Can Pregnant Women Eat Octopus? What To Do And What Should Avoid

Can pregnant women eat octopus? This is among the questions that many keep wondering about when it comes to pregnancy.

It is undeniable that this is one of the most challenging phases in life. People keep telling you what to do and which to sidestep. Somes that they said is true. The other remains uncertain.

So, why not turn the game into yours and actively figure out the truth? Especially with such confusing seafood like octopus, it even highlights the need to learn more.

Wait for no more but jump right in and check out the answer yourself!

Can Pregnant Women Eat Octopus?

Can Pregnant Women Eat Octopus

So, is octopus safe during pregnancy? The answer is yes, it is just fine to consume octopus through the pregnancy period if only you get it cooked right and follow suit with the precautions demanded.

Also, keep the intake within 2 servings each week.

Here comes a mind-blowing fact: Although the octopus does not have a shell, it actually belongs to the cephalopod family, so-called the “shellfish” classification.

That is why like numerous other shellfish, this mollusk has to be served in whichever way as long as it is well-cooked.

Many of you may still be in doubt, questioning if such a dish is safe enough to take in since octopus is seafood anyway, and we all cognize how dangerous the mercury they contain is.

Little did you know, the quantity of mercury in this kind of meal is not that high to put the baby and the mom’s health at risk.

You can still have octopus accompanied your diet moderately. Two servings per week would be the frequency you can count on.

Health Benefits Of Eating Octopus During Pregnancy

To clear the suspense partially about octopus, below are some of its wonderful works in your healthy diet that you may find cheerful to hear:

1. Improves Cardiac Health

Since octopus contains Omega-3 fatty acids, an essential nutrient for the mother’s body, this dish is a great help in lowering blood pressure and slowing plaque accumulation in arteries which diminishes cardiac stress.

It also lessens the risk of abnormal heartbeat, stroke, heart disease, and heart attack by lowering triglycerides and lipids in the blood.

2. Reduces Hazards Of Cancer

Taurine is an amino acid found in the octopus that assists the body fight inflammation and acts as an antioxidant to protect cells from cancer-related cell damage.

Other antioxidants found in octopus, including vitamin B12, selenium, and folate, may aid in lowering cancer risk as well.

3. Boosts Cognitive Health

Believe it or not, there is indeed one substance included in the octopus that can be matchless support in boosting cognitive health.

The name to call out is magnesium. This is the one that promotes vigorous brain functions such as learning and memory.

Due to it, there is a chance to mark down the danger of degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

4. Relieves From Depression

Here goes another gain of the omega-3 fatty acids contained in the octopus that can advance your well-being: 

Thanks to the appearance of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), the severity of depression may be minimized or alleviated.

Not just so, other mood diseases can also become where these two acids work wonder.

5. Prevents Neural Tube Defects

Aside from that, octopuses possess high-level iron and vitamin B12.

This has made such a mollusk a practical solution for avoiding anemia and birth abnormalities, including anencephaly and spina bifida.

Risks Of Eating Octopus In Pregnancy

Though the hazards seem to outweigh the advantages, we all know it’s best to avoid raw seafood during pregnancy or, at the very least, limit intake in this specified period.

As octopus is also one of those aquatic animals, the risk it causes is not significantly lesser than others.

So, does octopus have mercury?

Well, despite its deliciousness, octopus holds a particular mercury content you should no way make light of. This leads to certain considerable consequences of eating such a dish during pregnancy.

  • The first to come is the harm to the neurological system’s growth of the fetus. Consuming too much octopus can trigger mercury poisoning, which can even leave the digestive, nervous and cardiovascular systems fatal.

Worse yet, once you don’t get treatment timely, it will also jeopardize your other organ systems, such as the lungs, skin, brain, and kidneys.

  • The equally perilous result is toxoplasmosis and poisoning caused by Anisakis, a nematode worm that lives in the digestive tracts of animals like an octopus. They may sound like trivial suffering to normal people, but they are a fatal danger to your unborn baby.
  • Aside from that, threatening pathogens like Salmonella and microorganisms are also what result in your distressing food poisoning.

What Is The Best Octopus Dish That is Safe For Pregnant Women To Eat?

Are you allowed to eat seafood when pregnant? Certainly yes, but only with careful cautions. Octopus is a clearest example.

