Eating Parsley in Pregnancy – Is it Harmful?
Parsley is a popular herb that adds flavour to dishes. Its aroma and strong flavour can make any dish appealing. If you have a habit of adding parsley to whatever you cook, then you may wonder if you have to give up that habit when you are pregnant. When you are pregnant, you must pay attention to what you eat, as whatever you eat will affect your baby. So, be a little cautious before adding anything in your diet. Let’s find out if you can eat parsley during pregnancy or not.
Is Parsley Safe During Pregnancy
Parsley is a biennial herb which was earlier found only in the Mediterranean region. However, this herb is now grown in all parts of the world and is used in many culinary preparations. Parsley leaves can instantly charge any dish with its aromatic flavour. Some people even drink it in the form of tea. If you are wondering if you can drink parsley tea while pregnant, then, yes, you can drink parsley tea during this time. Its diuretic properties help in getting rid of the pregnancy-related swelling. Parsley is very safe for consumption during pregnancy; however, overconsumption should be avoided as it may lead to various health complications.
Health Benefits of Eating Parsley When Pregnant
Are you interested in knowing how parsley may prove to be beneficial during pregnancy? Here are some of the many benefits of parsley:
- This wondrous herb is rich in folic acid, which is essential for the development of the nervous system of the baby. It also keeps congenital abnormalities at bay.
- Parsley, being rich in vitamin B and vitamin C, helps one cope up with oxidative stress in pregnancy.
- Lowered immunity during pregnancy can make you sick often. However, consuming parsley, which is rich in antioxidants, can keep your immune system intact during pregnancy. Also, the antioxidants present in parsley can help fight against free radicals.
- It is a rich source of magnesium and potassium, the minerals which help reduce swelling. Potassium is also beneficial to maintain good heart health.
- This herb also has anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce joint pain and swelling during pregnancy.
- It helps combat digestion problems such as gas and bloating.
- In case you suffer from anaemia during pregnancy or have an iron deficiency, adding parsley to your pregnancy diet can prove to be helpful.
- Parsley has substantial amounts of calcium and vitamin K which is required by a pregnant woman to take care of her bone-health during pregnancy. It is also helpful in taking care of the osteoarticular system of the mother and the baby.
- It is also good for the skin. It even helps reduce swelling and calms the skin.
Tips to Keep in Mind While Consuming Parsley in the Early and Later Stages of Pregnancy
Here’s what you need to keep in mind while consuming parsley in the early and later stages of pregnancy:
Early Months: It is important that you consume originally grown parsley for maximum benefits. If feasible, grow it yourself and consume it. Here are some tips you should keep in mind while eating it in the early months of pregnancy:
- Wash and clean parsley nicely and get rid of all the dirt and grime. Remove all the rotten and withered leaves as even smallest unprocessed leaves may cause food-poisoning or other complications.
- Do not go in for greenhouse parsley as it has fewer benefits.
- Always buy fresh parsley with crisp-looking leaves and stem and fresh aroma.
Later Months: Whatever you may have been following during earlier stages of pregnancy is recommended in the later stages of pregnancy too. However, it should be consumed in moderation during pregnancy, as an overdose may prove to be extremely dangerous.
Side Effects of Eating Parsley While Pregnant
There is no conclusive evidence available in regards to what is the permissible limit of consuming parsley during pregnancy. It is recommended that before you add this aromatic herb in your pregnancy diet, you should consult your healthcare practitioner. However, if you are thinking that if parsley can terminate a pregnancy, then the answer is yes; it may terminate a pregnancy because it works as an abortifacient if consumed in large amounts. Besides here are some of the side-effects of consuming parsley during pregnancy:
- Parsley oil may lead to fatal complications; it may cause severe damage to the kidneys and cause a seizure in some cases.
- It contains myristicin, which may travel through your bloodstream to the placenta and may reach your baby too. Myristicin can lead to increased heart rate in babies.
- Presence of myristicin may lead to various other complications such as loss of balance and dizziness.
- Many women enjoy tea with parsley seeds and extracts. However, regular consumption of this tea may lead to increase in myristicin and apiol. And, both these components may lead to disturbing effects on your health as well as your baby’s health.
- If you consume substantial amounts of parsley oil during pregnancy it may lead to haemoglobin issues in your baby.
- Apiol and myristicin can lead to uterine contractions and promote menstruation, and thus may lead to miscarriage or abortion during pregnancy. It may also increase your chances of going into preterm labour.
- If you are prone to allergies, then pregnancy may make you more prone to allergies due to the weakened immune system. Some women may become allergic to parsley during pregnancy and may develop rashes or other allergy symptoms.
These side-effects occur only when parsley is consumed in high volumes. Including it in normal meals and dishes is safe.
There are some potential risks of consuming parsley during pregnancy. However, there are many benefits that a woman can derive after pregnancy by adding parsley in her diet, such as:
- It may help in the stimulation of breast milk and thus help the new moms in the lactating period.
- It also improves the quality and quantity of the breast milk.
- If a woman is trying to get pregnant, it may prove to be beneficial to include parsley in her diet.
- If a woman is experiencing irregular cycles, consumption of this herb may prove to be fruitful.
Pregnancy is a delicate time when a woman has to be extra careful in whatever choices she makes and this holds true in the context of food that she may consume throughout her pregnancy journey. You should not consume this herb in large amounts or in the form of oil. However, if you wish to add parsley to your pregnancy diet, it is strictly recommended that you include this herb only after consulting your doctor.
Also Read: Fenugreek during Pregnancy