Drumsticks are one of the most popular vegetables, especially in Southern India. The popularity of this vegetable is now slowly moving towards other parts of India as well. The various parts of the drumstick plant (bark, leaves, flower, and seeds) are well known for their medicinal properties. But how safe is eating drumsticks during pregnancy? Because, in terms of pregnancy, many times the nutritional value and safety may not go hand in hand.
This blog helps you to find everything about the consumption of drumsticks during pregnancy.
Nutritional Profile Of Drumstick Pods And Leaves
The table given below will help you to understand the nutritional profile of drumsticks
|Principle||Nutrient value-Pods||Nutrient value-Leaves|
|Energy||37 Kcal (2%)||64 Kcal (3%)|
|Carbohydrates||8.53 g (6.5%)||8.28% (6%)|
|Protein||2.10 g (4%)||9.40 g (17%)|
|Total Fat||0.20 g (1%)||1.40% (7%)|
|Cholesterol||0 mg (0%)||0 mg (0%)|
|Dietary Fiber||3.2 g (8%)||2.0 g (5%)|
|Folates||44 µg (11%)||40 µg (10%)|
|Niacin||0.680 mg (4%)||2.220 mg (14%)|
|Pyridoxine||0.120 mg (9%)||1.200 mg (92%)|
|Riboflavin||0.074 mg (6%)||0.660 mg (51%)|
|Thiamin||0.053 mg (4.5%)||0.257 mg (21.5%)|
|Vitamin A||74 IU (2.5%)||7564 IU (252%)|
|Vitamin C||141 mg (235%)||51.7 mg (86%)|
|Sodium||42 mg (3%)||9 mg (0.5%)|
|Potassium||461 mg (10%)||337 mg (7%)|
|Calcium||30 mg (3%)||185 mg (18.5%)|
|Iron||0.36 mg (4.5%)||4.00 mg (50%)|
|Magnesium||45 mg (11%)||147 mg (37%)|
|Phosphorus||50 mg (9%)||112 mg (20%)|
|Selenium||8.2 µg (15%)||0.9 µg (1.5%)|
|Zinc||0.45 mg (4%)||0.60 mg (5%)|
Drumstick pods and leaves are rich in vital minerals. As you see in the above table, the leaves are the most nutrient-dense part of the plant. Drumsticks are an excellent source of calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, and magnesium. Fresh pods and seeds are rich in oleic acid.
Is It Safe To Eat Drumstick During Pregnancy?
Drumstick can be safely included in your pregnancy diet. Besides being entirely safe, many properties and nutrients found in drumsticks are beneficial for the healthy progressing of the pregnancy.
There is no doubt about its nutritional and therapeutic value. But like any other nutritive fruits and vegetables, you should not cross the moderation mark when you choose to consume drumsticks during pregnancy.
You also must thoroughly wash drumsticks before incorporating them into your pregnancy diet. Washing will help to remove any dangerous bacteria, parasites, or chemical residues that may have been trapped in it.
Health Benefits Of Eating Drumsticks During Pregnancy
Drumsticks are a countable source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are beneficial for the healthy progression of pregnancy and the development of the baby in the womb. Eating drumsticks while pregnancy can assist you in the following ways.
1. Helps to boost immunity and to keep harmful infections at bay
Drumsticks are an excellent source of Vitamin C. They are also a powerhouse of various antioxidants. Therefore eating drumsticks during pregnancy helps to improve the immunity of the mother significantly.
Likewise, drumsticks are well-known for their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Therefore including drumsticks in your pregnancy diet will help to prevent common infections like cold and cough. The strong antibacterial properties of drumsticks help to prevent the risk of harmful throat and chest infections during pregnancy. Moreover, drumstick soup is excellent to reduce the annoying asthmatic signs like wheezing and gives fast relief from other respiratory issues. This vegetable helps to prevent fungal skin infections as well.
Related Reading: 11 Indian Home Remedies For Cold During Pregnancy
2. Helps to lower morning sickness
Drumstick contains an appreciable amount of pyridoxine (vitamin B6). Studies have proved Vitamin B6 can effectively reduce gestational nausea and vomiting. Therefore including drumsticks in your pregnancy diet may help to combat giddiness and fatigue and to lower nausea caused by morning sickness.
Note: It is recommended not to eat drumsticks during the first trimester because if accidentally consumed in excess, they might trigger miscarriage.
3. Helps to enhance bone health
It is important to take care of bone health during pregnancy. Inadequate calcium intake during pregnancy can end up in leaching calcium from the mother’s bones. This increases her chances of contracting conditions like osteoporosis in the future.
According to studies, including drumsticks in the pregnancy menu helps to increase bone density. Drumstick not only contains minerals that enhance bone health (like calcium, iron) but it also contains minerals and vitamins that help with calcium absorption (like=vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, boron). Drumstick also contains amino acids (like Lysine) that helps with the absorption of calcium
4. Reduce the risk of developing anemia
Anemia, especially iron-deficient anemia, is one of the common issues found among pregnant women. An increase in blood volume (up to 50% ) and inadequate intake of iron are the basic reasons that increase the risk of anemia during pregnancy.
