Pregnancy can be a time of celebration and what better way to mark this special milestone than with a special meal! While champagne may be off the table, you can choose a few delicacies to enjoy that are both delicious and safe during pregnancy.
Many of them even provide valuable nutrients to your growing baby, and Escargot is one option to enjoy seafood safely during pregnancy.
In general, escargot is safe to eat when pregnant, as long as you don’t have a seafood allergy and it was stored and prepared following food safety guidelines. Escargot can be a good source of iron and other vitamins that are very beneficial during pregnancy, which is safe to eat up to 3 servings per week.
If you aren’t sure, you can always talk to your healthcare provider or try an escargot alternative to make your moment special.
DISCLAIMER: While this information was prepared by a certified dietitian, it is NOT a medical advice. Please consult your own medical professional before altering your diet. The information is strictly for educational purposes.
Benefits Of Eating Seafood During Pregnancy
Seafood has a lot of beneficial nutrients that are great during pregnancy. This includes iron-rich escargot, a top source of protein.
Escargot is a dish made of cooked snails. They are often served in their shells (which you do not eat), which gives them an impressive appearance.
They can be served as a main dish, although they are most common as an appetizer.
Great Source Of Iron
Blood capacity increases during pregnancy, making iron one of the most essential nutrients for pregnant women to get.
According to the National Institutes of Health, iron deficiency is more common during pregnancy.
This can have an impact on your long-term health since it is difficult to build your iron back up once you become anemic.
The high amount of protein in escargot can also help you keep your weight in a safe range.
They can help satiate your appetite without adding a lot of empty calories. Proteins are the building blocks of the body, which you need when your new baby is growing and developing.
Escargot is an easy and delicious way to increase the iron in your diet. While small, they pack a real punch when it comes to iron, magnesium, and potassium.
There is not a hard and fast rule about how much escargot you can eat during pregnancy but most experts recommend keeping your intake to three servings per week or less.
This is to ensure a well-rounded diet rather than due to any danger from the escargot itself.
When considered as part of your overall diet, escargot is a great way to get protein, iron, and other valuable nutrients.
The nutrition information from NutritionValue.org provides the breakdown of what you get when you eat escargot. Keep in mind that this is before any sauces are added.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Generally, seafood is high in omega-3 fatty acids and this includes escargot. Omega-3 fatty acids are needed to build and repair cell walls in your body.
During pregnancy, you are building new cells for your growing baby, making omega-3 fatty acids very important. Escargot is a great way to get this valuable nutrient.
Escargot has a mild taste that many people enjoy. They can also take on the taste of any sauce that they are prepared or served in.
Garlic and butter are two delicious compliments to escargot, which many top chefs use when preparing the dish.
This is easy for even novice home cooks to replicate (for a fraction of the cost as a high-end restaurant).
Things To Consider Before Eating Escargot
Generally, escargot is safe to eat during pregnancy but there are a few considerations that may cause you to opt for something else.
These can be specific to the individual or the preparation of the dish itself.
If you are allergic to seafood, chances are you are allergic to escargot as well. If you have never tried it before, pregnancy is not a great time to be experimenting with your diet.
You can always taste a small amount after your baby is born to see if it bothers you.
If you have a severe seafood allergy, it’s best to stay away from escargot altogether.
Always talk to your healthcare provider about ways to reduce your risk of allergic reactions, especially during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Cravings And Aversions
Many women experience cravings and/or aversions during pregnancy. Pregnancy cravings can give them an increased taste for a particular food.
If it is escargot, great! You are free to enjoy as often as two or three times per week.
Pregnancy aversions do the opposite. Women who experience aversions can be nauseated by food that they previously enjoyed. Don’t worry.
These things usually go away after pregnancy and can even lessen during the second or third trimesters.
If you feel averse to escargot, don’t eat it and wait for your tastes to change again. Consider one of the alternatives we recommend to get similar nutrients.
If you are feeling nauseous or queasy during the first trimester (or beyond), eating small bites can help get valuable nutrients into your body.
Because they are small in size but rich in protein, iron, and other nutrients, escargot can be a great way to maximize your appetite.
You should always consider how food is stored and prepared but it is never more important than during pregnancy.
