Can you eat furikake when pregnant?

In this article, we are going to answer: can you eat furikake when pregnant, what is furikake, can you eat seaweed when pregnant, is mercury in furikake, where you can buy it, and how to add it to your diet. 

Can you eat furikake when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat it but in moderation. Furikake contains seaweed and it can contain small portions of lead that is toxic in humans. If you have high blood pressure or preeclampsia you should not eat furikake for its high sodium content. 

What is furikake?

Furikake originated in Japan and is a mixture of:

  • Sesame seed 
  • Seaweeds
  • Herbs
  • Fish Flakes
  • Salt 

It can be served with bowls of steamed rice or as a topping in rice-based snacks such as onigiri. Furikake gives flavor, texture, and nourishment to Japanese dishes. 

What is seaweed?

Seaweeds are sea vegetables, they are algae that grow in the sea. You can find them in a range of colors. 

Can you eat seaweed when pregnant?

Yes! Seaweed in moderation is safe to eat when pregnant. Seaweed contains some powerful nutrients for the baby and mom. 

  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Omega 3 
  • Fiber


It is a vital mineral to regulate thyroid functions. It helps your thyroid to produce the right amount of hormones. Thyroid hormones play an important role in your baby’s growth and development.

Iodine content depends on the type of seaweed. Here is an example:

  • Nori: 37 mcg per gram (25% of the RDI)
  • Wakame: 139 mcg per gram (93% of the RDI)
  • Kombu: 2523 mcg per gram (1682% of the RDI)


Iron is key to preventing anemia when pregnant. You need to double up your intake of iron because your blood volume increases by almost 50%. Seaweed is an excellent source of iron. 

Omega 3

Omega 3 fatty acids are the key nutrient to the right development of a baby’s brain and neurological system. The American Pregnancy Association recommends the intake of Omega 3 fatty acids when pregnant because it can decrease the risk of preeclampsia, low birth weight, and preterm labor. 


It helps to prevent constipation and have a healthy digestive system. Fiber can make 25% to 75% of seaweed dry weight. They also contain polysaccharides that increase the production of short-chain fatty acids. 

Also, the high content of fiber helps to reduce hunger.

Are there heavy metals in furikake?

Almost all furikake contains a warning of lead ‘Warning products contain lead and lead compounds, which are known to the state..’ because there is a chance that seaweed has been contaminated with small amounts of lead. 

Seaweed can absorb a high amount of heavy metals. This is a risk, especially for pregnant women who like furikake. It is supposed that heavy metals in seaweed are below the maximum concentration allowed. 

A recent study showed that levels of cadmium, aluminum, and lead in 4 grams of each seaweed did not pose any serious risk. If you want to stay away 100% from heavy metals, choose organic seaweed. 

What is the risk of eating too much furikake when pregnant?

  • High iodine intake 
  • Heavy metals 
  • High sodium 

High Iodine intake

Too much iodine intake can lead to thyroid problems. Seaweed has high amounts of iodine but because it is a water-soluble mineral when you cook it loses a big part of it. In cases reported with iodine dysfunction, function came back to normal once consumption stopped. 

Heavy metals

If you consume furikake or seaweed every day, there is a risk that heavy metals will accumulate in your body in the long run. This can be harmful to the baby and mom. 

High sodium

One serving of 6 grams can have up to 200 mg of sodium. The RDI for pregnant women is 3000 mg, so you need to moderate your intake. If you have high blood pressure or preeclampsia you better not eat seaweed. 

Is furikake healthy?

Yes, furikake is healthy. It has a lot of nutrients and because seaweed is one of its main ingredients, it can give a lot of benefits to pregnant women. 

Where can I buy furikake?

You can usually buy it in your supermarket or specialized stores. Here is a link to the best 16 brands of furikake you can find. 

How to add furikake to my diet when pregnant?

It is super easy to use. You can sprinkle it over grain, pasta, or cheese dishes. You can even add it to your salad. 

  • Seasoning: add a tablespoon of furikake to ramen, miso, or stew. Season your favorite bowl of rice or onigiri. 
  • Garnish: Use as a garnish to add some flavor
  • Topping: Use as a topping for avocado toast, fried eggs, or omelet. 
  • Snack: You can add it to nuts, popcorn, and even granola to burst their flavor. 

Here is a recipe for furikake seasoning recipe

Other FAQs about Seaweed that you may be interested in.

Where to buy seaweed sheets?

Can you eat kombu?

Can dogs eat seaweed?


This article answered the questions: can you eat furikake when pregnant, what is furikake, can you eat seaweed when pregnant, is mercury in furikake, where you can buy it, and how to add it to your diet.