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Pregnancy can be a tricky and difficult time for any woman, your hormones are imbalanced, your body is changing rapidly, your immune system is weak and that means you can get sick more often. This is why you should look for every avenue to improve your immunity and nutrition. One way to help improve your overall health would be consuming fenugreek. According to both Chinese medication and Ayurveda, Fenugreek is a natural fortifier for the immune system as well as a system cleanser. Some of the conditions fenugreek is rumoured to help combat are:
- Heart disease
- Lung disorders
Fenugreek is considered one of the most diverse and well-rounded natural ingredients for pregnant women. It is rich in anti-inflammatory properties, essential minerals and vitamins. Read on to learn all you need to know about consuming it during pregnancy.
Benefits of Fenugreek for Pregnant Women
This commonly used spice is recommended by many due to the nutritional value it provides, some cultures even consider this ingredient holy. Here are some of the benefits of consuming fenugreek during pregnancy.
- Consuming fenugreek seeds during pregnancy acts as a natural combatant for gestational diabetes.
- Breast enlargement is a common occurrence during pregnancy that causes tenderness that can be quite a bother. This spice helps alleviate pain. Soak a few seeds overnight in water and drink the liquid in the morning.
- Fenugreek has been shown to relieve the pain associated with labour along with reducing the duration of the contractions.
- Consuming it during pregnancy also helps stabilise sugar levels.
Side Effects of Fenugreek in Pregnancy
You must also be aware that several pregnant women have reported side effects. Some of the disadvantages of fenugreek in pregnancy are:
- Consuming these seeds can induce contractions, which is why it is recommended during labour. Due to the same property, it is best that you stay away from them before the 37th week as it could cause premature labour.
- Your fragile digestive system will be more sensitive to the effects of the spice. Do not consume as it could cause bloating, gas, diarrhoea, and nausea.
- Some people are naturally allergic to fenugreek. If you are one of them then you might experience reactions like swelling, nasal congestion, and wheezing.
How Much Fenugreek to Consume When Pregnant
Including this spice in your diet for various medical issues is not a complicated procedure. You can soak a teaspoon of the seeds in a glass of water overnight and consume the entire concoction in the morning. Or else you can incorporate the same amount over all your meals in the food you prepare.
Another option is to swallow the seeds with water as is. The effect of the seeds will be slower in this case. You must also remember that you can use fenugreek leaves in your diet. A fistful of clean leaves a day is the daily recommended amount you can consume.
Tips to Include Fenugreek in Pregnancy Diet
- While preparing food, particularly Indian food, be sure to add half a teaspoon of this spice in the tadka. This way your food becomes more flavourful while also giving you the benefits.
- Make curry with fenugreek leaves or methi. Make sure that you do not add too much spice and also add some jaggery to tone down the bitterness.
- Use the leaves along with spinach or lettuce to make a serving of salad every day. This will keep your stomach light and refreshed.
- Soak a handful of fenugreek seeds in water overnight, swallow the seeds and drink the water for a hydrating and nutritionally rich start to the day.
- Blend a handful of strawberries, chia seeds, honey, yoghurt and fenugreek seeds for a power smoothie to help keep you energized throughout the day.
- Soak the seeds overnight, use the water as a base for a soup and powder the soaked seeds into the broth, add veggies, meat and seasoning and let it simmer. This can be a light dinner with an extremely high nutritional value.
- Powder fenugreek seeds and add some turmeric in water, let it boil for a few minutes till it reaches a paste consistency, use this as a spread with toast, veggies and egg for a quick sandwich that can be refreshing and healthy.
- Use the seeds in powdered form with watermelon juice, squeeze some lime into it for a mocktail that is both thirst quenching and energizing
- Mix flax seeds, fenugreek seeds, coriander powder and turmeric in milk, consume it hot for a relief for sore throats, cold for a fun and unique drink late in the afternoon
- Grate some ginger and garlic, mix it with a couple of teaspoons of water, put it on a simmer and mix till it comes to a paste-like consistency, add fenugreek, chives, rosemary and thyme to create a unique barbeque marinade for meat or fish
There are numerous ways in which fenugreek can help your body when you are pregnant, it is important to remember that small to medium quantities of it can greatly boost your immune system. It can help prevent allergies and keep you healthy. It is also a great ingredient to help boost your metabolic rate.
It is also important, however, to remember that fenugreek alone cannot make up the nutrition required for an entire diet. When pregnant be sure you consume a lot of polyunsaturated fats, complex carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and protein. Limit the amount of any ingredient used throughout the day and plan your meals to ensure you get the most benefit out of your diet. Eating on time is also crucial. Ensure your meals are planned in a way where you don’t force yourself to overeat.
It is extremely important to try an ingredient like fenugreek for a day before adding it to your diet chart. Ensure you are not allergic to it, in case of an allergic reaction, contact your doctor right away. Consult a dietician for a better idea of how much fenugreek you may require on a regular basis and what nutritional requirements your body has in particular. Apart from consuming fenugreek orally, this ingredient can be used to make soaps, face scrubs and hand washes. Talk to your doctors to learn more about the application and consumption of fenugreek.