Are you looking for a healthy vegetable that doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket? Why don’t you try spinach?
The humble spinach is often overlooked in favor of its more glamorous cousins. But if you are looking for a ‘superfood’ to nourish your body during pregnancy, spinach will fit the bill perfectly. Other names of Spinach are ‘Paalak / Poi‘ in Hindi, ‘Paalak’ in Telugu, ‘Keerai / Pasalai Keerai‘ in Tamil, ‘Poi / Palak‘ in Punjabi, ‘Palak‘ in Gujarati, ‘Sag / Velbondi‘ in Marathi and ‘Palanga Saga‘ in Oriya.
Wondering what’s so great about this vegetable and is it safe to eat spinach during pregnancy? Let’s find out!
Why Should You Consume Spinach During Pregnancy?
Why indeed must you follow Popeye’s footsteps? Maybe the sailor man was onto something when he told everyone to munch on spinach! Here are some amazing benefits of spinach during pregnancy:
1. Prevents Birth Defects:
Spinach is overflowing with folate or folic acid. You need folic acid during pregnancy to protect your unborn baby from birth defects such as cleft lip, cleft palate, and spina bifida (1).
2. Decreases Chance Of Premature Birth:
3. Prevents Anemia:
Many women suffer from anemia during pregnancy. This is because your body requires additional iron to help your baby grow. If you add spinach to your diet, you can ensure a healthy supply of iron and folic acid, which can prevent and treat anemia. Not just that! Folic acid in spinach can also go a long way in preventing low birth weight in your newborn baby (3).
4. Protects Against Folate Deficiency:
During pregnancy, a deficiency of folic acid can cause gingivitis, loss of appetite, diarrhea, irritability, forgetfulness, and mental lethargy (4). You can prevent all these issues by adding spinach to your diet.
5. Helps In Lung Development:
Spinach contains loads of beta-carotene. This beta-carotene, converted into vitamin A, helps in the development of your unborn baby’s lungs. Vitamin A also helps your baby gain adequate weight and boosts your metabolism too (5).
6. Prevents Hemorrhoids and Constipation:
Are you suffering from constipation? Don’t worry, you are not alone! Constipation is common among pregnant women, as is hemorrhoids. Both of these nasty pregnancy fallouts can be taken care of by including spinach in your diet. The fiber content in spinach eases bowel movements and provides relief from constipation (6).
7. Gives Relief From Pain:
During pregnancy, your whole body may seem to be in pain. Your growing weight and size, as well as fluctuating hormones, can take a toll on your bones and muscles. Spinach contains glycolipid, an anti-inflammatory agent, that can provide relief from aches and pains during pregnancy (7).
8. Can Help Lower Blood Pressure:
If you are pregnant, it is important to manage your blood pressure. High blood pressure during pregnancy can become a matter of life and death. Spinach contains nitrates, which can help keep blood pressure under control (8).
9. Keeps Immune System Healthy:
Are you suffering from frequent colds and other common ailments during pregnancy? You can blame your weak immune system for it. Spinach contains ample amounts of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant. Vitamin C can help keep your immune system healthy and prevent common illnesses (9).
10. Contains Calcium:
Your pregnant body puts a lot of pressure on your bones. Not just that. Your unborn baby too needs calcium for her healthy growth. Spinach contains calcium and can provide your bones with that much-needed strength (10).
Isn’t it wonderful how something as ordinary as spinach can do wonders for your body? But as they say – all coins have two sides. Spinach too has some side effects. Thankfully they are few and far in between!
[ Read: Is Kale Safe During Pregnancy ]
Side Effects Of Eating Spinach While Pregnant:
Wondering how spinach can negatively impact your pregnancy? Let us tell you:
1. Can Cause Kidney Stones:
Are you someone who suffered from kidney stones? If yes, then you should try and avoid spinach during pregnancy. Spinach contains a high amount of oxalate and can cause kidney stones (11). The last thing you need while pregnant is to deal with kidney stone pain!
2. May Lead To Digestive Issues:
As mentioned before, spinach has a lot of fiber. While this fiber can help ease constipation, it can also lead to some other unpleasant digestive issues. If you overeat spinach, you can experience gas, bloating and cramping (12).
[ Read: Indigestion During Pregnancy ]
3. Contains Salicylates:
Avoid spinach if you want an easy labor and delivery. Spinach contains salicylates, which can cause prolonged gestation and labor, as well as chances of increased blood loss during delivery (13).
Spinach is good for you and should be a part of your pregnancy diet. It does have some side effects, but you don’t need worry about them. You will experience these side effects only if you start eating spinach during pregnancy in excess. So, stick to a balanced diet. That’s the best you can do for your body as well as your unborn baby.
Do you know of any other benefits spinach? Share with us in the comments section below!
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