Is It Safe to Consume Eggplant While Pregnant?
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Brinjal or eggplant is a delicious vegetable that are can be boiled, baked, fried, or even made into chips. Apart from being delicious, it has health benefits such as boosting immunity and regulating cholesterol.
What Is an Eggplant?
An eggplant is more popularly known as aubergine or brinjal. It is a plant that is extensively grown for its fruit. An eggplant is shaped like an egg, looks glossy, and is purple in colour. Eggplants are rich in carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals, and are well-liked by people all over the world for their various health benefits.
Can You Eat Brinjal During Pregnancy?
Is eating brinjal or aubergines during pregnancy beneficial? The answer is simple – it is recommended for pregnant women due to its various health benefits. Brinjal helps in the development of the foetus as it provides vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin E. Brinjal also contains folic acid, which boosts the development of red blood cells in the developing foetus. So, what are the health benefits of eating brinjal during pregnancy? Read on.
Health Benefits of Eating Brinjal During Pregnancy
Here are some of the benefits of eating brinjal during pregnancy:
1. Enhances immunity
Brinjal is found to be rich in vitamin C, which is known to augment the body’s resistance against various diseases. Brinjal is, thus, good for pregnancy, as it keeps the pregnant woman away from health problems, keeping both mom and baby safe.
2. Decreases risk of hypertension
A pregnant woman is more vulnerable to hypertension and blood pressure problems, and for this reason, eggplant is a recommended diet option. Eggplant is found to be rich in thiamin, bioflavonoids, and riboflavin, which help regulate hypertension. Brinjal helps regulate blood pressure levels, assures a good heart rate and mitigates the risk of other health problems a woman may experience during pregnancy.
3. Boosts proper development of the baby
Eggplant or brinjal is found to be rich in vitamin A, vitamin E, B complex, and niacin. These rich sources together help in the proper growth of the foetus.
4. Helps regulate cholesterol levels
Eggplants are believed to reduce bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels and boost good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. By regulating cholesterol levels, eggplants also help in mitigating heart-related issues and boost a pregnant woman’s cardiovascular well-being.
5. Helps treat digestive issues
Brinjal is found to be rich in dietary fibre which helps in the easy processing of food and waste in the intestines and mitigating digestion issues in a pregnant woman. Brinjal also ensures normal bowel movements, thus eliminating one major problem a pregnant woman faces- constipation.
6. Increases RBC (red blood cells) count
Red blood cells (RBCs) are essential for the growth of the foetus as they help in the development of nerves, brain cells, and muscles, and also ensure sufficient iron levels in both the mother and the baby. Brinjal contains folate, which transforms into folic acid. Folic acid is the basic source of the production of red blood cells, thus making brinjal an essential food for pregnant women.
7. Helps regulate electrolyte balance
Eggplant is rich in various minerals such as magnesium, iron, potassium, copper, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and manganese. These minerals together help in regulating the body’s electrolyte balance and regulate the blood supply in both mother and baby.
8. Helps keep a check on gestational diabetes
Pregnant women are more vulnerable to developing gestational diabetes. In such cases, it becomes essential to regulate one’s blood sugar levels, and eggplant does exactly that. Eggplant helps in controlling blood sugar levels by managing any kind of fluctuations in the same.
Side-Effects of Having Brinjal While Pregnant
The benefits of consuming brinjal are plenty, but it has some negatives as well. We have listed some of them below:
1. May lead to premature delivery
Just like with any other fruit or vegetable, it is essential to wash brinjal thoroughly before cooking. Brinjal grows in soil that is rich in toxoplasmosis, which is known to cause premature delivery. Thus, it is absolutely important that you wash the brinjal (and any other vegetable you are consuming) thoroughly before consuming it.
3. May lead to allergies
In some cases, pregnant women may suffer from allergies on eating brinjal in excessive quantities. Even if you don’t have a history of allergies towards brinjal, it may cause mild itching or rashes. Remember not to consume brinjal if you are allergic to the vegetable.
4. May lead to acidity
Brinjal is known to induce high levels of acidity in pregnant women, which may cause them anxiety and discomfort. To avoid high acidity levels, brinjal in excess is not recommended for pregnant women.
Ways to Add Eggplant in Your Diet
Having discussed the pros and the cons, let’s discuss the ways in which eggplant can be added to a pregnant woman’s diet. One should keep in mind the following serving suggestions to make sure brinjal provides more benefits instead of side-effects.
- Indian households have varied brinjal or eggplant recipes that are lip-smacking and super healthy. You don’t have to go out of your way to make a fancy dish with brinjal; having your regular bharta or sabzi with roti or rice is enough.
- If you want to improvise or consume brinjal in a different way, you can saute thin slices of the vegetable in some olive oil. Add other veggies to it as well. Put some salt, pepper, and herbs, and enjoy.
- For a slightly fancier dish, saute thin slices of eggplant in olive oil after coating them in breadcrumbs, and top them off with a creamy sauce made of cheese or homemade mayo.
Things to Remember
Here are some things to keep in mind when consuming eggplant during pregnancy:
- Washing the eggplant before preparing it is highly recommended, as an unwashed eggplant may lead to bacteria and parasite-borne diseases.
- Eggplant is not recommended for pregnant women who have a history of allergies related to it.
- Cook the eggplant well in order to prevent any digestive issues.
Brinjal or eggplant has numerous health benefits, such as improving the circulatory system and keeping gestational diabetes at bay. However, it can lead to a plethora of health problems such as premature delivery and increased acidity. Taking stock of this, it is best to consume eggplant in moderation. Avoid it entirely if you have had a history of problems associated with brinjal.
Resources and References: Being the Parent
Also Read: Is It Safe To Eat Pineapple In Pregnancy