Experiencing a bout of food poisoning can be miserable and take away needed nutrients from your body that your growing baby relies on for their development.
Always make sure that you store raw seafood, including escargot, in a refrigerated space.
It should not be left out for more than two hours after it is cooked. If you worry that your escargot was not handled safely, it’s better to skip it.
Extra Sauces And Preparation
Escargot by itself is nutritious. But once you start to add in delicious sauces and butter, the calorie count can get quite high.
If you are eating them in a rich sauce, you may want to limit yourself to only occasional treats to keep your overall diet healthy.
Talk to your healthcare provider about any dietary concerns that you have during pregnancy.
Fortunately, many are trained to help you keep your necessary weight gain in a healthy range for both you and your baby.
Where To Buy Escargot
Because it is a delicacy, escargot can be quite expensive. Purchasing it at a restaurant is almost always the most expensive way to indulge, although it is the most convenient.
If you want to try it, look for an appetizer portion to share, which can bring the cost down.
Preparing them at home is also more budget-friendly. You can often find fresh escargot on the seafood counter at your local supermarket.
Market price can vary and talking to your local seafood monger about the best times to buy escargot can help you save some money.
Frozen escargot is another option for those wanting to cook and prepare at home.
Canned escargot can be purchased from grocery stores or online retailers like Amazon.
This is a great way to get imported escargot, although they are almost always sold without shells and pre-cooked.
The price for canned escargot can vary, with the most exclusive options being the most expensive. Shipping is often less for the canned ones, however.
Buying Escargot Online
Finally, online retailers like Peconic Escargot offer shipping all around the country and great tips on how to cook escargot.
Small retailers that specialize in escargot are often quite expensive, making this a luxury purchase for most people.
But you can be confident that the quality is high and that they know what they are doing when it comes to raising and shipping seafood.
Top 5 Alternatives
If escargot isn’t on your menu due to an allergy or other reasons, you can still get many of the same benefits and tastes from other alternatives.
1.Clams And Oysters
Seafood alternatives like clams or oysters make another great appetizer dish. They are often prepared using similar flavors, like butter and garlic.
Yum! Just be sure to avoid fish that can be high in mercury, like king mackerel, swordfish, or bigeye tuna.
Mercury can pass to your baby through your blood, putting most large fish on the not-safe list.
If you want to boost your Omega-3 intake during pregnancy, salmon is one of the most pregnancy-friendly fish options that you can find.
It is available in many grocery stores, is economical, and doesn’t contain dangerous levels of mercury.
Due to its mild flavor, it is also a good option for those pregnant women who aren’t able to tolerate strong flavors.
You can prepare silken tofu bites using similar ingredients and flavors as traditional escargot.
Because tofu is easy to work with, you can prepare it easily and make it a similar size to bite-size escargot.
Tofu also takes on the flavor of other ingredients. Use spices, sauces, and plenty of cheese to replicate an escargot appetizer without the snails.
Mushrooms can be a great alternative to escargot for those who want or need to avoid seafood. They have a similar texture and are also rich in iron.
For a delicious appetizer, saute mushrooms in garlic and butter until they are soft and chewy. You can serve them with crusty bread to enjoy all of the leftover juices.
5.Supplements For Iron And Omega-3s
Supplements can be another great way to get the vitamins and minerals found in escargot without making any dietary changes.
You can purchase Iron supplements and fish oil from your local grocery store.
Your doctor may even be able to prescribe them and have them covered by your insurance.
Always talk to your provider before starting a new supplement, especially during pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a special time that deserves to be celebrated with extra special meals. If a delicacy like escargot sounds appetizing, feel free to put it on your menu or indulge when dining out. It can be a great source of key nutrients like iron and omega-3 fatty acids.
Feel free to celebrate with escargot during pregnancy a few times per week if you’d like.
Just be sure that it is stored and prepared according to food safety guidelines and that you have talked to your healthcare provider about potential allergic reactions if needed. Bon Appetit!
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Katie is an experienced writer, who wrote for big magazines like The Spruce. She is also a mom of three (Sebastian, Lincoln, and Hannah). In her spare time, she likes to read, day hike, and explore hidden gems around her home in North Carolina. You can connect with Katie on Instagram @katiebwriter or her website, www.katiemelynnbegley.com.