Can you eat Jamon when pregnant?

In this brief guide we will address the query “can you eat Jamon when pregnant?”

We will also address the different types of Jamon, get to understand what Jamon is, the nutritional value of Jamon when pregnant, the nutritional concerns of taking Jamon, and ways of preserving and storing Jamon.

Can you eat Jamon when pregnant?

Yes, consumption of Jamon is safe for pregnant women, as long as it has been cured for more than 18 months. The curing process that the Jamon undergoes can kill the parasites hence making it safe for even pregnant women.

What is Jamon?

Jamon is the Spanish word for ham.

Jamon is a kind of dry-cured ham produced in Spain. It is the most globally recognized food item of Spanish cuisine, it is regularly an appetizer or a snack in Spanish cuisine.

Which are the different types of Jamon?

There are two different types of cured ham, that is, Jamon serrano or ‘mountain ham’ and Jamon Iberico or ‘Iberian ham’.

Jamon serrano is made from several different breeds of white pigs, such as Landrace, Large white, or Duroc which feed mainly on cereals and are cured from 7 to 16 months.

Jamon iberico is made from the iberian pig. Their breeding is restricted to an area in southwestern Spain and southwestern Portugal. 

Although fed some cereals, Iberian pigs roam the countryside and feed on acorns. Their curing process lasts from 14 to 36 months.

What are the nutritional values of eating Jamon when pregnant?

Jamon has a very high protein content compared to the fresh ham because the water content progressively falls during the dry-curing process.

Protein is vital for building and maintaining all the tissues and cells in our body, therefore it can be considered a good snack for pregnant women.

Jamon offers a high concentration of all the B vitamins, it is particularly a good source of thiamin. The B complex vitamins help to prevent cardiovascular diseases hence recommended for pregnant women.

Vitamin B1 helps to manage stress and depression. Therefore, it can be highly recommended during pregnancy.

Jamon also contains vitamins A, C, D, and E which are highly valuable to the body especially when pregnant by increasing the strength of the immune system.

Jamon contains several bioactive peptides, this is brought about by the dry-curing process that the ham is subjected to.

It improves cholesterol levels, as it contains non-saturated fatty acids.

Jamon does not increase the risk of chronic conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease since the pigs from where Jamon is produced eat acorns, herbs, and grains of corn before slaughtering.

Jamon contains the following minerals: calcium, phosphorus, sodium,  zinc, and iron. 

High iron content helps to reduce the chances of osteoporosis. Iron helps in the proper development of the baby’s bones hence preventing future bone diseases. 

Calcium is essential for strong teeth and bones, for both the mother and the unborn child. 

Calcium also helps to grow a healthy heart, strong muscles, and a good nerve system.

Potassium is essential for brain cells and muscle development, in addition to helping improve the immune system.

Zinc contributes to the intellectual and motor development of infants, therefore Jamon is good to be included in the diet of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. 

Jamon is easily digested, because of the chemical reaction that takes place during curing which breaks down protein into amino acids making them easily digestible. The low levels of collagen in Jamon also make it easily digested.

Which are the nutritional concerns of taking Jamon when pregnant?

Use of nitrates and nitrites as preservatives

Certain Jamon serrano brands may use nitrates and nitrites as preservatives of the Jamon.

These compounds are potentially cancer-causing, according to the World Health Organization.

Therefore one has to carefully read the label to see if the preservatives used are safe, especially during pregnancy. However, Jamon Iberico products are free from these preservatives. 

High salt content is used during the curing process.

Curing involves the addition of salt to the Jamon. Consuming large amounts of salt can increase blood pressure, heart disease, and even kidney failure, therefore they should not be taken in large amounts especially when pregnant.

Which are the various ways of preserving and storing Jamon?

  • Jamon should be stored in a cool and dry place.
  • Jamon should be stored in a well-ventilated place.
  • The ideal temperature for storing Jamon is 18 -23 degrees
  • Jamon should be stored either resting on a holder or hanging with a rope.
  • Jamon should not be stored in a refrigerator 
  • To preserve the moisture, flavor, and freshness of your ham, always cover the sliced area with plastic wrap or a bit of the removed fat layer after slicing.

The Bottom line 

Pregnant women should eat Jamon as it is highly nutritious, however, Jamon should be consumed moderately since it has high salt content and the compounds used as preservatives are not safe for pregnant women as they may cause heart diseases and kidney failure.

Other FAQs about Ham that you may be interested in.

Does ham go bad?

Can ham go bad?

How long does a ham need to cook?


In this brief guide we have addressed the query “can you eat Jamon when pregnant?”

We have also addressed the different types of Jamon, got to understand what Jamon is, the nutritional value of Jamon when pregnant, the nutritional concerns of taking Jamon, and ways of preserving and storing Jamon.

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