Cucumbers are effective body coolants during summers. They are the perfect low-calorie snack to control hunger pangs at work or to add to your weight loss salad. But is it a good idea to have cucumbers during pregnancy? Can they have any negative impact on you or your baby? Continue reading this post to know how much cucumber is safe during pregnancy, its health benefits, and possible adverse side effects.
Is It Safe To Eat Cucumbers During Pregnancy?
You can eat small amounts of cucumber, although it is not usually recommended in the pregnancy diet. Cucumbers are known to cause allergic reaction, frequent urination due to excess water and salt content, and belching and indigestion (1). So, discuss with your healthcare provider before adding it to your regular diet, because they can do good too.
How Cucumber Can Be Beneficial During Pregnancy
Though cucumbers are known to cause certain side effects when consumed during pregnancy, they are also known to be beneficial when taken in small amounts.
1. Low-calorie food
Cucumbers are low in calories, and can prevent obesity. They can keep you full for a longer time and prevent excess eating, thus avoiding weight gain.
2. High water content
Cucumbers contain about 96% water (2). You can keep yourself hydrated by consuming cucumber, in addition to drinking.
3. Natural diuretic
4. Cooling and cleansing
The cooling and cleansing property of fresh cucumber juice is helpful for skin nourishment and tightening (4).
5. B vitamins
Cucumber is rich in B vitamins. B vitamins are known to boost your mood. They ease anxiety and might help reduce stress (5).
Cucumbers are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels whereas insoluble fiber softens stools and treats constipation, which is common during pregnancy (6).
7. Essential micronutrients
Rich in antioxidants (7) including vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese (9), cucumbers help improve immunity and thus prevent contracting infections. Also, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, iodine, and sulfur (10) (8) are all important for fetal development and can prevent growth abnormalities.
The availability of sodium and potassium electrolytes in cucumber juice can help regulate blood pressure levels during pregnancy (9). (9).
Next, we tell you about the nutritional facts of cucumber.
Nutritional Value Of Cucumber
According to the USDA, the nutrition present in 100g of raw cucumber with peel is as follows (10):
|Thiamine (Vit B1)||0.027mg|
|Riboflavin (Vit B2)||0.033mg|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||0.03mg|
|Pyridoxine (Vit B6)||0.04mg|
g=grams; mg=milligrams; mcg=micrograms; IU=international unit
Though cucumbers have a high nutritional value, they can pose some risk when taken in excess amounts.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Cucumber During Pregnancy?
The downside of consuming cucumbers in excessive amounts include:
- Gas formation and indigestion (11).
- The excess water content in cucumbers will increase the frequency of urination, which could make you uncomfortable.
- Sometimes, cucumbers can cause allergic reactions resulting in itching and swelling.
- Cucumbers contain toxic substances such as cucurbitacins and tetracyclic triterpenoids, which are responsible for the bitter taste and are life-threatening when taken in excess amounts (12).
Can You Drink Cucumber Juice During Pregnancy?
Yes, you can have freshly made cucumber juice. Select firm and dark colored cucumbers, blend them and consume.
How To Consume Cucumber In Pregnancy?
If your healthcare provider has given the go-ahead to consume cucumbers, you can enjoy the benefits by including it in your diet.
First, peel the cucumbers, since their skin contains toxic pesticides. Wash them at least for three to four minutes in running water and scrub them using a vegetable brush.
The best ways to consume cucumbers are:
- Salads: Combine cucumbers with tomatoes, onions or any other vegetables with little olive oil, salt, vinegar, and pepper. You can also make a delightful salad by combining cucumbers, black olives, chopped dill, avocado, and cress. This tastes good with kosher salt, olive oil, and lemon juice.
- Soup: Blend sliced cucumbers, red onions, garlic clove, chopped dill, olive oil and some sour cream. Once the puree is ready, refrigerate for about one to two hours. This is an excellent soup to have on hot and long summer days.
- Sandwiches: Cut thin slices of cucumber and put in between two slices of bread along with some unsalted butter, chopped mint leaves, and sour cream cheese. These make an ideal snack to go with a cup of green or mint tea.
- Tzatziki sauce: Combine one large, sliced cucumber, three tablespoons of plain or Greek yogurt, one tablespoon of fresh mint or dill, and one minced garlic clove. Add one tablespoon salt and three tablespoons lemon juice. Refrigerate the mixture for five to six hours, and serve as a salad dressing.
- Homemade pickle: Take three to five cups of water, one tablespoon of sugar, one tablespoon salt and 25 cups white vinegar. Boil the mixture and let it cool. Take four cups of cucumber spears, two heads fresh dill and two garlic cloves in a container. Add the chilled mixture over the vegetable, cover the lid and refrigerate for two to three days before consuming.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is pickled cucumber safe during pregnancy?
Yes, it is safe to eat pickled cucumber but be watchful about the sodium intake. Go for home-made pickles, that too in minimal quantities.
2. Does craving cucumbers when pregnant tell something about baby’s gender?
According to old wives tales, craving for cucumbers can indicate that you are carrying a boy. However, this has no scientific value.
3. Can you eat cucumber seeds during pregnancy?
You cannot have excess amounts of cucumber seeds since they contain a compound called cucurbitacin (12). This is toxic and results in indigestion in some people, especially those who have a sensitive digestive system.
4. Can cucumber cause miscarriage?
Cucumbers are not known to cause miscarriage; there are no studies to show an association between them.
Nevertheless, add cucumbers to your pregnancy diet in tiny quantities. If you feel alright, you might add a few more pieces but do not over-consume.
Cucumbers are loaded with nutrition. They are high in water content, fiber and are excellent for cooling and cleansing the body. However, cucumber during pregnancy is not an ideal choice because it causes indigestion, gas, frequent urination, and allergies. That said, consuming cucumbers in small quantities will not cause any harm. Consume them after peeling and washing them properly. This reduces the toxic effects of pesticides. Include them in your diet of salads, soups, and pickles. If you have any medical condition, talk to your doctor before consuming cucumbers during pregnancy.
Infographic: How To Consume Cucumber In Pregnancy?
The refreshing and super hydrating fruit can relieve the common pregnancy side effects while helping you maintain a healthy body. So if you want to include it in your diet, you can refer to this infographic to find new and easy ways of relishing cucumber. Scroll on!
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