For those who are sushi geeks or else, cooked-octopus dishes may appear less tempting than the fresh ones.

Just so you know, the cooked recipes can reach the expected tasty level more neatly than what you might have imagined but still ensure the safety of the mother-to-be to eat.

Let’s have a look! 

Grilled Octopus

The delectable yet danger-free to come is grilled octopus.

You may find this dish extremely prevalent in nearly every steakhouse, especially those emphasizing European countries’ cuisines such as Greece or Spain.

Most of the time, a grilled octopus will be on fire thoroughly so it can be completely safe to consume.

However, if there is any chance you doubt whether it is undercooked or not, don’t hesitate to slice the thickest part into pieces. As such, the well-done bit will have a hot inner portion.

Boiled And Baked Octopus

Another equally popular yet health-friendly way for pregnant women to eat octopus is boiling and baking.

They are splendid approaches to getting rid of this mollusk’s chewy texture.

The only downside is that perhaps it will cost you a decent amount of time to cook. So, be sure to consider this detail before deciding to cook or order it yourself.

In case you’re in the cooking procedure, remember to test for its tenderness by placing a knife or a skewer into the thickest area.

Once you are free from doubt that it is tender enough, the dish is ready for you to consume then.

Whole Baby Octopus

A whole baby octopus is surefire a dainty you do not want to miss out on. It is quite akin to squid and also has various ways to cook delectably.

Ranging from boiling to frying or grilling, there is nothing a whole baby octopus can’t go well with as long as you know how to make it right.

Also, bear in mind to check whether the insides of the head have been thoroughly removed anyway. If yes, then you can rest assured to consume it.


As a sought-after Japanese cuisine, takoyaki is fried dough balls with well-cooked octopus inside. Sounds like a sheltered option to go for, and it is, indeed.

Nevertheless, there is one little concern you may not want to skip out on: Regardless of how safe takoyaki is, its dressing or sauce can be pretty much a jeopardy to pregnant women.

Since these sauces often attach to mayonnaise built-up, and ones made of pasteurized eggs are not at all shielded for your yet-born baby, it will be better to check up with the cook before digging in.

Octopus Dishes That Might Be Unsafe For Pregnant Women

Besides the safest choices, there are some bids you may not want to invest in.

Octopus Salad

Octopus salad is one of those to take the plung

. It has a dozen risks, including improper storage, harmful bacteria-carrying of pre-made salads with frozen seafood in the supermarket, and millions of others.

Octopus Carpaccio

Although Carpaccio is a raw-meat-based dish in Mediterranean countries’ cuisine, ones with octopus are sometimes boiled all the way through.

Just make sure you’ve asked before eating.

Marinated Or Pickled Octopus

Similar to octopus Carpaccio, there is a high likelihood that your marinated and pickled dish can be left raw to serve.

That’s why it’s always worth the shot to confirm with the restaurant in advance.

Octopus Sashimi

Octopus sashimi is regularly served raw all the time. Some are still boiled, but not thoroughly or in the minority.

So, if you can’t stand not having such a delicacy in a while, just ask the cook to get it done by your favored ripeness.


What Are Substitutes For Octopus?

Not being allowed to eat what you want during the pregnancy can affect the mental health of the mother intently.

In such a case, the following alternatives can help partially, including squid, shrimp, canned tuna, fish cakes, sausages, bacon, or other shellfish.

What Is The Mercury Level Of Octopus?

Is octopus high in mercury? In fact, the toxin level is just low to moderate.

After industrial boiling, Oliveira et al. (2019) found 0.08 milligrams regarding the exact mercury level per kilogram of octopus.

Meanwhile, according to Pawlaczyk et al., the average traces of mercury concentration in raw octopus was 91.5 micrograms per kilogram (2020).

Can I Eat Octopus While Breastfeeding?

Yes, you can have octopus while breastfeeding.

Much like the answer to: Can you eat octopus while pregnant?, as long as it is cooked thoroughly, there is no reason for you to prevent yourself from such mouthwatering treats.


Risks Of Eating Octopus In Pregnancy

Can pregnant women eat octopus? The answer is a big old yes; there are certain precautions to take care of whenever it comes to taboos during the gestation period.

Let those above cautions imprint on your mind, and we’re sure you are way good to go no matter what.

Hopefully, this article can be a great help to you. See you then!

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