A mother’s diet during pregnancy plays a crucial factor for her health and the fetus growing inside her. Hence the choice of what to eat and what not needs to be chosen wisely. Vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are important for a mother during the pregnancy phase. That is why doctors recommend eating fruits and vegetables in various colors. With green foods being the most recommended color of all, how about eating capsicum during pregnancy?
Bell peppers or capsicum are a good, nutritious option in pregnancy as they are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin, A, and folate. All of these being a significant requirement for pregnant women, moms-to-be must make their choice towards the right food, as an unhealthy diet can lead to pregnancy complications and health issues for both the mother and the baby.
To know more about why capsicum during pregnancy is important and what risks it may cause, read further.
Is Capsicum Safe During Pregnancy?
Capsicum during pregnancy has a lot of health benefits and hence is suggested to add it to your list of pregnancy superfoods. During pregnancy, you are mostly advised to adopt a healthy lifestyle and include fruits and vegetables as part of your intake that makes it a healthy, nutritious, and well-balanced diet. Capsicum or bell pepper is one such vegetable that contains the necessary vitamins and minerals that aid in the growth of the fetus.
Including capsicum during pregnancy for the entire nine months helps you have a better and healthy gestation. However, you must know the right form and quantity to be consumed during the time of pregnancy. Capsicum comes in varied colors with each color having a specific health color attached to it.
- Red capsicum contains lycopene which helps in preventing cancer
- Green capsicum has silicon that helps in the healthy growth of hair and nails
- Yellow capsicum has the presence of lutein and zeaxanthin which help boost the immune system
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Nutritional Value Of Capsicum
Capsicum during pregnancy offers a host of health benefits. Easy to cook and crunchy to bite, capsicum is one veggie that would grab the attention of all. Capsicum or bell peppers are made with 94% water, 5% carbohydrates. They contain a very little amount of protein and fat. Capsicum has good amounts of vitamin C & vitamin A. Including capsicum during pregnancy is recommended as it has ample amounts of Vitamins B2, B6, E, niacin, folate, and riboflavin.
Capsicum is also a good source of potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and other macronutrients. Also, it is a storehouse of essential nutrients that can fight most illnesses. Capsicum has zero cholesterol and only 0.008g of monounsaturated fat content.
According to a source, listed below is the nutritional value of 45 gm of capsicum:
- Calories 18 – 0% Daily Value
- Total Fat 0.1grams – 0% Daily Value
- Sodium 3.2 milligrams – 0% Daily Value
- Potassium 153 milligrams – 4% Daily Value
- Total Carbohydrates 4.3 grams – 1% Daily Value
- Dietary Fiber 0.7 grams – 3% Daily Value
- Sugar – 2.3 grams
- Protein – 0.9 grams
- Vitamin A – 11%% Daily Value
- Vitamin C – 182% Daily Value
- Calcium – 0.6% Daily Value
- Iron – 3% Daily Value
Benefits Of Eating Capsicum During Pregnancy
Eating capsicum during pregnancy is safe if eaten in the right quantity and form. Many recommend eating capsicum during pregnancy owing to its storehouse nutrients. However, pregnant women always have a doubt: is green capsicum safe during pregnancy? The answer is yes. One of them is that the green capsicum during pregnancy has natural silicon in it, which keeps the nails and hair of pregnant women healthy.
Eating foods that are rich in vitamin C, such as capsicum, helps to increase the absorption of iron from your meals. Also, capsicums are a popular vegetable to keep in your kitchen because they are incredibly versatile and can be added to almost any savory dish making your boring pregnancy diet a fantastic treat.
Listed below are a few benefits of capsicum during pregnancy.
1. Boosts immune system
Vitamin C, lutein, and zeaxanthin play a major role in boosting your immunity system. During pregnancy, women are easily prone to infections. Hence, having capsicum during pregnancy can contribute to the absorption of iron and collagen synthesis helping to fight infections. Hence having capsicum throughout pregnancy will improve your immunity and of the baby to be born.
2. Good source of fiber
Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy that can be eased with the help of fiber-rich foods. Eating capsicum during pregnancy helps to tackle constipation problems especially if you wish to substitute vegetables like cucumber or carrot. Capsicums help to make the intestine move better.
