As soon as a woman sees two lines on the pregnancy test, she may begin to pay more attention to her eating habits. When pregnant, it’s essential to eat plenty of greens. Some of the most common digestive problems pregnant women have, like constipation and slow bowel movements, might be helped by eating more vegetables. Zucchini is one of the most recommended vegetables to eat when pregnant. The benefits of zucchini during pregnancy extend not only to the mother but also to the baby.
Zucchini Nutrition Facts
There are 48.5 calories, 3.6 grams of protein, 1.2 grams of fat, 8.7 grams of carbs, 3.2 grams of fiber, and 5.5 grams of sugar in one big zucchini (approximately 323 grams)1.
Zucchini contains the minerals listed below2:
The vitamin content of zucchini is as follows3:
- Thiamine (vitamin B1)
- Vitamin A
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
- Vitamin E
- Niacin (vitamin B3)
- Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
- Pyridoxine (vitamin B6)
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Related Reading: 18 Home Remedies For Constipation During Pregnancy
Is Zucchini Good For Pregnant Women?
Zucchini is also known as courgette and summer squash. A wealth of antioxidants and nutrients like carotenoids, vitamin C, minerals, and phenolic compounds can be found in them. Pregnancy is accompanied by a significant rise in dietary needs. Folate and potassium are both important for a baby’s development and can be found in large amounts in zucchini.
Spina bifida and other neural tube defects can happen to the fetus if the mother does not get enough folic acid while she is pregnant. In addition to being completely safe during pregnancy, it has anticancer and antigenotoxicity potential.
Only if you personally can’t stand them should you give up on them, but this is very rare. Squashes are among the first foods introduced to infants because they do not cause allergic reactions.
Health Benefits Of Eating Zucchini During Pregnancy
As mentioned above, zucchini is a rich source of various nutrients, which makes it a heavily recommended vegetable for pregnant women.
Consuming a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that are different shades of green, red, orange, yellow, and purple can help you and your unborn baby gets a wider range of nutrients. Each color group contains a unique set of vitamins and minerals.
Related Reading: Is It Safe To Eat Raw Vegetables During Pregnancy?
Because of the abundance of beneficial nutrients that are contained within zucchini, including it in your diet while you are pregnant is a wise decision. It comes in different colors, and orange, green, yellow, and white zucchini during pregnancy is highly beneficial.
Here are just a few of the many benefits of zucchini during pregnancy:
1. Zucchini helps maintain healthy pregnancy weight
Due to the various hormonal changes that come with pregnancy, as well as the tendency to do less physical activity during this time, your weight can go through a lot of changes during pregnancy. Whether you weigh too little or too much, it can pose complications during pregnancy. Thus, it is extremely important to maintain a healthy weight.
Zucchini contains a low amount of calories. They are also rich sources of fiber, which satiates hunger well. This makes it an ideal choice if you are trying to prevent gaining too much weight.
2. High in carotenoids
Zucchini contains various nutrients in high quantities. It is especially rich in carotenoids. Carotenoids are beneficial to the prevention of many common pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). Additionally, having zucchini during pregnancy also aids in the growth and development of the baby, particularly brain and muscular development.
3. Zucchini helps with gestational diabetes
One of the most common issues faced by pregnant women is gestational diabetes, and many food items eaten by pregnant women can contribute to this. However, that is something you don’t have to worry about with zucchini. It is diabetes-friendly.
It contains high amounts of fiber and pectin. These nutrients aid in lowering blood sugar. Zucchini is also rich in B complex vitamins which help stabilize glucose levels.
4. Encourages electrolytic balance
During pregnancy, a woman’s needs for electrolytes (sodium, potassium, and chloride) are a little higher than usual because her blood volume is growing. Eating foods that are high in potassium can help keep the levels of fluid and electrolytes in your cells in the right place.
5. Stomach worms can be treated with zucchini.
A nematode found in the maternal gut has been linked to changes in the microbiome’s structure and function in newborns4. According to studies, Zucchini extracts include bioactive components such as cucurbitane, amino acids, fatty acids, and others that may fight against nematodes5.
Related Reading: How To Cope With Sweet Cravings During Pregnancy
Risks Of Eating Zucchini During Pregnancy
There are comparatively very few risks associated with consuming zucchini during pregnancy. It is a safe and highly recommended pregnancy food. However, that is not to say it is completely risk-free. A few risks that are common to most fruits and vegetables also apply to zucchini.
You must exercise caution when having raw zucchini during pregnancy. They may contain some harmful microorganisms that have the potential to cause complications. Make sure the proper precautions are followed and remember to practice moderation.
Related Reading: 7 Nutritional Benefits Of Kale During Pregnancy And 6 Ways To Eat It
Can Zucchini Flowers Be Eaten During Pregnancy?
Yes, zucchini flowers, or zucchini blossoms, are safe to eat during pregnancy. They are even a delicacy in many places. If you want to try them, pick them up in the morning when they are soft and fresh. Make sure the blossoms do not have any insects in them and pull off the calyces that are attached to the base.
There are many ways you can cook these flowers. In Greece, for example, it is common to stuff them with white cheese. You can also stuff them with rice, minced meat, and herbs. Then, you can either deep-fry it or cover it with tomato sauce and bake it.
When stuffing the flowers, there are some precautions you need to follow. Ensure any cheese you use is confirmed to be safe during pregnancy. If you are using meat, make sure it is cooked at a minimum of 71.1°C internal temperature if it is ground meat and 73.9°C internal temperature if it is ground poultry.
Precautions When Eating Zucchini During Pregnancy
The risks of consuming zucchini during pregnancy usually arise from raw zucchini, which can contain pathogens. There are a few simple precautions you can follow to prevent this possibility:
- Make sure the zucchini you eat is fresh. A sign that the zucchini is very fresh is that the flowers are still attached. If you see one like this, it is safe to assume it is fresh. It is also important to store them properly
- Try to buy the smaller zucchini as much as possible, as they are young. Avoid the larger ones
- When you buy zucchinis, look them over to ensure there are no blemishes, bruises, or discoloration. If that is impossible, choose ones with as much unblemished, smooth skin as possible
- Make sure you wash the zucchini thoroughly, using running water. Also, use a vegetable brush to scrub it properly
Pregnancy is a time when you have to carefully watch what you eat and the amount you eat it. Even food (and drink) that are usually quite harmless can present risks during this time when your body is vulnerable. It can be a tiresome task to organize a sufficiently healthy and delicious menu to put your mind at ease. In such a case, zucchini comes as a life-saver.
It is an incredibly healthy vegetable, full of useful nutrients like vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and more. It provides a number of benefits. Compared to other food items, it also poses fewer risks. And aside from the practical reasons to have zucchini during pregnancy, there are many mouth-wateringly delicious dishes you can make with it. It is just the thing to lighten up your daily meals.
As long as you ensure they are clean, and practice caution with raw zucchini, you will be just fine. Zucchini is a perfectly healthy and tasty vegetable to include in your diet during pregnancy.
Yes, it is usually perfectly safe to have raw zucchini during pregnancy. However, there is a risk of it containing harmful microorganisms, so ensure it is washed and handled in a proper way. This doesn’t negate the risk entirely, but it does lessen it considerably. But overall, it is safer to have cooked zucchini during pregnancy.
Yes, fried zucchini is safe during pregnancy, as much as any other fried food item. Many countries and cultures fry their zucchini before eating it. However, due to the increased fat content in fried food, you should eat it only in moderate quantities.