Do you love eggnog? Are you pregnant and crave eggnog? Do you want to prevent the risk of calcium deficiency during pregnancy? If your answer is a ‘yes’ to these questions then go ahead and read this post. You are expecting and not sure if it is safe to have eggnog during pregnancy, then we can help you. This post covers all about eggnog – under what conditions it is safe to consume eggnog during pregnancy and what are its health benefits. So before you drink that glass of eggnog during your pregnancy, you will want to go ahead and read this post to have a clearer picture.
What Is Eggnog?
Eggnog is a rich, chilled, sweetened, creamy beverage which is made with milk or cream, sugar and raw eggs along with spices such as grated nutmeg, ground cinnamon or vanilla flavor. Some people even add alcohol like brandy, rum or bourbon to eggnog.
Is It Safe To Have Eggnog During Pregnancy?
Yes, it is safe to have eggnog during pregnancy as long as it satisfies all the three conditions below:
The eggs used are pasteurized
There is no alcohol in the eggnog
The eggnog is cooked properly
Let us examine each of these conditions in depth:
Eggs need to be pasteurized: Most of the homemade eggnogs are made from raw and unpasteurized eggs. These eggs contain dangerous microbes, especially ones such as Salmonella bacteria. This bacteria results in food poisoning and if it enters your system, you will have diarrhea, vomiting and stomach infection. Diarrhea, in turn, will result in dehydration and the infection can cause a high fever. All these are conditions you should avoid when you are pregnant. In fact combined, these symptoms can cause pre-term labor, and in some cases, even miscarriage
There is no alcohol in the eggnog: While you can be sure of the alcohol content (or the lack of it) in the home made and the store bought one, it is difficult to know if the eggnog offered to you at a party is not spiked with alcohol. Hence, it is better to avoid the drink altogether at a party because (a) the alcohol is not good for your baby, and worse, you do not know how much alcohol is there in your drink and (b) you do not know how the eggnog has been made
The eggnog is cooked properly: Eggnogs are made from milk and eggs and both these ingredients need to be pasteurized. If you are making homemade eggnogs, ideally, you need to bring the ingredients to a proper boil and continue heating them together to at least 160° Fahrenheit. This will ensure that all the disease-causing microbes, such as Salmonella bacteria, are killed. Alternatively, you can buy pasteurized eggs (eggs that are heated commercially before being sold) from market to use in the preparation of eggnog. You can even use store bought eggnogs because they are made using pasteurized milk and eggs
Benefits Of Having Eggnog During Pregnancy
Eggnog translates into holiday spirit for many of us. If a holiday season falls during your pregnancy, you will be seeing a lot of eggnogs around you all the time and might be tempted to have the same. It is alright to have it, in fact, it is even good to have it for the following reasons (however, ensure it meets all the three conditions mentioned above):
It is a very tasty beverage: Eggnog is made from eggs, milk, cream and sugar. It is very rich and yummy. It becomes even tastier when it is flavored with spices (nutmeg or cinnamon) or added with extra flavors (like vanilla). Okay, it is loaded with calories. But it is alright to treat your taste buds occasionally
It is rich in antioxidants: Eggnog is vitamin A rich. Vitamin A, in turn, is antioxidant rich. This means that if you have eggnog, your skin will be soft, help your eyesight, and revive damaged cells in the skin
It helps develop the placenta: Eggnog has a lot of vitamin C, which is known to be helpful in placenta development
It detoxifies: Thanks to all the antioxidant content, eggnog helps in removing free radicals from the body which detoxifies the body
It helps prevent anemia: The vitamin C in the drink not only helps in placenta development, it also helps in better iron absorption, thus reducing the risk of anemia in pregnant women
It helps in baby’s bone development: Thanks to the milk and egg in the eggnog, the drink is rich in minerals like calcium and potassium. The intake of calcium helps in strong bones for you and the unborn baby
It helps in baby’s brain development: Eggnog contains proteins (from the egg white). The amino acids from these proteins become the building block of your child’s organs, including the brain
So the verdict seems to be clear. There is no reason to stay away from eggnog during your pregnancy. However, you need to ensure that you cook the eggnog properly with pasteurized eggs and no alcohol. There are also alternatives available in the market, such as soynog, that does not contain milk and egg and hence is a safer option.
So, if you crave eggnog during pregnancy, you can go ahead and satisfy yourself. The only condition is to make sure you follow the safety guidelines. Do let us know your favorite recipe of eggnog.