If you find yourself questioning whether eating a food item is safe for you or not, and think you are fretting, let it rest. You are not the only one. Most pregnant mothers worry about whether the food they are eating is safe or not for their unborn baby. Even for a very healthy vegetable, like spinach, you may wonder if spinach during pregnancy is safe.
And it is normal, trust me.
Despite being a mostly happy time, which we mothers spend looking forward to meeting our little bundle of joy, it can’t be denied that it is also a very stressful time. Many new mothers run themselves ragged worrying about whether their food or the activities they partake in can harm the baby.
Suppose you are one of these mothers, no need to worry! I was the same too. Read on to learn whether it is safe to eat spinach during pregnancy, the possible benefits and side effects, and even a few recipes!
Is It Safe To Eat Spinach During Pregnancy?
Spinach, or palak, is entirely safe to eat during pregnancy. In fact, it is highly recommended! Palak is laden with many vitamins and other nutrients, all of which are incredibly beneficial for yourself and your little one.
You may be wondering, ok, maybe Spinach is safe to eat, but only in moderation, right? Or is Spinach safe to eat every day? Well, fellow palak lover, we have got good news for you! While moderation is important, you can absolutely eat spinach every day! Experts suggest that it is best to consume 400-800 micrograms of spinach every day.
If you get tired of it, you can always substitute it with other leafy greens, like broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, and more. And of course, there is more than just one type of Spinach.
Types of Spinach
Malabar Spinach During Pregnancy
Other names for Malabar spinach include Red Vine Spinach, Ceylon Spinach, and Creeping Spinach. It is a rich source of various nutrients like Iron, Calcium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. It also provides many antioxidants.
It is safe to eat this leafy vegetable, as long as you take some precautions. Make sure the spinach leaves are thoroughly washed and use gloves when dealing with them if you do not know if they are washed. The reason for this is because some of it can transmit toxoplasmosis.
Toxoplasmosis can be present in many different types of vegetables. Most women already have antibodies to fight it off, but some don’t. A quick blood test can clarify whether you do or do not, but usually, it is safe to eat Malabar spinach during pregnancy.
Water Spinach During Pregnancy
Water Spinach, also known as Chinese Spinach, is a semi-aquatic plant. It is very nutritious and beneficial for you and your unborn child. It is rich in fiber, protein, calcium, carbohydrates, iron, and vitamins.
It is not only safe to eat water spinach during pregnancy, it is also important to consume it during the first trimester in particular. It helps reduce high blood sugar levels and also hypertension.
Nutritional Benefits Of Eating Spinach During Pregnancy
One of the reasons why spinach is incredibly beneficial to eat during pregnancy is because of the vast amounts of folate it contains. Folate, also known as Vitamin B₉, is very important for the development of the infant and even helps prevent defects to the spine and brain of the baby. It also helps prevent miscarriages.
Other than folate, palak also contains an abundance of other nutrients such as Vitamin A, Calcium, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Phosphorous, Potassium and Magnesium.
Some Other Benefits Of Eating Spinach During Pregnancy
Spinach offers a host of health benefits and is extremely beneficial during pregnancy. Spinach during pregnancy can-
- Spinach during pregnancy improves mental health: Because Spinach is rich in Vitamin B, eating it will improve your mood greatly. It can help alleviate stress, anxiety and depression. For a pregnant woman, food like this is a rare and invaluable gift!
- Strengthens immune system: During pregnancy, your immunity system will need all the help it can get. The Vitamin C present in Spinach will help strengthen your immunity and prevent many low-level illnesses.
- Improves red blood cells: One of the most common problems that affect pregnant women is Anemia. The iron content in Spinach will contribute to the production of red blood cells, reducing the possibility of this happening to you.
- Stronger bones and teeth: Palak is rich in Calcium. Calcium is a nutrient which is essential in the development and growth of teeth and bones. So it goes without saying that Spinach will help strengthen your bones, and also work in developing your baby’s.
- Spinach regulates blood pressure: Issues that arise from having a higher-than-ideal blood pressure is all too common in pregnant women, not to mention it can cause problems for the baby. The nutrients present in palak will help regulate your blood pressure and lower it to the ideal level.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Eating Spinach During Pregnancy?
