Aguachiles is a Mexican dish that typically consists of raw shrimp marinated in a spicy chilli pepper sauce, usually coming with lime juice and other seasonings.
Pregnant women can safely eat aguachiles but just like most foods, there are some precautions to follow:
- Raw and undercooked seafoods: Aguachilles often includes raw or undercooked seafood such as shrimp, which can carry risks of foodborne illnesses like listeriosis or salmonellosis. So ensure that it is fully cooked.
- Choose cooked shrimps anytime, anyday: Instead of raw shrimps, opt for cooked ones when ordering or preparing aguachiles.
- Ensure that you use fresh and high-quality ingredients and handle them with care to shrink the risk of potential contamination.
- If your aguachiles recipe calls for lime juice, it’s a good idea to use pasteurized lime juice or heat the lime juice to kill any potential bacteria.
- Spiciness: Some pregnant individuals may experience gastrointestinal discomfort or heartburn due to spicy foods. If you have a sensitive stomach during pregnancy, you might want to adjust the level of spiciness in your aguachiles to suit your tolerance.
When you adhere to these caveats, you can benefit from it nutritionally. From the nutritional perspective, shrimp – which is a key ingredient in this food has high proteins which is essential for your baby’s growth.
The dish also offers other vital nutrients like iodine and omega-3 fatty acids, which support brain development and enhance eye health in foetuses respectively.
In spite of these, it’s important to eat moderate amounts as excess intake can potentially lead to health issues.
Is it safe to eat shrimp when pregnant?
Yes, it is generally safe for pregnant women to consume shrimp, but just like aguachiles or all other seafoods, there are certain recommendations to heed to.
According to the APA, shrimp is considered a low-mercury seafood, meaning it can be eaten with fewer risks of mercury exposure. The FDA also considers shrimp as one of the best choice seafoods during pregnancy.
Shrimp provides many essential nutrients needed by the pregnant women and the developing fetus. But it’s still crucial to limit the consumption to two to three servings per week.
Also, while shrimp may be safe in terms of mercury levels, it must be thoroughly cooked before eating to avoid the risk of foodborne diseases.
If you’re unsure or need to incorporate shrimp in your pregnancy diet, then It’s advised to consult with a healthcare provider or a dietitian to give you all the tips and guidance you need.
Can I eat raw shrimp cooked in lime while pregnant?
Unlike aguachiles, it isn’t advised for pregnant women to eat undercooked shrimps, including ones that have been soaked or cooked in lime or lemon juice.
This is basically due to the potential risk of foodborne illnesses such ad listeriosis or salmonellosis which can be harmful to both you and baby.
While the citrus juice in dishes like ceviche appears to “cook” the seafood by changing its color and texture, this doesn’t ensure the elimination of harmful bacteria or parasites that may be present.
So if you love the zest of lime or lemon with your shrimp, then choose the safer path by having the shrimps well-cooked and then adding the lime or lemon juice.
Even though shrimp is way healthy and a low-mercury seafood, it is necessary to eat with extra caution when you have a little one on board.
Which seafoods should be avoided while pregnant?
During pregnancy, your immune system gets weaker than it was. That’s why it becomes necessary to skip some foods or fishes because they have higher possibility of carrying pathogens and are more likely to cause foodborne illness when you eat them. Such seafooods include;
High mercury fishes
Mercury can harm your baby so it’s always best to get rid of it thoroughly. Such fishes that contain mercury, and must be avoided in pregnancy include
- King mackerel
- Tile fish
Raw or undercooked seafoods
As mentioned earlier, this category of seafoods can pose a risk to food-borne illnesses so you need to avoid the. Such fishes include;
Even if you need to eat these, make sure you cook them well.
What are the safe seafood options?
Safe seafood options are those that have low mercury and are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients. Some options are
- Shrimp (when properly cooked)
Conclusion – Can Pregnant Women Eat Aguachiles?
In conclusion, while the delicious flavors of aguachiles are tempting, caution is advised when consuming this dish during pregnancy.
Raw seafood, such as raw shrimp often used in aguachiles, can carry potential risks of foodborne illnesses and contamination.
To ensure a safe and enjoyable pregnancy, it is recommended to opt for cooked shrimp or other cooked seafood options.
Also, make sure you incorporate high-quality ingredients including pasteurized lime juice in the preparation.