Eating Garlic During Pregnancy – Benefits, Risks & Recipes
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Garlic is a herb that is grown all around the world and is a commonly used ingredient in many recipes. But it is more than just a flavouring agent as it offers various medicinal benefits too. But does it also benefit a pregnant woman? Find out!
Garlic is known to help treat certain pregnancy-related problems like high blood pressure and blood circulation. But if you are pregnant, you should be very careful about the quantity of garlic you include in your diet. Eating garlic or any other food will have an impact on your health as well as your baby’s health so you must be careful before including any new food or herb in your pregnancy diet.
Is It Safe to Eat Garlic During Pregnancy?
Garlic is safe for consumption during pregnancy as long as it is consumed in moderate amounts. This is especially true for the first trimester of pregnancy. If you want to add garlic to any dish you make, make sure you don’t add in too much as eating too much garlic in the first trimester of pregnancy can affect the health of the foetus negatively.
You must also exercise caution while including garlic in your diet in the second trimester as well as the third trimester of your pregnancy, as eating excess garlic during this time could lower your blood pressure levels and thin your blood. Hence, proper guidance from a doctor is advised about the quantity of garlic that is suitable for you.
How Much Garlic Can You Eat While Pregnant?
Pregnant women can consume about two to four cloves of fresh garlic daily. This translates to a rough 600 to 1200 mg of garlic extract. During pregnancy, you can also use about 0.03 to 0.12 ml of garlic essential oil after consulting with your doctor.
Benefits of Eating Garlic While Pregnant
Garlic is known as a healthy add-on in a pregnancy diet for various reasons. Here are some of the benefits of eating garlic during pregnancy.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels and the Risk of Heart Problems
Garlic is a well-known remedy for heart problems. Eating garlic during pregnancy can lower the chances of these complications. Garlic in its crushed or chopped form has allicin compound in it, which helps balance cholesterol levels.
Helps Prevent Cancer
Consuming garlic can prevent the occurrence of cancer, especially colon cancer. Eating garlic, onions, and chives can lower the risk of stomach and oesophageal cancer.
Lowers the Risk of Infections
Eating foods with garlic in them can boost your immune system and help fight various illnesses. By including garlic in your diet, you can combat infections and a cold or flu, and keep your baby healthy.
It Can Help Treat Skin Problems
The anti-microbial properties of garlic make it an ideal remedy for skin infections or even infections of the mouth. Topical application of garlic in such cases is known to provide relief.
It Can Help Prevent Hair Loss
Garlic is rich in allicin, a compound that is based on sulphur. Sulphur is known to prevent hair loss and also promote the growth of new hair.
Garlic is also known to lower the instances of fatigue in pregnant women. Tiredness and fatigue is a common problem during pregnancy but these can be taken care of by eating garlic. Eating garlic can even provide relief from dizziness and vomiting sensation during pregnancy.
Side Effects of Eating Food With Too Much Garlic in It
Despite the multifold benefits that it offers, garlic, when consumed in large amounts, can lead to a few side effects in pregnant women. Here are some of the side effects of consuming too much garlic during pregnancy.
Garlic is a natural blood thinner. If you consume excessive amounts of garlic, it may lead to uncontrollable bleeding during labour or delivery, whether normal or C-section.
Eating garlic in excessive amounts can result in low blood pressure. While low blood pressure can be beneficial for women with preeclampsia, it may be harmful to others. During pregnancy, the blood pressure lowers due to expanding vessels in the first few weeks. However, when the blood pressure drops to a dangerous level, it may send a woman’s body to shock and she might faint.
Garlic may react negatively with certain anti-coagulation medications like insulin, cyclosporine, coumadin, and saquinavir.
It can increase the insulin release and lower the levels of sugar in the blood.
It may also lower one’s ability to absorb iodine and lead to hypothyroidism.
Many women believe that eating garlic during pregnancy can cause a miscarriage. While garlic has certain properties that may cause a miscarriage, but it happens only when a woman consumes it in large quantities.
Healthy Garlic Recipes for Pregnant Women
Adding a small amount of garlic in your pregnancy diet can be beneficial for both the mother and the baby. If you want to add garlic to the dishes you make, you should consult a doctor before you do so. In case your doctor approves of your garlic intake, then you can try out the recipes given below.
1. Cauliflower Soup With Garlic
Cauliflower soup with garlic in it would serve as a perfect appetiser for a healthy meal. You can make this healthy vegetarian soup in a jiffy.
- 2 to 3 sliced garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- A bowl of chopped cauliflower
- 5 cups of chicken broth with low sodium
- Some freshly chopped thyme leaves
- Black pepper and Kosher salt
How to Make
Heat some oil in a pan and add the garlic to it. Stir it until it starts to give its distinct aroma or until it turns golden brown in colour. Turn off the flame. Transfer it to a bowl and keep aside.
Take the chicken broth in a deep vessel. Add the cauliflower, thyme, salt and black pepper to it. Let this mixture simmer for 15 minutes until the cauliflower turns tender. Allow it to cool for some time.
Transfer it to a blender and blend it to a smooth puree.
Garnish it with the roasted garlic and thyme and enjoy.
2. Snow Peas Stir-Fried With Garlic
An all-time favourite of kids and adults, snow peas can be had as a side dish. You can make it in no time and enjoy during pregnancy.
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups of snow peas
- ½ tablespoon of cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds
- Salt as per taste
How to Make
Boil some water in a deep vessel and add the snow peas, salt, and some cooking oil to it. Let it cook for about one minute and keep aside.
In a pan, fry the minced garlic and add the boiled snow peas to it. Sprinkle some salt and sesame oil and stir-fry.
Transfer the stir-fried peas into a plate and garnish it with toasted sesame seeds.
3. Honey Garlic Chicken Recipe
Honey garlic chicken tastes delicious and can be eaten with rice.
- ¼ cup garlic, minced
- 1 cup of soy sauce
- 1 cup of honey
- ¼ cup minced ginger
- 4 boneless chicken thighs
How to Make
Preheat the oven to 200 degree Celsius.
Whisk the honey, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce together until they blend well.
Take the chicken thighs in a bowl and pour the above mixture over the chicken thighs, and let them marinate for an hour or more.
Place them in the oven for about 20 minutes. Flip in between and glaze with the honey-garlic mixture and cook again.
You can eat honey garlic chicken with rice or veggies.
1. What If I Eat Too Much Garlic While Pregnant?
Eating garlic can be very beneficial during pregnancy as long as it is consumed in moderation. Eating too much garlic during pregnancy may irritate your digestive tract and upset your stomach. Excess garlic may even lead to some other serious issues like low blood pressure, blood thinning, etc. It is advised that you consume no more than 2 to 3 cloves of garlic daily to avoid any complications. In case you notice any signs of complications, it is best to reach out to your doctor immediately.
2. What If I Eat Raw Garlic on an Empty Stomach?
Eating raw garlic on an empty stomach causes no problems. In fact, it is known to help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of catching colds or infections.
Garlic is an age-old remedy for many health conditions. It proves to be beneficial even during pregnancy, however, only when consumed in limited amounts. You are advised to discuss with your doctor about the benefits and side effects of consuming garlic during pregnancy before you make it a part of your diet.
Also Read: Consuming Ginger During Pregnancy