Being very healthy, spinach during pregnancy can be a boon for both pregnant women and their babies. However, excessive consumption of spinach during pregnancy can also lead to some side effects such as-
- Possibility of kidney stones: Spinach contains large amounts of purines. Purines are compounds which get converted into uric acid upon ingestion. Too much uric acid can cause kidney stones. So it is advisable for pregnant women in the second or third trimester to reduce intake of spinach, especially if you are prone to kidney stones
- Complications due to salicylate: The consumption of too much salicylate can possibly cause bleeding, prolonged labour, and other such complications. So, it would be wise to avoid spinach during the final few weeks of pregnancy
- Constipation or diarrhea: Spinach contains a high amount of fiber. This can sometimes be challenging for your digestive system, especially if you are not accustomed to it. As a result, it is possible to get constipation or diarrhoea
Spinach Recipes During Pregnancy
Well, surely we can’t end on that note! So here you go, a few fun recipes involving Spinach and the precautions (if any) you need to take when using them during pregnancy.
Spinach Dip During Pregnancy
If you are looking for an easy side dish to go with your crackers, look no further! Spinach dip is not only healthy but also a very delicious recipe to use when you are pregnant. No need to worry more about whether spinach dip is good for pregnancy!
- Sour cream
- Cream cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Dried onion (minced)
- Parmesan cheese
- Monterrey Jack cheese
- Red pepper flakes
Step 1: Mix the sour cream and cream cheese in a large bowl until its creamy and smooth.
Step 2: Add the other ingredients and mix with a spatula.
Step 3: Transfer the mixture into a baking dish and smoothen the surface.
Step 4: Bake it.
And you’re done! Easy-peasy.
(Taken from www.homemadehooplah.com)
Drinking Spinach Smoothie During Pregnancy
There are many health benefits provided by spinach smoothie for pregnancy. It can serve as an energy booster, and the addition of other fruits can be a source of more nutrients.
- Baby spinach – 2 cups
- Frozen pineapple chunks – 2 cups
- Frozen banana slices – ½ cup
- Diced apple – 1 cup
- Unsweetened almond milk – 1 cup
- Nonfat plain Greek yoghurt – ½ cup
- Ice cubes – 1 cup
Step 1: Add all the ingredients into a blender
Step 2: Blend it for 30 seconds at medium speed. Then increase the speed to high for 15-30 seconds, until the consistency is thick and smooth.
Step 3: If need be, you can add more almond milk to get the desired consistency.
This recipe will give you enough smoothie for 5 servings!
(Taken from www.jessicagavin.com)
Spinach Soup During Pregnancy
This creamy soup is the perfect lunch for the pregnant woman!
- Spinach – 700g
- Vegetable or chicken stocks – 900ml
- Large chopped onion
- Crushed garlic clove
- Cream cheese – 100g
- Chopped chives – 2 teaspoons
- Butter – 25g
- Freshly grated nutmeg – as much as needed.
Step 1: In a saucepan, melt the butter and use it to fry the onion and garlic until its soft.
Step 2: Add the Spinach, along with chives and stock
Step 3: After it starts to boil, let it simmer until the spinach leaves have wilted. This will usually take about 5 minutes.
Step 4: Blend the mixture until it is a smooth consistency.
Step 5: Add the cream cheese and nutmeg as you stir. Let it simmer for a few more minutes before serving.
(Taken from www.stylesatlife.com)
Spinach Juice During Pregnancy
Follow this easy recipe to make a refreshing beverage that provides you with many nutrients and medicinal benefits.
- Chopped spinach – 2 cups
- Apple or pear, cored and chopped – 1
- Celery – 1 stalk (chopped)
- Lemon/lime juice – from ½ of the fruit – optional
- Water – ¾ cup
Step 1: Pour the water into a blender and add the chopped apple and celery.
Step 2: Add the Spinach and the juice from the lemon or lime, if you want.
Step 3: Blend it until it is of a smooth consistency.
Step 4: Use a fine-mesh juice strainer, or even a sieve, to pour the juice into a large container.
(Taken from www.stylesatlife.com)
Spinach is an incredibly nutritious leafy vegetable that is very beneficial for a pregnant woman and her unborn baby. And while daily consumption of Spinach is recommended by experts, it is important to keep within limits and not eat it excessively. Make sure you are not going through any of the side effects or negative effects of Spinach. If you think you are, see your doctor.
As long as you keep in mind that there is a limit and there are possible side effects, you should be fine. Spinach is incredibly refreshing, and you shouldn’t have to give up on it even when you’re pregnant!