Anemia during pregnancy can create many complications depending on its severity. It ranges from fatigue to giving birth to low weight baby. Drumsticks are rich in iron and it helps to boost the hemoglobin level. Therefore, eating drumsticks during pregnancy helps to prevent anemia.
Related Reading: 18 Foods To Eat To Increase Fetal Weight During Pregnancy
5. Helps to regulate blood pressure
Drumsticks are rich in potassium. It contains around three times as much potassium as bananas. Potassium plays a significant role in regulating blood pressure. It also carries the goodness of bioactive compounds niaziminin and isothiocyanate. These compounds prevent the thickening of arteries and enhance blood circulation.
Related Reading: Top 10 Protein-Rich Foods For Pregnancy
Therefore including drumsticks in the menu can be highly beneficial for mothers who are experiencing gestational hypertension.
6. Helps with uterine contraction during labor
Drumstick can enhance uterine contractions and lowers labor-related pain. Therefore drumsticks can potentially help with childbirth. It also reduces the risk of complications like severe blood loss during delivery and also helps to reduce several pre and post-delivery complications. Consuming drum sticks during the latter stage of pregnancy helps to enhance breast milk production soon after delivery.
7. Reduces the risk of neural tube defects
Drumstick is an excellent source of folate. Folate is a vitamin that is crucial for the formation of the neural tube that eventually develops into the brain and spinal column of the baby. Deficiency of folate during pregnancy increases the risk of neural tube defects such as Spina Bifida in babies. Therefore, consuming drumsticks, especially drumstick leaves helps to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in babies.
Related Reading: Can I Drink Green Tea During Pregnancy?
8. Helps to combat digestive issues
Pregnancy may have an adverse effect on the mother’s digestive tract. The surge of pregnancy hormones and the pressure exerted by the uterus on the digestive tract are the primary cause of digestive problems during pregnancy. Pregnant women are susceptible to digestive problems like constipation, acidity, etc. She also faces stomach upset now and then.
Eating drumsticks helps to soothe and cure stomach upsets in expectant women. Drumsticks contains large amounts of dietary fiber which helps to ease bowel movements and thereby softens stool and relieve constipation.
9. Helps to regulate blood sugar level
Since drumsticks are naturally low in calories and packed with essential minerals, vitamins, and fiber, they can greatly reduce blood sugar levels. Several studies have shown that isothiocyanates in drumsticks assist in successfully regulating the blood sugar level. Eating drumsticks regularly can help you maintain your blood sugar levels and avoid conditions like gestational diabetes.
10. Helps to cure edema
Edema is a condition where fluid builds up in specific tissues in the body. Pregnant women are susceptible to edema. Swelling in hands, feet, and face is a common issue among soon-to-be- mothers. The natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of drumsticks help to prevent/ reduce the signs of edema.
Risks And Precautions Of Eating Drumstick During Pregnancy
Although drumsticks are full of nutrition and are very beneficial for pregnant women, consuming certain parts of the drumstick tree pose some risks. Over-consumption of drumstick can also lead to some unwanted complications during pregnancy.
Drumsticks if consumed excess than the moderation mark can potentially interact with certain medications, including hypertension and diabetic medications. This can result in sugar levels and blood pressure drops in a dangerous way.
Also, never consume,
- Bark and roots of drumstick tree, as they contain chemicals that can potentially bring about miscarriage
- Flower of drumstick tree for the same reason mentioned above
Pregnancy is a time in a woman’s life when she must adhere to a rigorous diet and consume the proper meals. The food a mother consumes has a major impact on the outcome of her pregnancy. Most pregnant women are very much concerned about what they eat during pregnancy.
That is why many pregnancy forums are filled with questions like “is drumstick bad during pregnancy?” Hope this blog helps you to understand not only the benefits but also the risk and precautions to eat drumstick during pregnancy.
Wish you a happy and safe pregnancy!
The chemicals found in the roots, flowers, and bark of the drumstick can potentially cause uterine contraction. Therefore consuming these parts of drumstick during pregnancy can increase the risk of a miscarriage.
Early pregnancy is a fragile phase. Drumstick contains alpha-sitosterol, with an estrogen-like structure. If cross the limits of consumption, drumsticks can initiate uterine contractions. Therefore, it is better to stay away from it during the early phase of pregnancy.
Drumstick leaves are relatively more nutritious than pods. It is loaded with protein and is an amazing source of good-quality essential amino acids. You can incorporate it into the pregnancy diet as follows:
1. You can prepare soups with drumstick leaves. Drumstick leaves soup during pregnancy beneficial.
2. You can sprinkle dried and powdered drumstick leaves into dishes to enhance their nutritive value.
3. You can even cook drumstick leaves just like spinach leaves to make tasty side dishes.
1. Choose tender and bright green pods. Fresh pods bend easily.
2. Never buy rigid, dull-colored or pods that having big bumps in them. All these signs indicate they are not fresh.
3. Dark green and fresh-looking drumstick leaves are a good choice.