Eating Broccoli During Pregnancy – Health Benefits & Recipes
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- How Safe is Eating Broccoli in Pregnancy?
- Amazing Benefits of Eating Broccoli While Pregnant
- How Much Broccoli Can Pregnant Women Eat?
- How to Choose Healthy and Fresh Broccoli
- Ways to Include Broccoli in Your Pregnancy Diet
- Can Broccoli Cause Harm to a Pregnant Woman in Any Way?
- Healthy Broccoli Recipes You Can Try
When it comes to mentioning a healthy and extremely nutritious green vegetable, broccoli pretty much takes the cake. It has been termed as a superfood by many because of the tons of nutrients it contains and the loads of benefits it brings. But not everything that is good for you can automatically be good during pregnancy as well. Hence, it is important to know whether you can have broccoli while you’re pregnant.
How Safe is Eating Broccoli in Pregnancy?
Having broccoli in your diet when you are pregnant is extremely safe and there’s no need to worry. The variety of vitamins and minerals it contains, along with other nutritional agents, makes it the perfect food to improve not only your physical health and well-being, but provide a good boost of development to your foetus as well. However, avoid eating broccoli if you have a thyroid condition.
Amazing Benefits of Eating Broccoli While Pregnant
Here are some of the reasons to include broccoli in your diet.
1. Reducing Constipation
Nearly every pregnant woman will experience constipation when she’s pregnant, which would also be one of the most discomforting things for her. The body is undergoing tremendous changes, the hormone levels are fluctuating and iron supplements are being consumed. All of these also end up impacting the stimulation of bowels. The fibre content in broccoli is substantial. This helps it in containing the water, supporting bowel movements and bringing relief from constipation.
2. Preventing Anaemia
You might already be taking iron supplements externally since the demand for iron in the body is extremely high, with the baby consuming a lot of it. But opting for a natural source of iron is always better and broccoli brings a lot of it, in the form of folic acid as well. If you’re already on supplements, your doctor can suggest adjusting the dosage to bring a balance between that and broccoli.
3. Regulating Diabetes
Not all pregnant women have diabetes right from the start. But pregnancy can itself set in a specific type of diabetes, known as gestational diabetes. With all the internal changes in the body, one of those is a reduction in the production of insulin, which is the key to breaking down sugars. Broccoli comes to the rescue in this regard as it can easily maintain the sugar content at a normal level and take off the pressure from insulin.
4. Protection of the Skin
Pregnancy results in an increased sensitivity of the skin. UV radiations can penetrate easily and cause skin damage. Broccoli not only helps in protecting your skin from it but also helps in bringing a glow to it. This is due to the various vitamins such as K, B, E, and A that all work towards keeping a healthy skin structure.
5. Strengthening Bones
The physical changes that a pregnant woman’s body undergoes lead to many problems affecting the bones, osteoporosis being just one of them. In order to make the bones stronger again, broccoli is a great choice since it contains zinc, magnesium, and a good amount of calcium.
6. Boosting Immunity
Your own immunity is at its lowest since all the body’s resources are busy taking care of the baby. Contracting infections becomes easier which could even affect the child. External boosts in this regard can be quite helpful. The presence of selenium and beta-carotene in the constitution of broccoli help provide that support and keep you and your baby protected at all times.
7. Improve Eyesight
Beta-carotene and Vitamin A are key to great vision. Both of these are present in copious amounts in broccoli. Having a regular consumption of it through your diet reduces the chances of contracting any eye-related problems, too.
8. Reducing The Risk of Cancer
That’s quite a potent benefit right there. Sure, broccoli isn’t the cure for cancer but it does contain specific elements called phytochemicals. These have certain anti-cancer properties, which help prevent the chances of developing cancer in the first place. This is not beneficial for both you and the baby temporarily but lasts throughout life.
9. Holding Off Allergies
The presence of Vitamin C in broccoli plays a vital role in preventing allergies as well as relieving a few symptoms, such as blocked noses and sneezing. On the flipside, broccoli itself could cause a few allergies to be triggered in the form of rashes. So, that’s a call you have to take for yourself.