3. Source of vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient in pregnancy that helps in many factors such as reducing the feeling of nausea, vomiting, and bloating. Also, gestational diabetes is common during pregnancy. Capsicum during pregnancy also helps control blood sugar levels during their pregnancy. Also, vitamin B6 helps in developing a baby’s brain and immunity.
4. Prevents anemia
Lack of iron leads to anemia which also results in containing a low supply of oxygen in the blood. Lack of oxygen in the blood leads to fatigue and exhaustion. Pregnant women already face fatigue and exhaustion during pregnancy. By eating capsicum during pregnancy, the vitamin C content in it helps to absorb iron thereby preventing anemia and fatigue.
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5. Has many anti-cancer benefits
Capsicum comes with rich antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties providing numerous anti-cancer benefits. Not only that, but capsicum also contains sulfur compounds that support overall health. Gastric cancer and esophageal cancer can be prevented with the help of the enzymes present in capsicum.
6. Improves bone health
During pregnancy, women require more calcium and manganese to strengthen their bones. Bone cartilage and bone collagen are factors playing a crucial role in bone mineralization. Since capsicum is rich in manganese, it helps in the formation of cartilage and collagen. Also, capsicum during pregnancy helps in preventing osteoporosis as capsicum is a good source of vitamin K.
7. Reduces anxiety
Anxiety and panic attacks are common during pregnancy. Capsicum is a wonderful source of magnesium and vitamin B6 — both playing a major role in nerve functioning. Eating capsicum is one of the natural remedies for anxiety during pregnancy and panic attacks as the magnesium content helps to ease tense muscles resulting from panic attacks. Also, capsicum helps in regularizing the heartbeat.
Risks And Precautions When Eating Capsicum During Pregnancy
We see many recommending capsicums during pregnancy owing to its numerous health benefits. It turns out that capsicum is not only beneficial for pregnant women but is a perfect food choice for those with diabetes too. Though the benefits of capsicum might sound great, we must also remember that there is another side to it.
Nonetheless, there are no major side effects of eating capsicum during pregnancy, one could experience discomforts such as stomach irritation, sweating, and runny nose when taken in excess. Remember, it is not recommended to eat capsicum in large doses or for long periods.
Before you go out and eat as much as you can, there are a few things that you need to know about.
1. Possible allergy
It is common for pregnant women to have an allergy to capsicum. The allergy usually happens due to a cross-section of vegetables and pollen. In case you suspect an allergy because of having capsicum during pregnancy, we suggest you see a doctor and get the skin prick test performed.
2. Nightshade allergy
Capsicum belongs to a family type known as nightshade. A few people could have allergies to the vegetables belonging to this type. In case you have an allergy to it, we recommend you avoid eating capsicum.
Related Reading: 9 Common Infections During Pregnancy You Should Be Aware Of
3. May upset stomach
Over-eating capsicums during pregnancy can cause an upset stomach in pregnant women when taken beyond moderation. Though capsicum is likely safe when consumed in moderate amounts as found in food, anything in excess or more than the recommended amount could create discomfort.
Also, it is suggested to use Capsaicin — the active chemical in capsicum only on a limited basis. Moreover, too much consumption of capsicum during pregnancy could lead to frequent stools or indigestion.
Choosing The Right Capsicum
- While purchasing capsicum, make sure you go for the ones with high quality. The ones that have undamaged skins are healthy
- If capsicum feels firm, with smooth skin it is of good quality
- Avoid capsicum with visible damage as they are prone to harmful microorganisms
- Ensure to use capsicum within 5 days of purchase
Precautions While Eating Capsicum During Pregnancy
Though capsicum during pregnancy has a lot of benefits, there are a few precautions that you need to follow and know before incorporating them into your pregnancy diet.
- Capsicum can be consumed both raw and cooked. Make sure to wash them before eating to avoid any bacterial infection
- Capsaicin found in capsicum should be taken in small quantities. Excess intake could lead to side effects such as irritation, sweating, and runny nose
- The seeds in capsicum would trigger allergies to persons who have a pre-existing allergy. This results in sneezing or rashes which are unsafe for the baby and the pregnant women
- Due to its blood-thinning properties, it is advised to stop eating capsicum a couple of weeks before delivery which could lead to excessive bleeding during childbirth
Choosing capsicum during pregnancy as part of your diet will be the wisest choice you could make as capsicum is an ultimate source of minerals, vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that can support the health of the mother along with the development of the baby.