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Brinjals are delicious vegetarian treats that are can be boiled, baked, fried or even made into chips. Apart from its taste enhancing feature, it also has health benefits such as being an immunity booster and cholesterol regulator.
What Is Eggplant?
Eggplant or more popularly known as aubergine or even brinjal. It is a plant that is grown extensively for its fruit. It is known as an eggplant as it is shaped like an egg, looks glossy and is purple in colour. Eggplant is found to be rich in carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals and thus is well liked by people all over the world for its various health benefits.
Can You Eat Brinjal During Pregnancy?
Brinjal or aubergine during pregnancy is beneficial or not is a question that runs through the mind of every pregnant woman. According to some people, brinjal is not a recommended to pregnant women as it is believed to contain phytohormones which in turn may lead to menstruation, thus, miscarriages.
On the other hand, brinjal is recommended for pregnant women due to its various benefits. Brinjal helps in the development of the foetus as it provides vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin E. Brinjal also contains folic acid that in turn boosts the development of red blood cells in the new life form.
Health Benefits Of Eating Brinjal During Pregnancy
Brinjal is good for pregnancy as it provides several health benefits some of which are listed below
1. Enhances immunity
Brinjal is found to be rich in vitamin C which in turn is known to augment a body’s resistance towards varied diseases. Thus brinjal is good for pregnancy as it helps pregnant women stay away from health problems as even a simple fever or infection to a pregnant woman could harm the baby.
2. Decreases risk of hypertension
A pregnant woman is more vulnerable to hypertension and blood pressure problems, and for the same reason eggplant is a recommended diet option as it is found to be rich in thiamin, bioflavonoids, and riboflavin which in turn help regulate hypertension. Brinjal helps regulate blood pressure levels, assures good heart rate and also 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 C, vitamin A, vitamin E, B complex and even niacin. These rich sources all together help in the proper growth of the fetus.
4. Helps regulate cholesterol levels
Eggplants are believed to reduce bad cholesterol levels or more aptly the low-density lipoproteins (LDL) levels and in turn boost good cholesterol levels or the high-density lipoproteins (HDL) levels. By regulating the cholesterol levels, the eggplant also helps in mitigating the heart-related issues and boosts cardiovascular well-being in a pregnant woman.
5. Helps treat digestive issues
Brinjal is found to be rich in dietary fibre which in turn helps in the easy processing of food and waste inside the intestinal areas which helps in mitigating digestion issues in a pregnant woman. Brinjal also ensures normal bowel movement thus eliminating the main problem a pregnant woman goes through, constipation.
6. Increases the count of RBCs (Red Blood Cells)
Red blood cells (RBCs) are essential for the growth of the foetus as it greatly helps in the development of nerves, brain cells, and muscles and also ensures sufficient iron presence in both the mother and the baby. Brinjal contains folate which when consumed transforms into folate acid. Folate acid is a basic source for producing red blood cells and thus making brinjal an essential food for pregnant women.
7. Helps in regulating electrolyte balance
Eggplant is rich in various minerals such as magnesium, iron, potassium, copper, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and even manganese. These minerals all together help in regulating electrolyte balance and also helps in regulating proper blood supply, both in mother and the child.
8. Helps in keeping a check on gestational diabetes
Pregnant women are more vulnerable to gestational diabetes. In such cases, it becomes essential to regulate the blood sugar levels, and eggplant exactly does that. Eggplant helps in controlling blood sugar levels by averting any kind of fluctuations in the same.
Side Effects Of Having Brinjal While Pregnant
We looked at the benefits, but on the other hand, there also exist several reasons to avoid brinjal during pregnancy, some of which have been listed below
1. May lead to miscarriage
Brinjal is rich in phytohormones, which triggers menstruation which could lead to miscarriage. However, if brinjal is consumed in small quantity and on an occasional basis, it may not be that harmful to pregnant women.
2. May lead to premature delivery
Brinjal grows in the soil which is rich in toxoplasmosis, and when brinjal is not properly rinsed before preparing it and is consumed extensively by a pregnant woman, it may lead to premature delivery. Eggplant, when eaten more than often by a pregnant woman, is believed to stimulate uterine contractions which forms another reason for premature delivery.
3. May lead to allergies
Not all, but in some rare cases, pregnant women may suffer from allergies when they consume brinjal beyond recommended quantities. The reason behind such allergy could also be the changing hormonal balances in a pregnant woman.
4. Cold/Hot Food category
Brinjal comes in hot or cold food category and is thus not a recommended food item. Mainly in Japan, eggplant is considered to be a dark food that spreads cold energy, therefore is regarded as inappropriate to consume when pregnant.
5. May lead to high levels of acidity
Brinjal is believed to induce high levels of acidity in pregnant women, which may cause them anxiety and discomfort. Thus for avoiding high acidity levels, brinjal is not a recommended food item for pregnant women.
Ways To Add Eggplant In Your Diet
Having discussed the pros and the cons, it also becomes important to discuss the ways in which eggplant should be added to the diet of a pregnant woman. One should keep in mind the following serving suggestions to make sure brinjal provides more of benefits rather than the side effects.
1. Cut thin slices of eggplant and sauté them in a frying pan with olive oil used in minimum quantities. Saute the eggplant with salt to taste and other herbs and avoid using it as a main course dish.
2. Avoid consuming fried eggplants as it may lead to weight gain, acidity, high cholesterol levels or even other discomforts.
3. Talking on healthier grounds, you could also choose to prepare parmesan eggplant by sautéing eggplant thin slices with breadcrumbs, sauce, and low-fat cheese.
Things To Remember
Some things to keep in mind include:
- Washing eggplant before preparing it is highly recommended as unwashed eggplant may lead to bacteria-borne diseases
- Eggplant is not at all preferred in pregnant women if they have a history of allergies related to consuming it
- Brinjal should be cooked thoroughly so as to avoid digestive issues related to eating it raw
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 eat brinjal in moderation. Avoid it entirely if you have had a history of problems associated with brinjal.
Also read: Is It Safe To Eat Pineapple In Pregnancy