In this article
Eggplant and MiscarriageHealth Benefits of Consuming Eggplant During PregnancySide Effects of Consuming Eggplant During PregnancyPrecautions to Take While Consuming Eggplant During PregnancyDoes Eggplant Consumption Induce Labour?Try These Yummy Eggplant Recipes During Pregnancy
Eggplant, also known as brinjal, is an egg-shaped vegetable with a neverending list of health benefits. But the core of this article is whether it’s advised to consume brinjal during pregnancy or not. Well, it’s a debatable topic. So if you’re an expectant mother who’s confused about whether or not you should be consuming brinjals, this is just what you should know.
Eggplant and Miscarriage
Even though eggplants are the most affordable and easily available in the market, Ayurveda suggests limiting it’s consumption during pregnancy, as far as possible. The reason being, brinjal works as a diuretic, which means it makes your body increase its production of waste fluids. Consuming brinjal during pregnancy triggers menstruation since they’re rich in ‘menstruation-inducing’ properties, which increase the risk of miscarriage and abortion. Eggplants are considered to be a part of ‘cold foods’- meaning they cool your system from within. It’s important to understand that a woman’s body needs to be warm when she’s carrying a foetus and we don’t mean warm externally. If the body isn’t warm internally, the blood flow to the uterus won’t be sufficient. This is why keeping your body warm is of utmost importance, and cold foods like brinjal do just the opposite.
It’s advised to avoid consumption of brinjal in the first trimester of pregnancy because that’s when your foetus is the most delicate. As far as the other two trimesters are concerned, limited consumption of brinjal could do no harm
Health Benefits of Consuming Eggplant During Pregnancy
Brinjal is widely cooked in Indian kitchens. Be it baked, fried or curried, it’s relished by most. It’s packed with quite a few health benefits too. Here’s a list of reasons why brinjal should be consumed during pregnancy (although always in limited quantity).
Improves DigestionDue to its unique texture, brinjal is rich in fibre thus promoting intestinal regularity. Pregnant women often face problems when it comes to digestion, which makes eggplant ideal for consumption during pregnancy.
Improves Heart HealthAccording to FDA, eggplant reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. It’s packed with fibre, potassium and vitamins C & B6, that maintain the overall heart health.
Reduces Blood CholesterolStudies prove that consuming brinjal can significantly reduce blood cholesterol levels. Rich in chlorogenic acid, brinjal reduces the harmful LDL (low-density lipid) cholesterol in your body.
Prevents Birth DefectsEggplant is a rich source of folates (especially folic acid), a crucial nutrient that you need during pregnancy to prevent the risk of birth defects in your unborn baby. It also promotes the development of red blood cells which is essential for you when you’re pregnant.
Improves Bone HealthIf you’re at a higher risk of bone degradation, it’s advised to consume eggplants as they contain considerably high amounts of iron & calcium. These essential nutrients not only improve bone health but are essential for overall development as well.
Boosts ImmunityThe skin of eggplant too is packed with essential nutrients. It contains nasunin, an anthocyanin which is rich in antioxidants. Nasunin prevents the risk of cognitive development in newborns, whereas antioxidant-rich eggplant boosts immunity by avoiding the risk of infections and other diseases during this delicate phase.
Side Effects of Consuming Eggplant During Pregnancy
Even though eggplants have a long list of nutrients that are beneficial for you as well as your foetus, too much consumption has its own set of disadvantages. Here are a few side effects of consuming eggplant during pregnancy.
Premature DeliveryExcessive consumption of eggplant during pregnancy can stimulate uterine contractions which can lead to premature labour or even abortion. Thus, it is advised to consume this vegetable in limited amounts.
AllergiesYour body goes through a lot of hormonal changes during pregnancy. In some rare cases, pregnant women have developed certain allergies due to consumption of brinjal beyond a certain limit. This is again a side-effect of over-consumption of eggplant.
AcidityEven though brinjal curbs digestive problems, consumption of raw or under-cooked brinjal leads to severe acidity in pregnant women, causing anxiety and discomfort. This is exactly why limiting the proportion of brinjal in your diet is advised during pregnancy.
MiscarriageAs stated earlier, brinjals trigger menstruation which is not good for pregnant women.
