Can You Eat Sprouts In Pregnancy?
Is it safe to eat sprouts during pregnancy? This is a question that many pregnant women ask, and the answer is not always black and white. While there are some benefits to consuming sprouts during pregnancy, there is also a risk of food poisoning.
Read on for more information about sprouts in pregnancy, including tips on how to include them in your diet safely.
Sprouts During Pregnancy
- Are sprouts safe for pregnant women?
- Different types of sprouts and what is safe to eat during pregnancy?
- What are the most popular sprouts for pregnancy?
- Nutritional value of bean sprouts
- Benefits of eating sprouts during pregnancy
- What are the risks associated with eating sprouts during pregnancy?
- How much sprouts can you safely eat per day during pregnancy?
- How to add sprouts to your pregnancy diet?
- Precautions to buy and eat sprouts in pregnancy
- How to cook sprouts during pregnancy?
- Recipe- Sprouted Moong Chaat
Is it safe to eat sprouts in pregnancy?
Sprouts are a great source of all the necessary nutrients for pregnant mothers. They offer a variety of health benefits during pregnancy, including easier digestion, lower blood sugar levels, a healthier heart, and a strong immune system.
However, you should avoid raw sprouts during pregnancy as they can cause food poisoning due to harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella.
Different Types of Sprouts:
There are mainly four different types:
- Sprouted Bean and Pea: Perhaps the most popular form of sprouts. It includes mung bean sprouts or moong beans, black bean, soybean, lentil, kidney bean, green pea, and snow pea.
- Sprouted Seed and Nut: These include sesame seed, pumpkin seed, radish seed, almond, pumpkin seed, alfalfa seed, and sunflower seed.
- Sprouted Vegetable or Leafy Sprouts: These include alfalfa, radish, beet, clover, cress, broccoli, mustard green, red clover sprouts, and fenugreek.
- Sprouted grains: These include brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, Kamut, buckwheat, wheatgrass, and oat.
Pregnant women can consume all kinds of properly cooked (75°C) sprouts.
Best sprouts for pregnancy and their nutrients
The most commonly consumed sprouts are:
Sprouted seeds of moong are high in fiber, minerals, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients. It is also rich in folate (B9), protein, iron, potassium, and magnesium, all of which you need for a healthy pregnancy. You can eat moong (green gram) sprouts in salads, soups, and stir-frys.
Brussel sprouts have many of the nutrients you and your baby need. A 1/2-cup (78 grams) serving of cooked brussels sprouts has 2 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, 5.5 grams of carbs, 91% of vitamin K, 53% of vitamin C, and 12% of folate you need per day.
Broccoli sprouts are a great source of protein, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium. Research reveals that eating broccoli sprouts during pregnancy improves the mother's health and provides the baby with life-long protection against cardiovascular diseases.
Sprouted Horse Gram
Horse gram, also known as chana dal, is incredibly high in fiber and protein, which you need most in pregnancy. It is also rich in calcium, iron, vitamin C, and antioxidants, strengthening your immune system and keeping your skin healthy. On the other hand, the phosphorus present in chana sprouts improves muscle function and keeps your bones and teeth strong during pregnancy.
Sprouted Palmyra contains a lot of fiber, regulating bowel motions and preventing constipation during pregnancy. They are also rich in iron, which helps combat pregnancy-induced anemia. Their high calcium content strengthens your bones and teeth, whereas rich protein levels contribute to your unborn baby's growth.
Nutritional value of sprouts:
Sprouts are highly nutritious and contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. They are a great source of plant-based protein and fiber.
A one-cup serving of fresh mung bean sprouts contains the following nutrients:
- Fat: 0 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
- Sugar: 4 grams
- Carbohydrates: 6 grams
- Calories: 31
Additionally, any variety of sprouts provide:
- Vitamin C
Moreover, sprouts are a great source of Vitamin K for proper blood clotting and support your baby's bone growth.
Benefits of Eating Sprouts During Pregnancy
Sprouts are a great source of iron, fiber, and protein that act as an instant energy booster and keep you full for a long time.
The benefits of eating sprouts in pregnancy are:
Improve digestion and relieve constipation
Sprouts are rich in insoluble fibers and digestive enzymes that boost metabolism, ease bowel movement and prevent constipation. In addition, they also contain a lower level of gluten and anti-nutrients, further reducing the chances of digestive problems.
