Can You Eat Olives When Pregnant? [Explained]

Verified by Edna Skopljak MD
Verified by Edna Skopljak MD

Edna Skopljak is a medical doctor and an editor at BJBMS medical journal. She graduated from the University of Sarajevo School of Science and Technology.

When pregnant, you might get a craving for olives.

If this happens, you’ll want to know whether you can indulge or not.

This article will look into whether you can eat olives when pregnant.

Follow along for the benefits of olives during pregnancy, if you can eat kalamata olives while pregnant, if craving olives means you’ll have a boy or a girl, and if you can eat green olives when you’re expecting.

Can You Eat Olives When Pregnant?

Yes, you can eat olives when pregnant as long as they are properly stored and treated. Like many of the pre-made side dishes and deli meats you get at the market, certain olives can be contaminated with listeria.

Listeria is a concern in pregnancy because pregnant women are ten times more likely to contract the infection (FDA). Not only this, but listeria also poses significant health threats to babies before and after birth, including death.

Therefore, the safest olives you can get to avoid harmful bacteria like listeria are those that have been heat-treated.

You can find heat-treated olives in cans or jars. These olives will have a soft texture and are pasteurized or sterilized.

Pregnant women should avoid olives from an open container, as this may allow the bacteria to seep in.

Another tip to note is that olives stored in brine might be better at deterring bacteria like listeria and E. coli (NIH).

Benefits of Olives During Pregnancy

Olives are packed with healthy fats like oleic acid and antioxidants. They are also excellent sources of vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, iron, copper, and calcium (Healthline).

These components of olives can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Some research even suggests that they could minimize the risk of cancer and bone loss (Healthline).

The Mayo Clinic advocates for vitamins that contain calcium as they encourage the growth of your baby’s teeth and bones. Certain vitamins like vitamin E could also be beneficial during pregnancy.

The clinic adds that having a substantial amount of iron in pregnancy is essential as it promotes the development of the placenta and fetus, assists your body in making blood to supply oxygen to the baby, and prevents anemia.

Can I Eat Kalamata Olives During Pregnancy?

Yes, you can eat kalamata olives during pregnancy as long as they have been properly stored and heat-treated (pasteurized or sterilized).

Does Craving Olives During Pregnancy Mean Boy or Girl?

Currently, no evidence exists to confirm that craving olives while pregnant means you’re more likely to have a boy or a girl.If anything, craving olives might be a sign of fluctuations in your hormone levels. Since olives are high in sodium, craving them could mean that your body needs more salt

Can You Eat Green Olives When Pregnant?

Yes, like most olives, you can eat green olives during pregnancy if they are heat-treated and properly stored.


Olives are safe to eat during pregnancy if they are safely stored and heat-treated. These recommendations apply to both green and kalamata olives.

Olives can help promote health benefits like healthy bones in the mother and baby, and lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Olives cannot, however, determine whether you will be having a boy or a girl.