus. To get a definitive answer, read on in the following article.

Can you eat squid?

Squid is a nutritious food containing high levels of protein, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin B. These nutrients are beneficial for health and can prevent osteoporosis, enhance the immune system, and alleviate depression, weakness, and fatigue. Experts state that pregnant women can consume squid during pregnancy, but it is important to follow food safety guidelines, prepare it properly, and consume in moderation.

Pregnant women should limit their intake of squid due to its low level of mercury (0.023 ppm) which, if consumed excessively or continuously, could harm the fetus. It is also crucial to choose fresh squid and thoroughly clean it to eliminate any fishy odor, which may cause nausea during consumption.

Can pregnant women eat squid
Can pregnant women eat squid

Nutritional value of squid for pregnant women

According to nutritional studies, 100g of squid contains valuable nutrients including copper, selenium, protein, and vitamin B2. Consuming squid during pregnancy can bring several health benefits to expectant mothers, such as:

Helps strengthen the immune system for pregnancy

The mineral selenium present in squid not only boosts the immune system of pregnant women, but also has the ability to protect the fetus from toxic heavy metals.

Provides essential nutrients for the fetus

Squid is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for promoting fetal brain development. It also provides vitamins E, B12, protein, and minerals such as copper, selenium, iron, and zinc for comprehensive fetal growth. Consuming squid during pregnancy also helps supplement phosphorus and calcium, which are essential for strong teeth, bones, and joints. Squid contains 213mg/100g of phosphorus and 14mg/100g of calcium, providing a sufficient amount of calcium for fetal skeletal system formation and reducing the risk of osteoporosis for pregnant women.


Studies show that consuming squid effectively combats oxidation and free radicals due to its polysaccharide components. Hence, it is advisable for pregnant mothers to incorporate squid into their diet to help prevent, especially severe, illnesses.

Reduce fatigue during pregnancy

When tolerated in the body, magnesium and vitamin B6 in squid have the effect of reducing fatigue and stress in pregnant women. Additionally, the protein component in squid also contributes to the formation of cells, particularly nerve cells for the fetus, and helps create good muscle tissue to reduce muscle fatigue for mothers.

Prevent the risk of anemia

Consuming squid during pregnancy also helps to provide the mother’s body with an important mineral, iron, which helps prevent anemia and reduces the risk of dangerous complications such as miscarriage, placental abruption, and increased gestational blood pressure.

Can pregnant women eat squid
Can pregnant women eat squid

Some delicious dishes from squid for pregnant women

Pregnant mothers can prepare squid in various ways such as steaming, stir-frying, grilling, or deep-frying to diversify the flavor and increase appetite. Here are some delicious squid dishes that are highly suitable for pregnant women.

Steamed squid for pregnant women

Steaming squid with lemongrass and ginger helps preserve the flavor of the squid and has a warming effect, ensuring that mothers do not experience digestive problems such as a cold stomach, indigestion, or stomachache.

Ingredients: 500g squid, 2 lemongrass stalks, 1 ginger root, lemon leaves, lemon, garlic, fish sauce, seasoning powder, pepper, sugar, and scallions.


– Clean the ink, separate the head and body of the squid.

– Squeeze lemon juice over the squid and use a ginger to remove any fishiness.

– Marinate the squid with sugar, seasoning powder, and fish sauce for 20 minutes.

– Slice the ginger into strips, crush the lemongrass, and chop the scallions. Add the ginger, lemongrass, and scallions to the bowl of marinated squid.

– Steam the bowl of squid for 10 minutes.

For the dipping sauce:

– Crush ginger, garlic, and chili in a mortar.

– Combine 1 spoon of fish sauce, 1 spoon of sugar, 2 spoons of lemon juice, and the crushed ginger, garlic, and chili in a bowl.

– Add the lemongrass and chopped lemon leaves to the dipping sauce and mix well.

