Is It Safe To Eat Onions During Pregnancy?

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Onions are widely used in most recipes around the world. However, using onions during pregnancy could be tricky since most pregnant women find their strong scent unpleasant. However, onions add to the flavor of dishes, and some women develop cravings for them when pregnant.

If you want to know more about the side effects, advisable quantities for consumption, and ways to include onion in your pregnancy diet, then read on as we discuss these aspects and more regarding onion consumption during pregnancy.

Can You Eat Onions When Pregnant?

Pregnant women can eat onion in moderation

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Yes, You can go right ahead and eat onions safely during your pregnancy and tantalize your taste buds. However, remember to do so in moderation as an excess of anything can prove harmful to you and your baby during this delicate phase.

Health Benefits Of Eating Onions During Pregnancy

1. Detoxifies Your Body:

Amino acids, such as cysteine and methionine, found in onions help detoxify the body. These compounds work as a free radical scavenger.

2. Boosts Immunity:

Onions are rich in vitamin C. The antioxidant properties of this vital nutrient can help boost the immunity of the expecting mother and safeguard the development of the baby (1).

3. Cures Constipation:

Onions are a rich source of dietary fiber and can help regulate your bowel movement. If you are suffering from constipation while expecting, eating raw onion during pregnancy will effectively alleviate your toilet ordeal (2).

4. Regulates Blood Pressure:

A moderate amount of onions may help regulate blood pressure during pregnancy.

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Raw onions are a storehouse of phytonutrients that help regulate blood pressure. Adding onions to your meal plans can help keep high blood pressure related complications during pregnancy like preeclampsia, gestational hypertension and preterm labor at bay.

5. Fights Gestational Diabetes:

Onions contain chromium that helps prevent insulin resistance and regulate blood sugar levels. It is a super food to fight gestational diabetes.

6. Keeps Weight Gain In Check:

Pregnant women are always worrying about piling on those extra pounds. Onions are a must-have during pregnancy as they are low in calories and fat. Go ahead and add onions to your salads and sandwiches to manage your hunger pangs in a healthy way!

7. Helps Prevent Pregnancy Gingivitis:

Hormonal changes during pregnancy make your gums and teeth more vulnerable to plaque build-up, inflammation, and bleeding. Munch on onions as its antibacterial properties will help to improve your oral health during pregnancy (3).

8. Cures A Sore Throat:

Onion juice may help treat a sore throat during pregnancy

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If you are suffering from a sore throat during pregnancy and want to avoid antibiotics. Have onion juice to treat the throat infection effectively. You can add a dash of honey to the juice for better taste (4).

Side-Effects Of Having Onions During Pregnancy

Even though there are numerous health benefits of eating onions while pregnant, you should also consider its side-effects and limit your intake.

Here are some potential side-effects of eating onions in pregnancy:

1. Heartburn And Diarrhea:

Eating an excess of onion in pregnancy may increase your discomfort due to heartburn (5).

2. Breathing And Allergic Problems:

Consumption of excessive onions may lead to breathing problems

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Some expecting females can suffer from breathing problems and an allergic reaction due to excessive consumption of onions. In extreme cases, you may also suffer from an anaphylactic shock that may adversely affect your pregnancy (6).

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why am I craving onions during pregnancy?

The actual cause of cravings when pregnant is unknown. However, the craving is believed to be triggered by hormonal fluctuations, lack of nutrition, or cultural expectations. Therefore, although there might not be a specific reason for you to crave onions, as long as you continue eating a healthy diet, there’s no need to worry (7) (8).

2. Can I eat previously cut and stored raw onions when pregnant?

Yes. There is no harm in eating previously cut, raw onions during pregnancy. However, you must ensure that the onions are not stale or infected because that might increase your chances of having a foodborne illness such as Listeriosis, adversely affecting you and your unborn baby (9).

Onions during pregnancy offer a wide range of health benefits, from detoxifying your body to fighting gestational diabetes, boosting immunity, and treating a sore throat. However, excess amounts of onion might also cause side effects, such as heartburn, diarrhea, or allergic reactions. Although you include them in your daily diet, you should ensure that you need to keep the intake quantity under check. Also, if you notice any concerning signs post their consumption, you should check with your doctor for timely treatment.

Did you eat onions while expecting? How did it benefit you? Share you experience with other expecting moms here by leaving a comment below.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
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Ria Saha

Ria is a techie-turned-writer and writes articles on health, with special emphasis on nutrition. She did her B.Tech from West Bengal University of Technology and was previously associated with IBM as SAP ABAP technical consultant. She moved into freelance content writing in 2013 and worked for various websites including MomJunction, Brainpulse Technologies, and Emarketz India.

Dr. Meenu Vashisht Ahuja

Dr. Meenu Vashisht Ahuja owns her private practice in New Delhi and works as a visiting consultant at Fortis Hospital. Her special interests lie in infertility cases and procedures such as IUI, IVF, and ICSI. Having completed her Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynecology (DGO) in 2004, she did her Diplomate of the National Board (DNB) in Ob/Gyn in 2009. She...
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