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For an expecting mother, taking care of her health becomes twice as important, since there are twice as many lives to take care of. To ensure a safe delivery and a healthy baby, adopting a mindful diet is a must. Making green vegetables a part of your diet has many advantages. One such vegetable is Cabbage, also popularly known as Patta Gobi in India. It provides a number of medical advantages for the soon-to-be mom’s health. But there are a few heads-up in terms of the risks of consuming cabbage. In this article we discuss its benefits during pregnancy and when to avoid it.
Is It Safe to Eat Cabbage in Pregnancy
Yes, it is absolutely safe and in fact, health specialists recommend the inclusion of cabbage in pregnancy diet. You should, though, avoid eating raw cabbage as it is more prone to bacterial contamination, in turn, more likely to cause food poisoning. Food-borne illnesses like listeria are very risky since the infection can sicken you and the unborn baby, and it has often resulted in miscarriage, premature delivery or even stillbirth.
If you are consuming Patta gobi during pregnancy, do make sure that you properly wash, boil, cook, or roast it before eating. You might want to avoid coleslaw which includes raw cabbage. You can consume it in various preparations such as cabbage pancakes and soup.
Nutrients Available in Cabbage
Cabbage is a low calorie, fibre-rich vegetable. This leafy ball is loaded with nutrients which are essential for your body, such as:
- Nutrients – Calories, Carbohydrates, Protein, Fibre, Fat
- Vitamins – Vitamin A, C, K, B6, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine, Niacin, Riboflavin, Thiamin
- Electrolytes – Potassium, Sodium
- Minerals – Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Phosphorus
Health Benefits of Eating Cabbage while Pregnant
The nutrient-rich cabbage provides a lot of health benefits owing to its nutrition contents, some of which are:
1. Better Digestion
Constipation is a common symptom in pregnant women and cabbage helps in regulating bowel movement on account of its high amount of dietary fibre. If you have gas-related issues, you must avoid consuming large amounts.
2. Improvement of DNA Health
The Folic acid in cabbage protects the foetus from neural tube birth defects and facilitates proper replication of DNA.
3. Bone Health
Cabbage is also a rich source of Calcium and Vitamin K which helps to make your bones stronger and helps to form strong bones for the baby.
4. Regulation of Blood Pressure
Electrolytes in there play a vital role in the regulation of blood pressure and heart rate, and cabbage is loaded with them.
5. Immunity Boost
As it is a rich source of antioxidants and vitamin C, cabbage helps in improving your immune system.
6. Low Weight Gain
Since cabbage is low in energy density and rich in nutrient content, it often plays a key role in a weight-loss diet. It can make you feel full by letting you consume fewer calories.
7. Prevention of Some Forms of Cancer
Anthocyanin, which is present in purple cabbage, is said to provide protection from certain types of cancers.
8. Treatment of Gestational Diabetes
The fibre-rich vegetable aids maintenance of blood sugar levels and thereby reduces the risk of developing gestational diabetes, which is quite common during pregnancy.
9. Lowered Risk of Anaemia
Iron deficiency is a major cause of anaemia. A pregnant woman can benefit from the iron content in cabbage to keep the threat of anaemia away.
10. Treatment of Swollen legs
Pregnancy oedema is a common condition identified by swelling in certain parts of the body due to additional blood and fluid. Wrapping cabbage leaves around the swollen areas can help to relieve the swelling.
What Variety of Cabbage Beneficial for Pregnancy?
Purple or red cabbage although less popular than the green, is richer in nutritious value. Although green cabbage is richer in Vitamin K, the purple cabbage contains comparatively more amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Iron than the green variety. Anthocyanin is present in purple cabbage while absent in the other. With the availability of many varieties, it’s possible to include different types in your diet. While choosing to buy cabbage in general, look for the ones that feel heavy for their size.
Harm-Effects of Eating Raw Cabbage when Pregnant
Since it is sprayed with pesticides and fungicides, it is prone to bacterial infections and food-borne illnesses. It is better yet to consume organic cabbage. Washing it thoroughly is a must!
Also, avoid overeating cabbage if you’re vulnerable to gas problems because consuming a large amount of it can lead to increased intestinal gas and pain.
When to Avoid Eating Cabbage?
Though it is healthy to consume green or red cabbage during pregnancy, there are some precautions to be taken. For example,
- Buy fresh cabbage and check for any damage.
- You must try not to buy pre-cut cabbage as the Vitamin C content starts falling down once it is cut.
- If you’re allergic to it, it is advisable to keep from consuming cabbage.
- For people with thyroid problems, cabbage can be avoided, since it reduces iodine absorption.
Things to Remember
For a healthy diet, it’s also crucial to know the don’ts. So, let’s take a recap.
- Wash, boil, sauté or cook cabbage. Avoid eating it raw during pregnancy.
- Avoid overeating.
- Buy wisely and make new preparations to keep it interesting.
Considering all the health benefits of cabbage during pregnancy, consume any variety in a safe and healthy way. Even better if you consult your doctor for a proper diet, custom made for your body and the best health for you and your baby.