Cold FoodBrinjal cools your system from within, which has it’s own perks when you’re not carrying a baby. On the other hand, when you’re pregnant, it’s advised to keep your body warm, thus keeping brinjal at bay.
Precautions to Take While Consuming Eggplant During Pregnancy
There are a bunch of precautions that pregnant women must take while consuming eggplants. These precautions should not be overlooked as they may harm you as well as your baby.
- Cook and consume brinjal only if it’s available in the season. Although they’re available throughout the year, it’s best to consume brinjals from July to October since that’s their peak season.
- Make sure that the eggplants you’re cooking are fresh. Stale eggplants should not be consumed during pregnancy and even otherwise.
- Wash the vegetable well. If not washed thoroughly, eggplants trigger toxoplasmosis – an infection caused by the Toxoplasma gondii parasite, one of the world's most common parasites. Infection usually occurs by eating unwashed and undercooked contaminated food, which may cause flu-like symptoms in people and trigger premature delivery and other complications in pregnant women.
- While cooking, ensure that your preparation isn’t under-cooked. Raw/under-cooked eggplants must strictly be avoided by pregnant women as they lead to indigestion and acidity.
- Combining spices with eggplants can induce labour, which again, should be taken care of while cooking. Do not spice your eggplant excessively!
- Both you and your baby are in a fragile condition during your first trimester. So it’s better to eat limited proportions of well-washed and well-cooked eggplants during the first trimester.
- As far as the overall consumption of brinjal is concerned, limit its presence in your diet due to its side-effects on the foetus. You can focus on other seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Does Eggplant Consumption Induce Labour?
As your due date begins to pass the calendar, it’s easy to start thinking of ways that will jump-start the entire process. Though there’s no study that validates the fact, eggplants do induce labour! There are quite a few women who claim to have gone into labour after consuming eggplants.According to Winston Cardwell
, a naturopathic physician, “Historically, people have used herbal and dietary medicine to induce labour. There are over 40 biochemical constituents in eggplant, many of which have long been used medicinally in the Mediterranean, India, and other parts of the world.” It is also believed that combining brinjal with extra spices induces labour, which is why it’s consumption during the early stages of pregnancy must be avoided. Foods like eggplant merely cause a series of effects in the body which may lead to contractions is most women, which is why eggplants are added to the list of foods that induce labour. Most women do look at eggplants as a “natural way” of inducing labour, but again, there is no study that proves this.
Eggplants have their own set of advantages and disadvantages during pregnancy. They’re equally good and can also be harmful for pregnant women. They do aid the development of the foetus on one hand and on the other, they’re also believed to induce labour. In any case, it’s always advised to ask your doctor before you plan to include or completely avoid consumption of eggplant during pregnancy. Word of advice; it’s always safe to stick to seasonal fruits and vegetables during these nine months of mixed emotions. They’ll serve you the best of what your body needs.
Try These Yummy Eggplant Recipes During Pregnancy
Considering the nutritional value of eggplants and the long list of health benefits, we've put together a few eggplant recipes for you to try during pregnancy. Make sure you consume limited proportions of these easy to cook, super yummy recipes.
Aubergine WrapsThis is a yummy appetizer that you can make at home and includes a whole lot of fresh vegetables along with light seasoning. It's a light snack that will be relished by all. Go ahead and make some yummy Aubergine Wraps tonight.
Baked Eggplant ParmesanA lovely non-fried dish with an aroma of garlic and basil is just what you need when you're planning to 'go healthy'. This recipe does include quite some steps, but the end result is just worth it! If you're out of dinner options, try this Baked Eggplant Parmesan which is easy to cook and healthy as well.
Eggplant FrittersThis dish is a delightful change from the patent potato fritters with tomato ketchup. Try this unique recipe at home and enjoy it with some fresh mint chutney. Fry some yummy Eggplant Fritters at home and serve hot & crisp.
Vaangi Baath With Brown RiceEggplant rice is a traditional dish prepared with a lot of ground spices. Use brown rice while cooking if you're health conscious. Vaangi Baath With Brown Rice is a wonderful treat for you and your entire family.
While brinjals have a number of benefits during pregnancy, they have their own set of complications. If cooked in the right way, there is no harm in including limited amounts in your diet. Remember, limited consumption
is the key here to staying safe during this phase.
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