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A woman can have unusual food cravings during pregnancy. While some women crave for ice creams or pickles during pregnancy, others might crave for raw vegetables. Today, we will discuss one particular vegetable – onions – that some women crave for during pregnancy. Eating onions during pregnancy is usually considered safe. In fact, including onions in a pregnancy diet can offer numerous health benefits to a woman. However, some pregnant women may experience heartburn or breathing issues after consuming onions. If you are pregnant and want to include onions in your pregnancy diet, you must understand whether it is safe or not!
Nutritional Facts of Onions
Onions are a member of the allium family of vegetables which are known for their characteristic pungent aroma and taste. Onions offer great medicinal value too because of their anti-cholesterol, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. Onions contain quercetin, a plant flavonoid, that may offer protection against psoriasis, flu, and the common cold.
Onions are low in calories and packed with useful nutrients like minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins C, B6. Onions are also a good source of iron, calcium, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium – all these nutrients are essential for a pregnant woman. Apart from these, onions also contain folic acid and fibre that facilitate the production of healthy new cells. The vitamins and minerals are important for good heart health, bone health, immunity and growth of the baby. These nutrients are important for glowing skin and lustrous hair too.
Can You Eat Onions While Pregnant?
Onions, whether consumed raw or in cooked form, can offer various health benefits to a pregnant woman. So you can eat onions during pregnancy, however, it is suggested you eat them in moderation.
Benefits of Eating Onions During Pregnancy
Eating onions in moderation can prove to be very beneficial for your health during pregnancy. Read on to know some of the benefits of this vegetable.
1. Helps Strengthen the Immune System
Onions are a good source of Vitamin C which can aid in strengthening the immune system of not only the expectant mother but also the unborn child.
2. Helps Prevent Cancer
Onions are profuse with organic sulfur compounds that can help prevent cancer of several types particularly colorectal and stomach cancers by fighting the growth of free radicals responsible for causing cancer.
3. Improves the Health of the Hair and Skin
Onions are a good source of Vitamin A, C, and E. All these vitamins contribute to keeping the skin and hair healthy. These vitamins also help with hair fall and help from premature ageing.
4. Promotes Healthy Digestion
You can also benefit from eating raw onions during pregnancy as onions include dietary fibre which is known to improve digestion. Eating onions during pregnancy can lower the chances of gastric ulcers and improve your digestive health, thus providing you with relief from constipation.
5. Helps Combat Gestational Diabetes
The sulfur compounds and quercetin present in onions can also play a positive role in combating gestational diabetes by controlling the blood sugar levels. The fibre content of onions can also help with GDM.
6. May Help Improve Sleep
Onions have prebiotics, which can lower stress and improve sleep. Onions also consist of folate that can help fight pregnancy depression by preventing the excess formation of homocysteine in the body. Excess of homocysteine can upset the release of feel-good hormones in the body leading to mood swings, stress, and depression.
7. May Help Manage Blood Pressure
Eating onions during pregnancy may help in regulating the blood pressure as onions have plenty of phytonutrients and potassium that can prevent hypertension-related complications.
Possible Side Effects of Consuming Onions While Pregnant
Although onions can offer various health benefits to a pregnant woman, if consumed in excess, they can lead to certain side effects. Mentioned below are the possible side effects of consuming onions in excess:
1. Diarrhoea and Heartburn
2. Allergic Reaction
Some pregnant women may be intolerant to onions and may have an allergic reaction on consuming onions in excess. Some women also have breathing problems after eating onions in large quantities.
Onions are a healthy vegetable and you can include them in your pregnancy diet. However, remember to eat them in moderation. In case of any concerns regarding allergic reactions, it is always advisable to consult a doctor. Better yet, consult a doctor or nutritionist beforehand and have a safe and healthy pregnancy!
Also Read: Consuming Tomato during Pregnancy