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Great for weight loss and an amazing treat during the summers, the humble cucumber has more than meets the eye, especially when it comes to pregnancy. Besides being full of nutrients and known for boosting fertility and improving conception rates in women, cucumbers are a welcome addition to healthy diets when it comes to pregnancy.
However, many pregnant women wonder if there are any side effects that could potentially spell disaster for you or your baby. Here is everything you need to know about eating this fascinating vegetable during pregnancy.
Is Eating Cucumber During Pregnancy Safe?
Cucumbers can cause certain reactions in women and are usually not advised during pregnancy. As a rule of thumb, we say no to “Can I Eat Cucumber During Pregnancy?” if you have-
- Chronic Nephritis
- Gastric reflux disease
Health Benefits of Cucumber for Pregnant Women
Although cucumbers have their cons when it comes to pregnancy, here’s a list of popular health benefits that may make you consider adding a small number of cucumbers in your pregnancy diet, especially if you’re craving them.
1. Low in Calories
It’s close to impossible to gain weight due to cucumbers. It prevents obesity and keeps you feeling full for a longer time. Want to know how many calories this vegetable has? Only 8 calories for a half-cup serving of these with their peels included!
2. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient for strong and healthy bones. Cucumbers have Vitamin K, plus other heart and brain-healthy B-vitamins, iron, folic acid, and magnesium.
3. Prevents Dehydration
We’re talking about plenty of water found in cucumbers along with lots of minerals. You won’t have to worry about electrolyte imbalance due to dehydration since cucumbers will take care of it.
4. Enhances Skin Elasticity
If you’re in your first trimester, we recommend adding a bit of cucumber to up your collagen intake and boost skin elasticity for your already-widening bump.
5. Prevents Swelling
Cucumbers are a natural diuretic and eliminate swelling in the body, too.
6. Improves Mood
The B-vitamins found in cucumbers are known as “feel-good” vitamins that are good for the brain and boost your mood.
7. Foetal Development
Let’s not forget facts. Cucumbers come with Vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, folic acid, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and iron, all of which are essential for fetal development, thus, preventing growth abnormalities.
8. Bye-Bye Constipation
Cucumbers have a high fibre content. That means, no more constipation or bouts of haemorrhoids during your pregnancy.
9. Boosts Immunity
Rich in vital antioxidants, cucumbers boost your immunity and prevent infections during pregnancy.
10. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you may consider reaching out for a cucumber, as it regulates blood pressure and sugar levels in the body.
Risks and Side Effects of Eating Cucumber When Pregnant
There are downsides, too, when it comes to eating cucumber during pregnancy. Here are some of the side-effects of cucumbers.
1. Intestinal Gas
This is one of the most common problems that stems from eating cucumbers during pregnancy. You may also experience indigestion and belching.
2. Frequent Urination
You may feel fullness of bladder often, leading to frequent urination. This may cause discomfort, depending on the trimester of your pregnancy.
If you’re allergic to cucumbers, you may experience swelling and itching.
Cucumbers have toxins like cucurbitacins and tetracyclic triterpenoids, which lead to their bitter taste. When consumed in large quantities, these toxins can become life-threatening.
5. May Lead to Hyperkalemia
When consumed too much, the high potassium content in cucumbers causes abdominal cramps, bloating, and even affects your kidneys.
Tips for Preparing Cucumber
If your doctor has given you the green light to eat cucumbers during pregnancy, it’s time to enjoy its benefits. Here are a couple of tips on prepping cucumbers for a delicious meal-
Make sure you eliminate the chemicals, dirt, and dust that come with cucumbers. Don’t eat them straight out of the box (or shop!) Wash and clean before eating.
Incorporate in Salads and Smoothies
Cucumbers are a wonderful addition to your salads and juices. If you drink detox smoothies or shakes, you may add them to it.
Add a little salt and refrigerate for 30 minutes. If you’re eating the cucumbers raw, this is a cool cucumber classic!
Use Them in Sandwiches
Cucumber and tomato sandwiches, anyone? You can even steam cucumbers and have them alongside barbecued food and other tasty treats. Chaat and snacks work too.
Use a Blender
If you’re planning to juice a cucumber, get a blender and mix it with other fruits and delicious veggies to whip up tantalising smoothies. It’s good for you and works like a charm during pregnancy.
FAQs About Cucumbers
1. Is it Safe to Eat Cucumbers at Night?
Yes, cucumbers can safely be eaten during the night, alongside your dinner. However, note that the high water content in them may cause your bladder to feel fuller than usual, making you feel like peeing more frequently. This may disrupt your sleep, which can lead to other issues. You can have an early dinner or avoid eating cucumbers 3-4 hours before you sleep, to prevent this from happening.
2. What is the Best Way to Store Cucumbers?
The best way to ensure your cucumbers are fresh is by storing them in the fridge. You can store it in a ziplock bag or special veggie bag to retain the moisture for a long time and prevent the cucumber from going limp.
3. How Can I Pick Fresh Cucumbers?
Look for cucumbers that are stiff, rather than limp. The peel shouldn’t be bruised or punctured. Avoid picking cucumbers that are light in weight. Lastly, look for cucumbers with darker skin. The darker the skin, the more nutritious the cucumber will be.
Although cucumbers are great, they can be bad for you if you’re pregnant, depending on your medical condition and overall health. We’re not bashing cucumbers, we’re just saying that take care and exercise precaution before eating them. Talk to your doctor and find out whether or not cucumbers are safe for you if you’re pregnant.
Also Read: Eggplant during Pregnancy