Once the happy news you have conceived spreads all around, there pours in lots of advice from elders about what is safe to eat and what you should abstain from during this phase. Eggplant or brinjal tops the list, and one becomes totally confused about whether they are safe to eat during this period. Though many people recommend against eating eggplant during pregnancy, they are actually primarily considered as safe and often regarded as full of nutrients that your baby needs to grow.
Commonly called aubergine, this is a very common vegetable that is found in most kitchens of Asia. It comes from the potato family, which also includes the vegetable tomatoes and hot peppers. This lovely veggie that is tasty to eat is called the “poor man’s caviar” and is quite well known for its wonderful benefits. Packed with nutritional benefits like fiber, potassium, copper and thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, and niacin, this vegetable is excellent for everyone, both young and old alike. It is also less in calories, and half a cup of raw eggplant contains just 11 calories. (Source) Given below are the best advantages of eating eggplant during pregnancy.
Can You Eat Eggplant During Pregnancy?
Is eating aubergines or eggplant during pregnancy is good? The answer is easy – for pregnant women due to its various health benefits, it is recommended. Brinjal helps in the development of the fetus as it provides some vitamins like vitamin A & vitamin E. It contains folic acid also, which boosts the development of red blood cells in the developing fetus. So, here are some health benefits of eating eggplant during pregnancy? Read on.
Nutritional Benefits Of Eggplant During Pregnancy
Protects your baby from birth anomalies: Eggplant is loaded with folic acid, which is a very important nutrient in eggplant during pregnancy to avert birth anomalies in the fetus growing inside you. This veggie thus protects your fetus from defects and also promotes the growth of “red blood cells.”
Promotes fetal growth: Packed with vitamin C, A, and E apart from niacin and B complex, eggplant contains all the necessary nutrients which are ideal for promoting fetal growth
Helps in maintaining electrolyte balance: Eggplant also contains traces of magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese that also help in ensuring that electrolyte balance is maintained and also helps to hike up the blood supply and your hemoglobin count significantly
Helps to control gestational diabetes: A lot of women become victims of gestational diabetes during their pregnancy period. This makes it imperative to regulate your blood sugar levels, and eggplant is excellent to help in regulating levels of blood sugar and prevents blood sugar from hiking up
Helps to relieve constipation: Eggplant during pregnancy is ideal for aiding proper digestion and ensures that all nutrients are absorbed well. Eggplant is also found to be effective in treating digestive issues. Eggplant also contains lots of fiber that helps to ensure that bowel movements are proper and provides relief from constipation that is another common issue which most pregnant ladies face during conception
Provides a boost to your immunity: The outer skin of the eggplant is also loaded with Nasunin that is actually an anthocyanin that is ideal for aiding in neutralizing free radicals present in your system. It also helps to avert the danger of DNA and cell damage during conception. Also rich in antioxidants, eggplants hike up your immunity and avert chances of the mother developing dangerous infections and various diseases in this sensitive phase
Lowers levels of bad cholesterol: Eggplant is proven to lower levels of LDL in your system and hike up levels of good cholesterol in your blood thus lowering the risk of strokes and heart-related issues during pregnancy
Helps to treat hypertension: If you happen to be a victim of hypertension during your conception period, brinjal provides a natural treatment for this. It contains traces of bioflavonoid that is found to be ideal in lowering blood pressure levels and aids in promoting a healthy heart
Although the above-mentioned benefits are present in eggplants, if this veggie is not consumed in moderation, it can cause severe adverse effects, especially during pregnancy.
What Are The Adverse Effects Of Eggplant During Pregnancy
Chances of miscarriage: Brinjal has high traces of phytohormones that stimulate menstruation and help in curing menstruation issues like amenorrhea. This makes eating brinjal on a daily basis hike up the chances of an abortion
Acidity: Brinjal can trigger acidity issues and even cause discomfort during pregnancy
Digestive issues: If pregnant women eat brinjal that is not properly cooked, there can arise unwanted digestive issues during this delicate phase. It can also make you prone to different food allergies
Hikes up the chances of the premature birth of your fetus: If you happen to eat too much of brinjal during pregnancy and it is not properly washed and cleaned, it can cause premature birth of your baby or even an abortion. This can happen due to the presence of toxoplasmosis, in the soil where eggplants grow
Cold food: Japan considers brinjal as a “dark food” that emanates cold energy and regard it as unsuitable for eating during the pregnancy period
Things To Consider In Eggplant:
Select the fresh eggplants for your meal.
Select the small eggplants as they are more tasty and fresh. Big ones turn to bitter.
The skin of the eggplant is to be smooth and shiny.
Don’t take the ones that have cuts, shriveling, wrinkles, blemishes, or color uneven.
Some with holes are likely to have worms in it – so better to check it and avoid it.
When you press the brinjal, if it forms a depression, So it is not a fresh vegetable.
The stem of it should be in a bright green color and firm.
Wash them cleanly before you cooking to avoid bacteria or parasites on the surface of it.
Cook the vegetable fully as undercooked one can cause digestive issues.
Eggplant is the one vegetable that can be cooked in many ways.
Ways to Add Eggplant in Your Diet
Having discussed the pros and cons of it. Now, let us discuss the many ways in which eggplant can be added to a pregnant woman’s diet. One thing keeps in mind the following suggestions to make sure eggplant provides many benefits than the side-effects.
Indian households are varied eggplant recipes that are lip-smacking and healthy too. You don’t have to make fancy dishes with this.
If you want to eat eggplant in a different way, you can make thin slices of it with some amount of olive oil. Add other vegetables to it as well. Put some salt, pepper, and herbs, and enjoy it.
Hence, though eggplant or brinjal is loaded with nutrients and boasts of a lot of health benefits during conception period, it is absolutely imperative that you eat this wonderful veggie in moderation in order to avoid any unwanted adverse effects mentioned above with eggplant during pregnancy. The best option would be consulting your doctor before eating this veggie to ensure it can be consumed safely in moderate quantities in this wonderful phase of your life. So go ahead and find out whether this eggplant is risk-free for you to consume.