10. Well-Rounded Pregnancy
With a number of nutritional elements to keep track of, organising the diet can get out of hand. Broccoli brings a lot of those nutrients to the table that help with the neurological development of the baby and continued fitness of the mother throughout her pregnancy.
How Much Broccoli Can Pregnant Women Eat?
For obtaining daily nutrition, you can have about 2-3 cups of broccoli in various forms of food items.
How to Choose Healthy and Fresh Broccoli
- Stay away from any broccoli that has its florets all dried out or even wilted down.
- The stalk of the broccoli should be firm and full. Any stems that are hollow should be discarded.
- If the broccoli has started developing a yellow colour, it is a sign of it reaching its maturity or even beyond it. So those are best avoided.
- Just like any other vegetables, broccoli should also be fresh and dense. Any florets that are in bright green or dark green colours are a good sign of fresh broccoli.
Ways to Include Broccoli in Your Pregnancy Diet
- You can chop the broccoli and steam it up. These could then be added to any salad or even become a great topping for pasta and pizzas that you prepare.
- Adding fresh and small broccoli to your soups can enhance the flavour in it.
- If you want a quick snack, stir-frying the broccoli with some veggies, corns or carrots using olive oil can be a healthy choice. Baking them can help create a great dish, too.
- Broccolis can even be used to make some really great dips that can be well enjoyed with bread or parathas.
- There are no specific ways to cook broccoli. Treat it like any other vegetable and cook it just like that to make it palatable.
Can Broccoli Cause Harm to a Pregnant Woman in Any Way?
With all the health benefits that broccoli brings, you might think that having it in great quantities or even craving for it might not be such a bad idea. But everything is good in moderation and consuming a lot of broccoli can have its pitfalls, too. Allergic reactions could be triggered leading to rashes or hives all over the body. Even if not severe, you could end up having gas or other stomach related problems.
Healthy Broccoli Recipes You Can Try
Here are some broccoli recipes that you can try for your kids.
1. Broccoli Cheddar Soup
This dish is delicious and as healthy as healthy can be.
- Chopped broccoli
- Cheddar cheese cubes
- Garlic powder
- Chicken broth/ vegetable stock/ water
- Chopped onion
How to Make
- Cut the broccoli and potato.
- Take a pot and add some butter to it. Let it sit on medium heat and melt. Add chopped onion to it and let it become soft.
- Follow it up by adding chicken broth/ vegetable stock/ water and putting chopped broccoli in it. Cook this entire mixture for about 15 minutes or so.
- Lower the flame and add the cheese cubes. Once they melt, add the garlic powder and top off with milk.
- Stir well.
Servings: 2 bowls
Cooking Time: 40-50 minutes
2. Broccoli Soup With Feta Cheese
It brings an English twist to the soup and a creamy flavour.
- Chopped broccoli
- Crumbled feta cheese
- Vegetable broth with low salt
- Diced potatoes
- Sliced celery sticks
- Slicked spring onion
- Finely chopped onion
- Toria oil
How to Make
- Add oil to a pan and cook onions in it.
- Follow it up with spring onions, celery, butter and potato pieces. Cook them with a cover for a few minutes.
- Pour the vegetable stock in this, following it up with the broccoli. Let it cook for ten minutes or so.
- Now, put this entire mixture into a blender and run it till it gets smooth.
- Pour it into a bowl, add the feta cheese to the top, and sprinkle some black pepper.
Servings: 2 bowls
Cooking Time: 40-50 minutes
1. Is it Safe to Eat Raw Broccoli While Pregnant?
Absolutely, as long as they are washed clean.
2. Can Pregnant Women Eat Broccoli Sprouts?
The sprouts have tons of cardiovascular benefits for both the mother and the child that can last throughout life. So, they should definitely be included in the diet.
3. Is Broccoli Rabe Safe to Eat When Pregnant?
Although not exactly broccoli, it still has a lot of similar benefits. So yes, it can be consumed with proper cleaning.
Whether any food item is tasty or healthy or nutritious, it brings its best benefits when it is consumed in the right quantities. With broccoli, too, preparing it in the right way and making it a complimentary item with a balanced diet can help you get all the benefits you need in the healthiest way possible.
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