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Pregnancy opens you up to eating a variety of food preparations that can give you all the nutrition you need. Meat preparations can come in different forms with different components of it, which might raise a question on their safety for a pregnant woman. Eating chicken liver during pregnancy or any other liver might not be best, even though you might have gorged on it prior in your life without any issues. Being in the know about what is the best practice while eating liver and sticking to it, while being aware of the risks, can help you make an informed choice.
Can Pregnant Women Eat Liver?
On a general note, consumption of liver is generally not forbidden for pregnant women. The liver is known to contain a variety of substances that can be quite beneficial for the mother as well as the growing child. However, there are a few risks that might present themselves and it is necessary to mitigate them in the best way possible.
Different Forms of Liver
In meat preparations, the liver can be consumed by various animals and is generally presented in more than one style, in order to suit different palates. As much as the source might govern its edibility, the style of generally doesn’t.
- Preparation of sausages from livers is a rather popular way of eating liver based food items in numerous parts of the world.
- Another quick side-dish or a snack of sorts to go along with other preparations is the chopped liver, making it quite a delicious preparation.
- Liver pate is generally a small loaf-like portion of meat that contains liver along with many other meat items and foods mixed together in it.
Benefits of Consuming Liver in Pregnancy
The liver contains some vital elements that are considered essential for a mother and her baby in pregnancy, which makes consumption of liver quite a beneficial choice.
- Folic acid is known to be present in the liver that plays a key role in the protection of the child within the womb as well as boosts his neurological development.
- Proteins are the core source of energy that a woman requires in good amounts throughout pregnancy, and she can get enough of them from the liver.
- Vitamin A not only provides an all-around nutrition but also directly impacts the development of eyesight and immunity in the nascent child.
- Presence of iron in the liver is one of the main reasons why pregnant women are recommended liver consumption since it reduces risks of anaemia and keeps the blood healthy.
What is the Amount of Liver That is Safe to Consume while Pregnant?
There is no benchmark at how much proportion of liver is considered safe in which form for a pregnant woman. The proportions of vitamins in it are quite substantial so it is quite easy to overdo them by regular consumption of liver. Hence, it is generally in your best interest to keep its consumption restricted to once a week or twice a month.
Risks of Eating Liver When Pregnant
Meat is generally beneficial for a mother. But the constituents in the liver are in quite a good proportion, making certain risks of overconsumption rather apparent in this case.
- The nutrient proportions are different in the chicken liver as compared to the beef liver or mutton liver. That needs to be taken into account when planning the diet.
- Vitamin A is present in large proportions in the liver. As beneficial as it might be, consuming a lot of it can be harmful to the baby.
- The vitamin A is present in the liver in the form of retinol. This is a precursor to the actual vitamin, which is why it is risky to consume it in high quantities. Overconsumption has been linked with developmental defects in the child and creation of cancer in the mother.
- Along with retinol, a higher proportion of cholesterol makes liver a bad choice for a pregnant woman who has problems related to hypertension.
Liver Products to Avoid During Pregnancy
You might be abstaining from consuming any liver directly but there are certain products that ought to be avoided as well, which contain liver constituents in their preparation, or derivatives of the same. These usually are:
- Certain skin care products which make use of retinol in their manufacturing.
- Nutrition supplements that contain retinol as a way to deliver Vitamin A.
- Cod liver oil or shark oil along with certain spreads or dips that can contain liver traces within them.
Alternative Sources of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is absolutely essential for the baby without a doubt. You don’t need to depend purely on the liver for it since it can be easily obtained from numerous other sources. Vegetables are a much safer choice in this regard, since vitamin A is present in the form of beta-carotene, instead of retinol. Some of these are:
Eating mutton liver during pregnancy when you have cravings for it isn’t harmful to you. Preparing it the right way and restricting its consumption to the occasional luxury can help you enjoy the taste of it while keeping you safe from its possible harmful consequences.