Do Japanese eat sushi while pregnant?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Do Japanese eat sushi while pregnant?”. We will also talk about what kind of sushi to avoid while pregnant and if you can eat sushi while pregnant.

Do Japanese eat sushi while pregnant?

Yes, the Japanese eat sushi while pregnant. They consider eating sushi during pregnancy as part of a healthy diet which is low in fat and rich in nutrients from the fish and other ingredients involved. 

The Japanese women also eat sushi during their postpartum too as eating the sushi helps them get all the beneficial nutrients for an easy recovery. In Japan, it is said that eating sushi and raw fish can help achieve the required nutrition for the newborn baby or the neonatal.

What is sushi?

Sushi is a rolled rice dish rolled up on a seaweed wrap with sticky rice, vegetables, a protein source such as fish, chicken, and tofu eaten with a soy dip and wasabi sauce. Sushi is the main cuisine in Japan where it originated.

Sushi is not always about raw seafood, sushi has an array of protein sources used as a filling such as tempura chicken, tempura vegetables, grilled chicken, smoked fish, battered fish, or even vegan options are also used.

The use of avocado slices, cucumbers, and tofu can make for a vegan sushi roll.

Can you eat sushi while pregnant?

As mentioned above, not all sushi will contain raw fish in them, so yes it is safe to eat sushi during pregnancy whilst keeping in mind you do not eat ones with uncooked or raw fish in them.

Another thing to avoid while craving and eating sushi when pregnant is the fish with high mercury content. The mercury is fatal for the unborn child and the mother as it can cause miscarriage or stillbirth. Sushi made with cooked fish that are low in mercury levels is okay to indulge in.

The seaweed wrap that is the outer layer of the sushi is a rich source of iodine which is a vital mineral needed during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

If you are pregnant and craving sushi, then consider not eating the ones made with raw fish and the fish with high mercury content. Apart from that, nothing can stop a pregnant woman’s craving for devouring sushi.

What are the benefits of eating sushi with cooked fish during pregnancy?

Adding fish to a pregnant woman’s diet is beneficial and is also recommended by health care practitioners. Fish that are low in mercury such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and catfish are considered to be the best fish to add to the diet.

The fish oil present in the fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which is beneficial and nutritional for both mothers and the baby. Adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids intake is vital as it is required as they are considered the building blocks of the fetal brain and retina.

Omega-3 fatty acids also have a role in maintaining the length of gestation and preventing perinatal depression. The increased intake of omega-3 has also proven to prevent preterm labor.

Why should you avoid eating sushi with raw seafood while pregnant? 

Consuming raw seafood is off limits while pregnant as it can cause an array of health problems to the mother and the unborn child. Raw or undercooked seafood can be host to many pathogens, bacteria, and parasites which can cause gastro-related ailments or even preterm labor, miscarriage, and stillbirth.

Raw seafood is known as a host for listeria, a bacteria that causes listeriosis. It is a kind of food poisoning that can risk the health of the unborn baby and the mother. Pregnant women are at a higher risk of getting infected by the listeria virus as the immune system is a little weak due to many physical and physiological changes happening during pregnancy.

When should you stop eating raw seafood sushi during pregnancy? 

As soon as you find out that you are pregnant is when you need to stop or abstain from eating raw seafood. It is the first trimester or the first three months of pregnancy that there are significant developments happening within the fetus.

So it is necessary to keep a healthy diet that does not trigger any food poisoning or other ailments to avoid any damage to the fetus as the fetus is most vulnerable and susceptible to harm and damage from exposure to toxic elements. 


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “ Do Japanese eat sushi while pregnant?”. We also talked about what kinds of sushi to avoid while pregnant and if you can eat sushi while pregnant.

I hope you find this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.


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