Pregnancy is a period when your body would crave for particular flavoured foods such as sweet, sour, salty, spicy or non-food items too. Some of the cravings could be attributed to the nutrients needs of the body while having a little life inside you and other unnecessary and unusual food cravings could be blamed on the changing hormones. Craving Pickles during pregnancy is one of the common cravings which could satisfy your spicy food craving along with preventing most of the typical pregnancy symptoms. But are pickles good for you during pregnancy? Read on to know more.
Table Of Contents:
What Are Pickles Or Achaar?
Achaar (also known as desi pickles) are basically from our country, India. Pickle could be made of varieties of vegetables and fruits but the most-commonly, pickles are prepared from mango and lime. The chopped fruit or vegetables are marinated in brine or edible oil along with a wide variety of Indian spices such as asafoetida, red chilli powder, fenugreek, turmeric, etc. Some small vegetables or fruits could be used as a whole too for pickling.
Generally, the homemade pickles are prepared in summer and allowed to mature by covering it with muslin cloth for two weeks under the sunlight. The high amount of salt in the pickle acts as a preservative.
Nutritional Value Of Pickles:
Pickles are not known for the nutritional value, but for the pickle craving during pregnancy. When the nutritional front of the pickles are considered, they contain less amount of cholesterol and fat and also, low in the most important nutrients such as proteins. But consuming pickles during pregnancy could offer you a good amount of iron and sodium. Pickles also contain calcium, dietary fibers and vitamin C. The number of calories, amount of fat, sodium varies with the type of pickles. How these nutrients affect the pregnancy body? You will get to know in this article.
Are Pickles Good For You During Pregnancy?
Pickle is a package of many flavours and it meal tastes just perfect when accompanied by a pickle. But is pickle good during pregnancy?
Consuming pickles during pregnancy is not entirely harmful by itself if the amount of consumption is moderate. But including pickles in your daily diet of pregnancy is not advisable. This kind of overindulgence could lead to health complications in you and your growing baby during pregnancy. And the one of the important reason to keep the consumption of pickles to a bare minimum is - it doesn’t provide much of the nutrition benefits to the pregnancy body. So, although the craving for pickles during pregnancy is normal, overeating pickles during pregnancy could be dangerous. Also, consuming very spicy pickles during pregnancy could trigger unnecessary health issues such as acid reflux and heartburn. Hence, It is vital to keep the moderation mantra in mind for the benefit of both of you-you and your baby. If you are in any doubt about eating pickles during pregnancy, consult your doctor is advised.
Are Homemade Pickles Safe During Pregnancy?
For sure, homemade pickles are safe during pregnancy owing to the fact the commercially prepared pickles contain a good amount of preservatives such as citric acid and sodium benzoate.
Benefits Of Eating Pickles During Pregnancy:
Craving for pickles during pregnancy is very common and how everyone wishes it to be packed with essential nutrients too. But there are benefits which you could enjoy if you are eating pickles during pregnancy at a limit.
‣ No Cholesterol And Low Fat: Pickles are zero on cholesterol and least fat content. How could it benefit you? By not adding weight. Hence, Pickles could be consumed as a healthy snack. But make sure to keep an eye on the sugar content in the pickles you are eating. Because the sweetened pickle might increase your calorie intake.
‣ Maintains Electrolyte Balance: Electrolytes are needed to support the electrical transmission system in our system. And the important minerals that facilitate the electrolytes in the human body are potassium and sodium. Limited intake of the pickles during pregnancy could fulfil the increasing demand of the body. So, craving pickle during pregnancy is absolutely fine. But consuming it should be within limits.
‣ Antioxidant Property: The pickles are known to a have high amount of antioxidants because of the procedure pickles are prepared. Pickles are uncooked and as a result, it retains the antioxidants to the maximum extent and helps the body to defend against any free radicals.
‣ Provides Vitamins And Minerals: The number of vitamins and minerals in each type of pickles vary. The fresh pickles of a wide variety of vegetables and fruits like amla offer essential vitamins such as vitamin A, C, K and minerals like calcium, iron and potassium. This avoids unnecessary health issues that could be caused due to deficiencies. Eating pickles during pregnancy also boosts your immunity.
‣ Boosts Digestion: Pickles contain healthy bacteria. Consuming pickles during pregnancy could increase the good bacteria in your gut and boost the digestion and treat any of the digestive issues.
Risks Involved In Eating Pickles During Pregnancy:
Figuratively, even if the elixir is consumed in excess, it could be dangerous to the health. Do you think pickles could be spared?
Pickles are high in salt content. It is because salt enhances the anti-microbial property of the food and aids in the preservation of the pickles. It keeps the invasion of unnecessary microorganisms (such as fungi, bacteria, yeast) at check. But along with satisfying the craving for pickle during pregnancy, the high amount of salt in pickles could pose adverse effects on the body if consumed in excess. It could even lead to gestational hypertension. The severe cases of these might cause heart attacks and strokes.
The oil content in a pickle is not good too. It could play a major role in increasing the cholesterol and fat level in the body. It could also help in increasing the body weight.
The spiciness of the pickle could cause acid reflux, heartburn or even bloating and gas when you are pregnant.
Precautions While Eating Pickles During Pregnancy:
For sure, pickle cravings during pregnancy are satisfied and it provides various health benefits during pregnancy but there are a few precautions that need to exercise.
‣ Gastritis: Gastritis, bloating and gas are common pregnancy health issues. If you are one of the people who are prone to such health care, it is better to avoid pickles for your own good.
‣ Acidity And Heartburn: Very spicy pickles can stimulate the acid production in your stomach and cause acidity and excessive heartburn. It could also trigger dysentery.
‣ Dehydration: Since the pickles contain an excess amount of salt, your body might get dehydrated after consuming pickles. So, drink a lot of fluids and stay hydrated.
‣ Gestational Hypertension: The high amount of sodium in the pickles could affect the baby adversely by creating health issues like gestational hypertension.
‣ Health Complications: Although homemade pickles are comparatively safer, the commercially prepared pickles contain loads of chemicals used as a preservative. And this might cause unnecessary and unwanted health complications
‣ Weight Gain: The sweetened pickles are high on calorie and could cause unnecessary weight gain.
‣ Potential Danger: The homemade pickle might be containing the traces of bacteria like listeria and this could be extremely harmful to the health of the pregnant women.
Giving in to the pickle cravings during pregnancy is absolutely okay. But anything in excess could be extremely dangerous to your sensitive self and the baby. So, consume pickles in limit and enjoy its benefits to the fullest.