Is It Safe To Eat Raw Vegetables During Pregnancy?


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Are you pregnant and keen to eat healthy to safeguard the growth and development of your unborn baby? Are you wondering whether raw vegetables are safe for you to consume or not? Your question must be can you eat raw vegetables while pregnant? Then, going through this post carefully might be a good idea for you.

A typical pregnancy diet underplays the importance of raw vegetables and overemphasizes the need for dairy and animal products. According to old myths, eating raw vegetables during pregnancy is not good for the fetus. But do you know a recent research shows that eating raw vegetables during pregnancy can be a nutritious option for you? However, it is also important to know the health risks that eating raw vegetables may pose. Read on to understand how raw vegetables can work wonders for you and your baby.

Can You Eat Raw Vegetables While Pregnant?

During pregnancy, the requirement of minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients increases due to the demands of the fetal growth. Vegetables, when eaten raw can provide a plethora of nutritional benefits to both the mother and the baby. Some of the nutritional benefits include:

1. Folate:

Vegetables like broccoli, peas, asparagus and cabbage contain high amounts of folate[1]. Proper levels of folate in your body will prevent the malformation of the brain and spine of the baby.

[ Read: Benefits Of Okra During Pregnancy  ]

2. Calcium:

Calcium is critical for the skeletal mineralization and bone health. It also helps to keep your bones strong. You will find high amounts of calcium in green leafy vegetables like collard greens, kale, and spinach.

3. Omega 3 Fatty Acids:

Omega 3 fatty acids aid the development of the baby’s neurological system. Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and squash are some good sources of omega three fatty acids in vegetables.

[ Read: Power Foods During Pregnancy ]

4. Fiber:

Raw vegetables while pregnant can be , as most of us know, are excellent sources of fiber. Fiber prevents unpleasant digestive problems during pregnancy and facilitates digestion.

Raw Vegetables To Avoid:

Most of the raw vegetables during pregnancy are safe for you to consume, but there are some that should be eliminated from your diet altogether.

As stated by[2], unlike other vegetables, sprouts need humid and warm conditions to grow. These conditions also promote the growth of bacteria like salmonella[3], listeria, and E. coli. If you want to eat sprouts, then make sure, you cook them well to kill the bacteria present in it. Avoid eating raw vegetables that cause gastritis like cauliflower, radish, and okra.

[ Read: Vegetarian Diet Plan During Pregnancy ]

A Word Of Caution:

Therefore, we can conclude that raw vegetables can be a great addition to your diet. However, there are some safety guidelines that you must follow while eating raw vegetables. These include:

Toxoplasma[4] is a parasite present in raw and undercooked meat. It is also present in the outer peel or rind of fruits and vegetables. A study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention[5] reveals that toxoplasmosis[6]infects almost 4000 fetuses every year. Pregnant women infected with Toxoplasma pass this infection to their babies. It can lead to diseases that affect the eyes and nervous system. To prevent this infection, make sure you wash the raw vegetables thoroughly before eating. Cut away the damaged or bruised part of the vegetable, as bacteria tend to thrive in these places. Wash the chopping board and knife with hot and soapy water after cutting the vegetables. Some raw vegetables contain hemagglutinins[7] and bacteria, which can disrupt the functioning of red blood cells in the body. Therefore, soak the raw vegetables in salt water to kill the germs present in them.

We are sure that he many benefits of munching on raw vegetables must have eased all your apprehensions by now.

Did you eat raw vegetables during your pregnancy? If yes, then do you have any suggestions or observations that you can share with us? Leave a comment below.

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