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Sprouts are known to be very rich in nutrients. They can be eaten both ways – cooked or raw. But you should be cautious if you are planning to incorporate sprouts into your diet during pregnancy. You should consult your healthcare provider or nutritionist before doing that. The harmful bacteria inside sprouts can cause various types of ill-effects during pregnancy.
Is It Safe to Eat Sprouts in Pregnancy?
Raw sprouts are not considered safe to be eaten during pregnancy. This fact includes all types of sprouts including alfalfa, radish, clover, mung bean sprouts, etc. Bacteria like Listeria, Salmonella, and E. coli can migrate into the seeds of the sprout through cracks in the shell. And once they are inside the seed, they grow in the same humid and warm conditions that the sprouts require to grow. These bacteria can lead to conditions that are very risky for pregnant women. Listeriosis can cause stillbirth, miscarriage, life-threatening infections and premature birth in newborns. Salmonella and E. coli can lead to illnesses that can even be fatal.
If you are very fond of eating sprouts, you should make sure that you eat properly cooked sprouts to lower the risk of illness. Cooking the sprouts in the low flame will not be helpful because light cooking will not provide enough heat to kill these bacteria.
Effects of Having Sprouts While Pregnant
Listed below are some of the effects of eating brussels sprouts during pregnancy.
- Alfalfa can give rise to several complications because of the E. coli bacteria. It is especially suggested that you avoid raw sprouts during pregnancy after the salmonella outburst from alfalfa.
- Beans, clover and radish are some of the examples of raw sprouts that are known to result in Salmonella infection.
- You are more likely to fall prey to the disease by eating the contaminated seeds of the sprouts.
- As Salmonella can multiply very fast, a single sprout may contain a sufficient amount of bacteria to cause illness.
- Signs and symptoms of E. coli and Salmonella include cramping, nausea, diarrhoea and fever.
- Even if the seeds are not active in the dry conditions, the rapid growth of bacteria gets activated as soon as they sprout in warn conditions.
- Commercial farmers use a variety of products to sanitize the sprouts. The residue of these products makes sprouts unfit for consumption during pregnancy.
Precautions to Take If You Feel an Irresistible Craving for Sprouts
Following are some precautions that you should follow if you have an irresistible craving for sprouts:
- Remove the bacteria from the sprouts by rinsing them thoroughly.
- Make sure the sprouts are cooked properly before you consume them.
- You should not eat sprouts if your immune system is not strong enough, as you might develop the food-borne diseases during pregnancy.
Tips for Purchasing Sprouts
Here are some general tips you should know if you are purchasing, storing or eating sprouts during pregnancy:
- You should buy fresh sprouts that have been transported and stored in cold-chain conditions.
- Do not buy sprouts that look skinny or have a musty smell.
- After buying the sprouts, refrigerate them if you are not going to consume them immediately.
- The refrigerator where you are keeping the sprouts must also be clean.
Raw sprouts are related to some major health risks and should not be eaten during pregnancy. It is better to avoid sprouts during pregnancy. However, if you are very fond of sprouts, you must ensure that it is properly cooked so that the bacteria get killed.
Also Read: Eating Radish during Pregnancy