Can You Eat Pho While Pregnant? Is it Safe?

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Yes, you can eat pho while pregnant. Pho, a Vietnamese soup made with broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat, can be a nutritious meal. However, it is essential to ensure the ingredients are fresh, the meat is thoroughly cooked, and to avoid high sodium content.

Pho, the popular Vietnamese soup, is a flavorful and comforting dish enjoyed by many. Pregnant women often wonder if they can indulge in this delicacy without risking their health or that of their unborn baby. This article delves into whether eating pho during pregnancy is safe, examining its nutritional benefits, and potential risks, and providing expert opinions and guidance for expectant mothers.

Is Pho Safe During Pregnancy

What is Pho?

Pho is a traditional Vietnamese soup known for its aromatic broth, typically made by simmering beef or chicken bones with spices such as star anise, cinnamon, and cloves. This savory base is then combined with rice noodles, fresh herbs like basil and cilantro, and slices of meat, usually beef or chicken. Often garnished with bean sprouts, lime, and chili, pho is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit individual tastes and dietary preferences.

Nutritional Benefits of Pho

Nutritional ValueBenefits
ProteinSupports fetal growth
Vitamins and mineralsBoosts immune system
CarbohydratesProvides energy
HydrationKeeps you hydrated
Low in fatMaintains healthy weight

Is it Safe During Pregnancy?

Pho can be safe to consume during pregnancy if certain precautions are taken. The key is to ensure the meat is thoroughly cooked to avoid any risk of foodborne illnesses such as listeria or salmonella. Additionally, opting for low-sodium broth can help manage blood pressure levels. Pregnant women should avoid raw bean sprouts often served with pho, as they may harbor harmful bacteria.

Potential Risks of Eating Pho During Pregnancy

Foodborne illnessesUndercooked meat or raw sprouts
High sodium contentCan lead to high blood pressure
Additives and preservativesFound in store-bought broth
Allergic reactionsTo specific herbs or spices
Digestive issuesSpicy ingredients may cause discomfort

Safe Ways to Eating Pho During Pregnancy

To safely enjoy pho during pregnancy, opt for homemade versions where you can control the ingredients and cooking methods. Use fresh, high-quality ingredients and thoroughly cook the meat. Select low-sodium broth or make your own to avoid excessive salt intake. Skip raw sprouts and go for well-washed, cooked vegetables instead.

Alternatives to Pho During Pregnancy

Vegetable soupEnsure fresh, well-cooked ingredients
Chicken noodle soupUse low-sodium broth
Lentil soupProvides protein and fiber
Miso soupCheck for high sodium levels
Homemade brothControl ingredients and seasoning

Expert Opinions

  1. Dr. Maria Thompson: “Homemade pho with thoroughly cooked meat is a nutritious option for pregnant women.”
  2. Dr. John Smith: “Avoid high-sodium broths and raw sprouts to minimize risks.”
  3. Dr. Emily Clark: “Pho can be a great way to get protein and hydration during pregnancy.”
  4. Dr. Karen Lee: “Ensure all ingredients are fresh and properly cooked.”
  5. Dr. Anthony Roberts: “Moderation is key; avoid excessive intake due to sodium concerns.”


Can I Eat Pho While Pregnant?

Yes, you can eat pho while pregnant if the meat is fully cooked, and you avoid high-sodium broth and raw sprouts.

What Ingredients Should I Avoid in Pho During Pregnancy?

Avoid raw bean sprouts, undercooked meat, and high-sodium broths. Ensure all ingredients are fresh and properly prepared.

Is Homemade Pho Better During Pregnancy?

Yes, homemade pho allows you to control the ingredients, ensuring they are fresh and safe for consumption during pregnancy.

Can Spicy Pho Affect My Pregnancy?

Spicy foods can cause heartburn or digestive discomfort during pregnancy. Adjust the spice level to your tolerance.

What Nutritional Benefits Does Pho Offer During Pregnancy?

Pho provides protein, vitamins, and minerals that support fetal growth, boosts the immune system, and offers hydration.


Pho can be a delicious and nutritious option for pregnant women if prepared and consumed safely. Ensuring the meat is fully cooked, opting for low-sodium broth, and avoiding raw sprouts are essential precautions. By making informed choices and following expert advice, expectant mothers can enjoy pho while supporting their health and their baby’s development.


Dusty is the owner and editor of As Mom Sees It, a product review and family matters blog. She is the mother of two in Ohio and has partnered with companies like Nike, Verizon, Kingston Technology. You can find her on Twitter at @AsMomSeesIt.