Can I Eat Chicken while Pregnant?

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Can I Eat Chicken while Pregnant?

Can I Eat Chicken while Pregnant?

Can I eat chicken while pregnant is a question just every pregnant woman asks. When pregnant, you must cook all meat, especially chicken thoroughly so it is steaming hot and there is no trace of pink.

This is also important for meats besides chicken, such as; pork, sausages and minced meat, including burgers.

Eating Chicken while Pregnant

The greatest risk associated with chicken is the infection-causing bacteria called Listeria. It is found in contaminated chicken, and it causes an infection known as Listeriosis.

Listeriosis in pregnant women increases the risk of miscarriages, infection in the newborn, preterm delivery, or even premature death.

It is important, for peace of mind, that you know the cases of Listeria infections in pregnant women are not common. However, pregnant women are more prone to any disease or infection than women who aren't pregnant.

This bacteria cannot survive in temperatures higher than 160 degrees Fahrenheit which is why you need to cook the chicken above this temperature before eating it.


Because it will eliminate the bacteria. A pregnant woman should only consume well-cooked chicken and avoid the consumption of raw or semi-cooked chicken.

Don't Eat Rare Meat!

Pregnant women should avoid cold, cooked, ready-to-eat meats. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite that can be found in meat, soil, cat faeces and untreated water.

If you are pregnant the infection can cause harm to your baby. In saying that I don't want you to start worrying.


Because toxoplasmosis in pregnancy is very rare. If you feel you may have been at risk, discuss it with your doctor, midwife or obstetrician.

Treatment for toxoplasmosis is available if you are infected while you're pregnant.

What Can You Do?

Wash all surfaces and utensils thoroughly after preparing raw meat.

It's also important to remember to wash and dry your hands after touching or handling raw meat.

This will help to avoid the spread of harmful bugs such as salmonella, campylobacter and E. coli that can cause food poisoning.

Can I Eat Chicken when Pregnant?

Yes, you can eat chicken while pregnant. I always want you to ensure you follow all the correct food handling procedures.

Only buy chicken from a reputable supplier and make sure the chicken is well-cooked.

When faced with the option, it is a much safer option to eat hot barbecued chicken than cold chicken.

It is advisable not to reheat chicken and eat it. Always buy freshly cooked chicken that you know has been well-cooked.

What if I Buy a Cooked Chicken?

If you buy a hot, barbecued or roast chicken, eat it immediately. If you don't, you must refrigerate it and heat it again just before serving.

And I recommend you do not eat the stuffing. Unless it was cooked separately and is thoroughly hot. But to be on the safe side, avoid it.

Is Chicken Good for Me?

Chicken is a good source of protein during pregnancy and other important vitamins and minerals. About 100g of lean chicken will give you one of your recommended 3.5 daily servings of protein.

1. Lean chicken can be an excellent source of iron.

2. Chicken can be an excellent source of protein.

3. Lean chicken can be an excellent source of zinc.

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More Benefits of Eating Chicken While Pregnant

1.Eating chicken during early pregnancy will provide the necessary nourishment to aid the healthy development of the baby in the womb.

2. Chicken is low in fat content.

3. The consumption of 100 g of chicken per day fulfils 50% of the daily protein requirements of a pregnant woman.

4. Chicken is a rich source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids and is low in cholesterol content.

5. Chicken liver is a good source of the vitamin choline. It helps in brain and memory function of babies in the early years after birth.

6. Chicken liver also contains folate, which helps prevent neural tube defects in babies.

7. Chicken is a rich source of niacin or vitamin B3, which stimulates brain development and keeps the brain healthy.

8. Chicken contains nine essential amino acids that provide the necessary support for muscle building and strengthening.

9. Chicken contains vitamin A and E, selenium, and thiamine.

10. Chicken supplies the body with iron and zinc, which help in the development of new cells.

Chicken is known to be a great source of protein.

But did you know that chicken is also full of other nutrients.

  1. Calcium 11 mg
  2. Folate 6 mg
  3. Iron 9 mg
  4. Vitamin B12 9 mg
  5. Vitamin C 8 mg
  6. Vitamin D 11 mg
  7. Vitamin E 9 mg
  8. Vitamin K 5 mg
  9. Magnesium 20 mg
  10. Niacin 11 mg
  11. Protein 9g
  12. Phosphorus 147 mg
  13. Potassium 189 mg
  14. Riboflavin 12 mg
  15. Sodium 70 mg
  16. Thiamin 19 mg
  17. Vitamin A 11 mg
  18. Zinc 3 mg

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1. High in Protein

Chicken breast is one of the best foods for protein with 31 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Protein plays an important role in our diet. It is made of amino acids, which are the building blocks of our muscles.

2. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Chicken is rich in vitamins and minerals as shown above.

Vitamin B is helpful for:

  1. eliminating weakness
  2. regulating digestion
  3. preventing cataracts
  4. skin disorders
  5. boosting immunity
  6. improving the nervous system.

Vitamin B is helpful for:

  1.  calcium absorption 
  2. bone strengthening.
  3.  building eyesight
3. It Boosts Immune System

Your immune system requires adequate levels of protein; iron, magnesium, and potassium to function properly and these are all found in in chicken.

When consumed together, these nutrients strengthen cells in your immune system.

4. Your Mental Health

Studies have revealed that vitamin B is necessary to maintain mental health.

Did you know that vitamin B regularly may reduce or prevent stress, anxiety, and memory-loss syndrome?

5. Protect Eyesight

Protect your eyesight thanks to retinol, lycopene, alpha, and beta-carotene which are essential to maintaining the overall health of your eyes.

6. For Body Cells and Tissues

Chicken can promote the growth of damaged cells and tissues effectively. You can find the high content of riboflavin in chicken breast.

7. For Nail Health

Chicken can improve your nail health as it is a combination of iron, potassium, and various vitamins.

8. It Treats Anaemia

You can treat anaemia by consuming foods enriched with iron, a mineral that is widely found in chicken's liver.

When your body obtains the required amount of iron and vitamins, it can produce and balance red blood cells that will eventually deal with anaemia.

How Can I Cook Chicken to Make Sure I'm Safe?

You need to cooking chicken until it reaches 71 degrees C in the thickest part to kill bacteria. This makes the meat safe to eat. The juices should run clear when you cut into the thickest part.

Food Standards

FSANZ recommends that pregnant women avoid cold, cooked, ready-to-eat meats, including barbecued chicken.

The problem with cold meats (even if previously cooked) is that unborn babies are at an increased risk of listeriosis which is an illness caused by the listeria bacteria.

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