Can you eat seaweed while pregnant?

In this short article, we will address the query, “Can you eat seaweed while pregnant?.” We will also address other questions about the types of seaweed, how much seaweed and iodine to eat while pregnant, and the health benefits and potential risks of seaweed during pregnancy.

Can you eat seaweed while pregnant?

Yes, you can eat seaweed while pregnant. However, seaweed should be eaten in moderation while pregnant, as it contains high and significant levels of iodine, which is great news for anyone who enjoys this salty food. 

It is safe to eat and is also packed with nutrients that are beneficial to both the mother and her unborn child.

What are the types of seaweed?

Although seaweed is abundantly available in water sources, not all of it is edible for human consumption. All green, red, and brown seaweed are edible. 

  • Some popular types of red seaweed are Nori, a chewy reddish-brown seaweed commonly used in sushi rolls, and dulse, a chewy reddish-brown seaweed commonly used in soups and stews. 
  • Green seaweed, often known as sea lettuce or Ulva, is a popular ingredient in salads and soups. 
  • A few of the popular brown seaweed varieties are kelp, wakame, hijiki, and arame.

How much seaweed can you eat during pregnancy?

One gram of seaweed contains anywhere from 16 to 2,984 micrograms of iodine per serving, with brown seaweed having the most. 

According to Food Standards Australia New Zealand, one serving of brown seaweed per week is a safe amount for pregnant women. 

Because green and red seaweed have significantly lower iodine levels, you don’t need to limit your intake to once a week as long as you eat them in moderation as part of a healthy diet. 

How much iodine should you consume during pregnancy?

The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements recommends a daily iodine intake of 220 micrograms of iodine during pregnancy. 

Many pregnant women, even those with no visible deficiency symptoms, consume less than this amount. Brown seaweed is particularly high in iodine and can be a useful source of this essential mineral during pregnancy if the expectant mother does not ingest too much of it. 

What are some tips to consider to eat seaweed safely during pregnancy?

Most commonly, seaweed is available in processed forms and supplements, which can contain added ingredients. Ensure you choose these products safely for the sake of your health by following these few steps:

  • Seaweed snacks and recipes using seaweed often have high sodium levels, so read the label before eating packaged seaweed. Fresh seaweed or dried seaweed with less sodium may be a preferable option. 
  • Pregnant women should avoid hijiki species since samples have been discovered to have significant amounts of arsenic and other heavy metals, according to the UK Food Standards Agency.

What are the benefits of eating seaweed while pregnant?

Seaweed, in all of its forms, is rich in nutrients that can help a developing infant grow and flourish as well as the expecting mother. Some benefits derived from their consumption during pregnancy include:


Seaweed might assist you in meeting your iron requirements. When you’re pregnant, you will need approximately 30 milligrams of iron every day to avoid iron deficiency anaemia. This is because your blood volume has increased by about 50%. 


When it comes to thyroid function, iodine metabolism is quite important. Iodine aids your baby’s growth and development by assisting your thyroid in producing the appropriate hormones at an optimal level. 

When you are pregnant, experts recommend increasing your iodine consumption by 50%, and including seaweed in your diet is one way to do so.


Seaweed is also high in fibre, which can aid in relieving constipation and improving digestive function when pregnant. It helps to avoid constipation and lowers the risk of diabetes and preeclampsia.

Vitamin C

These sea vegetables have high vitamin C content, which makes the iron in seaweed extremely accessible. Vitamin C aids in the absorption and use of iron in the body. 

Vitamin C is especially significant since it aids in the absorption of the iron found in seaweed. The vitamin is also important for building immunity against infections.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of fatty acid. Seaweed is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for the development of the foetal brain. 

Preeclampsia, low birth weight, and preterm labour have all been proven to be reduced by them. They may also aid in the prevention of depression.

Seaweed contains various forms of protein, carbs, and vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. 

They also contain folate, choline, calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin K, among other minerals which are useful during pregnancy.

What is the possible risk of eating seaweed during pregnancy?

It is important to limit seaweed and their supplement consumption during pregnancy to avoid some related problems

While small amounts of iodine can be good for your baby’s neurological development, too much can cause thyroid problems. 

Furthermore, it may cause foetal hypothyroidism, which can affect your baby’s physical and mental development as well as cause heart difficulties.


In this short article, we have addressed the query, “Can you eat seaweed while pregnant?.” We have also addressed other questions about the types of seaweed, how much seaweed and iodine to eat while pregnant, and the health benefits and potential risks of seaweed during pregnancy.