Is it safe for pregnant women to eat snails?

Snails are a delicious and familiar dish to many. However, there’s a common belief passed down through generations that if an expectant mother consumes snails, the child will develop excess mucus. So, what’s the truth behind this and can pregnant women eat snails? Let’s explore the following article by The Pregnancy Care to find the answer!

Nutritional value of snails

Different types of snails offer varying nutritional values. The nutritional content per 100g of snail meat includes:

– Energy: 63 to 90kcal

– Protein: 16g

– Iron: 2.5mg

– Fat: 1.4g

– Calcium for pregnant women: 13mg

– Sodium: 79mg

– Several other vitamins and minerals.

Thanks to this, snails boast high nutritional value. Adding snails to one’s diet daily can boost vitality for men and promote muscle development. Therefore, it’s evident that consuming snails during pregnancy can provide essential nutrients for the fetus.

Is it safe for pregnant women to eat snails?
Is it safe for pregnant women to eat snails?

Can pregnant women eat snails?

Many opinions suggest that pregnant women eating snails may not be beneficial for the fetus. However, this perspective lacks substantial evidence since no literature confirms that pregnant women should avoid snails.

So, can pregnant women eat snails? The answer is yes. Nevertheless, it’s advisable for mothers to consult their doctors before consumption. For pregnant women with a history of seafood allergies, it’s best to avoid snails altogether.

Should pregnant women eat snails in the first trimester?

Many mothers wonder, ‘Is it okay for pregnant women to eat snails during the first trimester?’ In such cases, doctors advise pregnant women to limit their intake. This period often involves frequent nausea during pregnancy.

Consuming too many snails during pregnancy can increase the risk of allergies. Improperly prepared snails may lead to food poisoning for expectant mothers.

What are the benefits of pregnant women eating snails?

Here are the wonderful benefits when pregnant women consume snails properly:


Eating snails helps supplement the body with magnesium. The benefits of magnesium in the body include supporting energy metabolism, regulating nutrients like potassium, zinc, vitamin D, and calcium, aiding in strong bones and teeth. It helps provide calcium to the unborn child while in the mother’s womb.


When eating snails, pregnant women supplement the body with necessary selenium, supporting the endocrine and immune systems, reducing the risk of cancer, heart diseases, low-grade inflammation, and recurrent infections. Therefore, during pregnancy, mothers should consume snails for the most natural source of selenium.


Can pregnant women eat snails? On average, 85g of snails contain approximately 231mg of phosphorus, providing 33% of the recommended daily phosphorus intake for the body.

Phosphorus aids in energy metabolism and nutrient regulation. Thus, pregnant women eating snails will benefit the fetal development.

Vitamin E

Eating snails also helps supplement vitamin E. Snails contain an abundant amount of vitamin E. With the ability to convert vitamin K, synthesize red blood cells, and protect red blood cells from the damage of free radicals. Additionally, consuming snails during pregnancy helps prevent gestational diabetes.

Which types of snails should pregnant women eat?

After addressing whether pregnant women can eat snails, let’s explore the types of snails that should and shouldn’t be consumed according to AVAKids.

Pregnant women should eat snails such as:

– Whelks

– Apple snails

– Rice snails

– Periwinkles

– Moon snails

– Conch snails…

What should pregnant women be aware of when eating snails?

To ensure safety, expectant mothers should only consume snails after the first three months of pregnancy. The reason being, during the initial trimester, pregnant women experience heightened sensitivity to smells and flavors, especially the distinctive odor and taste of snails, which can induce nausea and make them feel more bloated.

It’s best for mothers to consume home-prepared snails to ensure food safety and hygiene, avoiding the risk of food poisoning from poorly prepared dishes at eateries. Additionally, there are some considerations to note when eating snails:

Avoid prolonged soaking

Many people tend to soak snails for an extended period, believing that the longer they soak, the more dirt the snails will release, making them cleaner. However, this is a misconception. Prolonged soaking can cause the snails to die and become thin, resulting in an unpleasant odor, loss of taste, and even stomach discomfort from consuming dead snails accidentally.

To cleanse snails thoroughly, mothers can soak them in rice washing water, vinegar water, or add chili to the soaking water to eliminate impurities.

Ensure thorough cleaning and proper cooking

Snails are a nutritious dish. However, due to their habitat in ponds and lakes, snails might host various live parasites. Therefore, pregnant women who wish to eat snails should prepare them themselves, clean them thoroughly, and cook them well to avoid health risks for both themselves and the baby.

Consume in moderation

Pregnant women should eat snails in moderate amounts and at a reasonable frequency, ideally 1-2 servings per week. Overconsumption of snails may lead to bloating.

For expectant mothers experiencing gastric discomfort, chronic digestive issues, or unhealed skin ulcers, it’s best to limit snail consumption.

Eating dishes made from snails not only aids in the recovery of maternal health and enhances blood circulation but also provides a wealth of nutrients to the body, offering tremendous benefits to pregnant women. Therefore, the answer to the question ‘Can pregnant women eat snails?’ is that expectant women should consume snails at a reasonable frequency, recognizing the importance of this mineral-rich food during pregnancy.


Can I eat snails during pregnancy?

Yes, you can consume snails during pregnancy if they are cooked thoroughly. Properly cooked snails are safe to eat as they eliminate potential harmful bacteria or parasites that could cause foodborne illnesses.

Are cooked snails safe to eat?

Yes, cooked snails are generally safe to eat. Ensure they are cooked thoroughly to a sufficiently high temperature to eliminate any potential bacteria or parasites that might be present.

What seafood to avoid during pregnancy?

– Seafood with high mercury levels such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish should be avoided during pregnancy due to their potential harm to the developing fetus.

– Raw or undercooked seafood, including raw oysters, clams, sushi, or any raw fish, should also be avoided due to the risk of foodborne illnesses.

Is it safe to eat escargots?

Yes, it is safe to eat escargots (cooked snails) during pregnancy if they are cooked thoroughly. Ensure they are cooked at a sufficiently high temperature to eliminate any potential bacteria or parasites that might be present.


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