Fried Squid

Another dish that mothers can try making is stir-fried squid. This is considered a delicious and nutritious dish that combines well with garlic and onion.

Ingredients: 300g squid, 1 onion, 1 garlic clove, 50g celery, green onions, cooking oil, spices (salt, seasoning, sugar, ground pepper, monosodium glutamate).


– After cleaning, cut the squid into small pieces.

– Cut the onion into wedges, chop the green onions and celery into short pieces, and mince the garlic.

– Marinate the squid with salt, seasoning, sugar, ground pepper, and monosodium glutamate (1 teaspoon each).

– Heat oil in a pan, then add garlic and saute until fragrant.

– Add the onion to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes.

– Add the marinated squid to the pan and stir-fry until the squid is cooked through.

– Season to taste and then turn off the heat.

Grilled Squid

Pregnant women can also prepare delicious and visually appealing grilled squid following the instructions below.

Ingredients: 600g squid, 30g red onion, 50g garlic, satay, chili, oyster sauce, chili sauce, seasoning, salt, white wine.

Preparing the ingredients:

– Clean the ink and remove the fishy smell with alcohol.

– Cut a few lines on the squid body with a knife to help the seasoning penetrate.

– Chop the red onion, garlic, and chili pepper.

Marinating the squid:

– Put the squid in a bowl with garlic, red onion, chili, 2 teaspoons of satay, 1 teaspoon of oyster sauce, and 1 teaspoon of seasoning. Marinate for about 15 minutes.

– Pregnant women can adjust the amount of satay and chili to avoid excessive spiciness.

Grilling the squid:

– Place the squid on a baking tray and then in an air fryer.

– Bake the squid for 10 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius, then turn it over and bake for an additional 5 minutes at 200 degrees.

Can pregnant women eat squid
Can pregnant women eat squid

Questions to Consider When Eating Squid During Pregnancy

Squid is a nutritious food, but it’s not advisable for pregnant women to eat it in large quantities. It’s important for pregnant women to eat squid properly to maximize its benefits.

When is the best time to eat squid during pregnancy?

Pregnant women can eat squid at any stage during pregnancy. There’s no need to abstain from eating it. Some women might think they should avoid squid in the first trimester due to the old belief of “black as ink” but it doesn’t pose any threat to their health.

Is it better to eat fresh or dried squid?

It’s always recommended to consume fresh food for better health, and that includes squid. Fresh squid retains all its nutrients and is safer for both the mother and baby.

How much squid should pregnant women consume?

Squid is good for health, but pregnant women shouldn’t eat as much as they want. Health experts suggest that pregnant women should limit their squid intake to no more than 150g per week and divide it into 2-3 meals. Eating large quantities of squid at once can lead to an inability to absorb nutrients and result in constipation, which can lead to an imbalance of water and electrolytes in the body.

Does Squid Ink Contain Mercury?

Studies show that there is a very low mercury content in squid, only 0.023 ppm, which means that eating 2-3 servings of 150g of squid per week during pregnancy is completely safe for the health of both mother and baby.

Can pregnant women eat squid
Can pregnant women eat squid

Important Considerations for Pregnant Women When Eating Squid

– When eating squid, it is important to cook it thoroughly, as consuming raw squid carries a high risk of infection.

– It is recommended to limit the consumption of fried, battered, or grilled squid as this can reduce the nutritional value of the squid and provide unhealthy saturated fats that can cause weight gain. Instead, pregnant women should opt for steaming or stir-frying the squid to retain its maximum nutrients.

– When purchasing squid, it is essential to choose a reputable and trustworthy source to ensure safety and hygiene, with a clear origin.

The above information is intended to answer the questions of many pregnant women regarding the consumption of squid during the first 3 months of pregnancy and overall. For women with normal health, eating squid is safe, provided they stick to the recommended limit of 150g per week. However, pregnant women with a history of allergies should avoid consuming squid to protect the fetus.


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