5 Amazing Health Benefits Of Duck Meat During Pregnancy

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Duck meat is a delicacy that is savored all around the world. However, if you are a meat lover and pregnant, you may be questioning the food safety of every meat, including eating duck meat during pregnancy.

Duck meat is rich in protein and has been known to impart several pregnancy benefits. When cooked properly and consumed hygienically, it can help you lead a healthy pregnancy by improving your metabolism besides other benefits. If you are craving duck meat while pregnant, read on to know about its safety and beneficial properties.

In This Article

What Is Duck Meat?

Lots of individual worldwide enjoy duck meat as a delicacy. History reveals that humans have consumed duck meat for more than 4,000 years, particularly in Yuan dynasty in China. Cooking methods for duck meat vary from region to region. Also, duck meat is highly nutritious and offers several nutritional benefits to expecting mothers (1).

Health Benefits Of Eating Duck While Pregnant

1. Provides Essential Amounts Of Proteins:

Eating duck meat during pregnancy helps maintain healthy skin

Image: Shutterstock

Duck meat helps increase your protein intake during pregnancy. Duck offers you plenty of proteins, including all sorts of amino acids that are necessary to help you have a balanced, nutritious diet. Every 2.5 ounce (70g) serving of this cured meat provides approximately 18g of protein. For comparison, 90g chicken steak contains about 7g protein.

A good intake of proteins during pregnancy helps you develop immunity to various diseases, maintain your skin healthy and radiant, have healthy tissues, and good health for your unborn baby (2).

2. Promotes Cellular Metabolism:

Duck meat is an excellent source of mineral zinc. Every 3.5 ounce of duck meat provides your 1.9 milligrams of zinc, which is approximately 24% of recommended daily intake for women. Zinc plays a vital role in triggering and functioning of the enzymes that are crucial for healthy, effective cellular metabolism. Also, zinc strengthens your immune system substantially during pregnancy (3).

3. Helps Thyroid Function:

Duck meat also contains high amounts of mineral selenium. Every 3.5 ounce of duck meat offers 14 micrograms of selenium, which is approximately 25% of your recommended daily intake of the mineral. Selenium plays an active role in regulating several enzymatic functions in your body during pregnancy. The mineral supports thyroid functioning thus prevents the risk of thyroid problems during pregnancy.

4. Enhances Nervous System:

Eating duck meat during pregnancy prevents the risk of birth defects

Image: Shutterstock

Duck meat is a rich source of vitamin B5 and vitamin B12. One serving of duck meat contains 1.6 mg of vitamin B5, which is 32% of the daily intake value of the vitamin. Also, one serving of duck meat contains 0.4 mg of vitamin B12 that is 12% of the recommended daily intake of it. Both the vitamins promote the functioning of your nervous system during pregnancy. Vitamin B5 helps produce chemicals that play a vital role in nerve signaling. Vitamin B12 offers you good protection from nerve damage during pregnancy as well as prevents the risk of birth defects, and ensures optimal fetal development (4).

protip_icon Quick fact
Duck meat is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps support brain health and positively affects pregnancy (3).

5. Improve Hemoglobin Count:

Your body needs a lot of hemoglobin or red blood cells (RBCs) during pregnancy to keep you and your unborn baby healthy. Iron deficiency in a pregnant woman’s diet could potentially lead to the onset of anemia. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, over one-third pregnant women (about 37%) suffer from anemia globally. Duck meat is rich in iron, which helps increase hemoglobin production, and consuming it as part of your prenatal diet aids in boosting the RBC count and prevents the risk of anemia (5).

protip_icon Quick fact
Duck meat is a fair source of magnesium. Expecting moms need about 350mg of this mineral to carry out different physiological functions, such as protein synthesis (3) (4).

Can Pregnant Women Eat Duck Meat?

Pregnant women can enjoy well-cooked duck meat

Image: Shutterstock

Yes, pregnant women can enjoy duck meat, but the condition is that you should cook it well. It is advisable to cook the duck to at least 165°F before consuming it during pregnancy. You should avoid eating undercooked or raw duck since raw or undercooked meat might possess harmful bacteria that can result in serious pregnancy complications like Listeriosis and harm the maternal health.

The dioxin content in duck meat, which causes skin lesions, is also high, so cook it thoroughly. Duck meat may have residues of antibiotics, which can be potentially harming.

Also, consult your doctor before you consume this processed meat (6).

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can pregnant ladies eat duck eggs?

You can eat duck eggs if both the white and the yellow part of the egg is thoroughly cooked and solid. Any dish made from eggs should reach an internal temperature of 160 °F to make it safe to consume. Eating raw eggs or products from raw eggs such as mayonnaise or eggnog may lead to salmonella during pregnancy (1).

2. Can I eat crispy duck while pregnant?

A crispy duck can be safe to eat during pregnancy, provided it is cooked properly and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Cooking to an internal temperature of 165°F helps prevent infections such as salmonella (2).

3. Can I eat medium duck when pregnant?

According to the US Department of Agriculture, if meat from a fresh duck has been cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F, it may be safe to eat it even if it is pink in the center (2).

4. Can I have duck pancakes when pregnant?

Pancakes are safe to eat during pregnancy. But ensure you prepare them at home with fresh ingredients. It may be a good idea to avoid eating pancakes from food trucks or cafes to prevent the risk of infections.

5. Is duck meat easy to digest during pregnancy?

Duck meat is a rich source of linoleic acid and bezoar acid which makes it easy to digest (5).

Duck meat is a nutritious food rich in protein, vitamin B5, vitamin B12, selenium, and iron. Consuming duck meat during pregnancy can help meet your daily nutrition needs, which is essential for the smooth progression of pregnancy. Thus, experts recommend expecting mothers eat well-cooked duck meat as a part of a well-balanced diet. Avoid undercooked or raw meat as it could harbor harmful pathogens and contaminants and cause Toxoplasmosis, adversely affecting the mother and her baby’s overall health.

Infographic: Delicious and Nutritious Duck Recipes For Pregnant Women

Duck meat is a great way to get the protein, iron, and other essential nutrients pregnant women need. In the following infographic, we included a few of the choicest duck recipes you can enjoy during pregnancy. These recipes are not only delicious but also nutritious and easy to prepare.

duck meat recipes to try during pregnancy (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

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Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Takeaways

  • Duck meat contains high levels of protein that are essential for the health of pregnant women.
  • Pregnant women can safely consume duck meat as long as it is thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Consumption of duck meat can offer several health benefits for pregnant women, including improved thyroid function, stronger immunity, better skin health, and reduced risk of congenital disabilities.
  • Additionally, duck meat is a rich source of zinc, selenium, vitamin B5, vitamin B12, and iron.
  • Before including duck meat in their diet during pregnancy, it is recommended that women consult their doctor.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
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