Artichokes provide a lot of health benefits and making them a part of your diet is one good decision. While that is in the general case, how about using artichoke during pregnancy? During pregnancy, you eat for two. This means the food you eat can either help the baby grow or could hinder its growth.
Including artichokes during pregnancy could give you many health benefits including the nutrients that are required by you and the baby during the pregnancy phase. Since pregnancy is a time for you to make wise decisions on what to eat during pregnancy, you need to be careful about your decisions.
Discussed below is everything about artichokes — you need to know before you try!
Scientifically termed as Cynara scolymus, artichokes are vegetables that belong to the sunflower family. The flower portion of this plant is edible and comes with a whole lot of health benefits. They are also a rich source of antioxidants which are vital for pregnant women. The extracts of artichoke leaves are more beneficial and help to treat many health conditions.
Artichokes can be considered as a pregnancy superfood as they are rich in fiber and help to deal with many pregnancy-related issues such as constipation, morning sickness, nausea, etc. To make artichokes a part of your pregnant diet, it needs to be cooked properly. The base of the artichoke leaves is edible and the innermost leaves are tender enough to eat as well.
Artichoke during pregnancy is considered a safe food due to its health benefits. It is low on calories, fat, sugar, and sodium, and high on fiber and folate. There are a few precautions that you must follow before consuming this vegetable as they are prone to transmit toxoplasmosis — a parasite that will be present in water and soil.
While most women have the antibodies in their bodies to fight against toxoplasmosis, depending on your immunological details, the doctors may advise you on consuming artichoke during pregnancy. However, the general rule to eat this vegetable is to wash it before eating. Also, since toxoplasmosis parasite is present on vegetables, consuming raw artichoke during pregnancy is not recommended.
Related Reading: 22 Morning Sickness Snacks To Feel Better
Many questions run through your mind the moment you discover you are pregnant. Right from the choice of food to its nutritional content, all you want is a variety of diets with balanced nutrition. Since vegetables are important for better health, choosing the best one during this phase matters a lot.
Since artichokes come with a lot of health benefits for you and the fetus, you must consider adding them as a part of your pregnancy diet. Artichokes are rich in fiber and help to regulate the levels of sugar and blood cholesterol. Apart from these, listed below are a few benefits of artichoke during pregnancy.
1. Artichoke during pregnancy helps treat indigestion and other digestive issues
Indigestion and digestive issues are common during pregnancy. With the help of artichoke leaves, indigestion problems could be treated easily as the extracts from the leaves increase the flow of bile. This helps in speeding the digestion process which eases pregnancy discomforts such as bloating and feeling of fullness.
According to a source, artichoke has also been used to treat irritable bowel syndrome.
Almost all pregnant ladies experience constipation at one point of time during pregnancy. If you are constipated you may pass hard, dry stool, or they could be irregular. The reason behind all these is because of a low fiber diet. Including artichoke in your diet is an easy home remedy for constipation during pregnancy as it is a good source of fiber.
Folate is crucial during pregnancy as it helps to prevent a lot of birth defects before and after pregnancy. Folate is also known as folic acid (when added in food or consumed as supplements) belongs to vitamin B. This vitamin is essential for the healthy development of the fetus in early pregnancy, especially in their neural tube.
4. Help to control diabetes
Gestational diabetes is common during pregnancy. Since artichoke is a fiber dense food, it helps to keep the sugar levels stable — a crucial factor for diabetes. Artichokes help glucose to be absorbed slowly in the blood which prevents an increase in blood sugar levels. According to a source, Jerusalem artichoke helps to improve insulin secretion in diabetic persons.
Related Reading: Everything About Artificial Sweeteners During Pregnancy
5. Artichokes during pregnancy can boost immunity
Vitamin C is crucial for a good immune system. Pregnant women are more susceptible to illness. Artichoke is a rich source of vitamin C which helps to boost your immune system during pregnancy. They are also a good source of iron which supports your immune system. According to a source, artichokes also contain phytonutrients, which help the body fight against the disease.
Pregnant women should consider shifting their eating preferences according to the changes in their bodies. Since diet plays an important role in the overall health of pregnant women and fetuses, they must be cautious about what to eat and what to avoid.
Having discussed the benefits of eating artichoke during pregnancy, it does come with a few side effects which you must be aware of.
Artichokes pose a threat of allergy when consumed beyond a certain limit. Artichoke extracts can also cause allergies to many. If you haven’t eaten artichoke in the past, we recommend you stay extra cautious while you try to consume artichoke during pregnancy.
Artichoke helps in the stimulation of the bile duct. In case you suffer from chronic liver ailments, regular intake of artichoke during pregnancy must be avoided. Also, artichoke leaves can cause gallbladder contractions. In case you have gallstone issues, it is recommended you consult your doctor before intake of artichoke.
Related Reading: 10 Danger Signs Of Pregnancy To Watch Out For
Artichoke contains inulin, which is a FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols). This is a type of carbohydrate that could cause digestive issues in some people. In case you are sensitive to FODMAP, it is better to avoid artichoke during pregnancy.
How To Include Artichoke In Your Pregnancy Diet?
When you have cravings for artichoke, you might give a thought about having artichoke tea during pregnancy or consider if artichoke dip and marinated artichokes are safe during pregnancy.
Here are a few ways to eat artichoke during pregnancy.
- Keep trimmed artichoke for 20 to 30 minutes in a large pan post which the artichoke can be consumed plain or with olive oil by adding a pinch of salt
- The upper leaves of artichoke can be added to a bowl of salads or soup
- You can use artichoke puree as a dip for bread or fresh vegetables
- Including artichokes in pasta enhances the nutritional value of the food which is beneficial to you and the fetus
- Artichokes can be boiled, grilled, baked, and even stuffed. The best and easy way is to steam. You can steam them on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker
- Try roasting or grilling artichoke and season them with herbs and spices such as basil, thyme, coriander, and oregano
Tips For Choosing The Best Artichokes During Pregnancy
Though eating artichoke during pregnancy is recommended due to its health benefits, it could be tough for you to choose one if you have never prepared or tried it before. You might get stuck on how to start consuming artichoke.
Here are some tips that will give you an insight into how to choose this vegetable to make it a part of your pregnancy diet.
- While choosing artichoke, make sure its leaves are tightly packed and intact. This indicates the artichoke is fresh
- Pick artichokes and weigh them by hand. The ones usually fresh will feel solid and heavy. If you find it lighter, it is less fresh
- When you press the leaves, make sure they are squeaky
- Artichokes must be loosely wrapped in plastic and kept in the fridge. They will last up to a week
- If the artichokes feel spongy while squeezing, it is not recommended for purchase as they aren’t fresh
Artichoke during pregnancy is one superfood that must not be missed. Having discussed the risk factors of artichokes, consuming them in moderation is worth giving it a try. Since artichoke is a vegetable that is less in calories and fat, it helps protect the heart and strengthen it. Also, it prevents any cardiovascular diseases when you are pregnant.
Artichokes are rich in fiber which helps to treat irritable bowel syndrome and any other digestive issues. Also, issues such as inflammation during pregnancy can be avoided by including it as a part of your diet. Since it is important to maintain a healthy diet during pregnancy, making the right choice of food matters most!
There are many vegetables through which pregnant women continue to receive a perennial supply of nutrients and artichoke does that flawlessly!