Beneficial for fetal brain and retina development
Sprouts are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that play a vital role in developing the brain and retina of your unborn baby. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 also help regulate your blood pressure and reduce swelling during pregnancy.
An instant energy booster
Sprouts are full of minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and enzymes, which increase your body's metabolism and keep you energetic during pregnancy.
Sprouts' calories can range from 200 to nearly 480, depending on the type of sprouts you are eating.
Help prevent anemia
The low levels of red blood cells can make you feel tired. Sprouts contain a decent amount of iron and folate, which help treat pregnancy-induced anemia.
Adequate iron in your body also minimizes the risk of stomach disorders and conditions such as nausea.
A rich source of protein
Protein is essential for bone growth and the development of the fetus, and sprouts are a rich source of protein, especially for vegetarians.
Help maintain a healthy pregnancy weight
Sprouts make you feel full for longer, reducing your cravings for food during pregnancy. This way, they help you maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy.
Strengthen your immune system
Sprouts are packed with multiple nutrients such as vitamin B, C, E, and other phytochemicals, strengthening your immune system. The antioxidant property of sprouts boosts your overall health.
Keep your skin glowing
Consumption of sprouts during pregnancy keeps your skin healthy, glowing, and free from acne. Vitamin B presented in sprouts hydrates the skin and speeds up the process of cell regeneration. On the other hand, antioxidants detoxify your body, preventing wrinkles and other aging forms.
Regulate cholesterol levels and keeps your heart healthy
Sprouts are cardioprotective, which means they keep your heart healthy and free from various diseases. The fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids lower cholesterol levels, while the presence of potassium in sprouts keeps your blood pressure under control and reduces the chances of strokes.
Prevent vision issues
Vision changes are common during pregnancy. Sprouts are a rich source of Vitamin A which improves vision. It also contains high amounts of antioxidant agents that help protect eye cells from free radicals.
Lowers blood sugar levels
The fiber present in sprouts helps in lowering blood glucose levels. Researchers found that consuming sprouts for two months can reduce hemoglobin A1c levels by 10%. So it is highly recommended you add sprouts to your pregnancy diet to lower the chances of gestational diabetes.
Helps reduce acidity
Sprouts are alkaline by nature. They alkalize your body and neutralize excess acids to prevent stomach problems like acidity, heartburn, and acid reflux during pregnancy. Therefore, spouts are good for pregnant moms suffering from high acidity.
Risks associated with eating sprouts during pregnancy
Raw sprouts are breeding grounds for harmful bacteria and can cause food-borne diseases. During pregnancy, you must avoid raw sprouts.
Only consume fully cooked sprouts to the temperature of 165°F/75°C during pregnancy.
How many sprouts should I eat during pregnancy?
Eat a small cup of sprouts daily. Avoid overeating; it would be difficult to digest them.
You don't need to eat the same sprouts every day. Instead, keep them rotating every two or three days.
How to include sprouts in your pregnancy diet?
There are several ways to incorporate sprouts into your pregnancy diet, including:
- Prepare yummy salads with well-cooked sprouts
- Make Indian curries with sprouts
- Incorporate boiled sprouts as sandwich fillings for extra crunch
- Add boiled sprouts to poha (flattened rice)
- Stir-fry sprouts with your favorite vegetables, noodles, meat, or tofu
Precautions to buy and eat sprouts in pregnancy
To reduce the risk of contamination, follow these tips to buy, store and consume sprouts:
- Buy properly refrigerated and only fresh sprouts.
- Do not buy sprouts that are moldy, limp, slimy, or have a musty smell.
- Store sprouts in clean containers.
- Keep sprouts refrigerated at a temperature under 40°F.
- Always wash your hands properly before touching sprouts.
- Keep sprouts away from other raw foods.
- Avoid consuming raw sprouts of any kind as they might contain harmful bacteria.
- Only eat well-cooked sprouts (165°F/75°C).
Also Read: Healthy Pregnancy Snack - Oatmeal
How to cook sprouts to consume during pregnancy?
There are mainly three methods for cooking sprouts for pregnant mothers:
- Boiling: The easiest and quickest way to kill the bacteria in sprouts.
- Steaming: Use this method if you want to preserve more nutrients.
- Frying: It is very popular in Asian cuisine, particularly Korean, Chinese or Thai food.
Whatever method you use, the key here is to raise the temperature high enough to kill bacteria to avoid any life-threatening infections.
During pregnancy, eat only thoroughly cooked (165°F/75°C) sprouts.
Quick recipe for sprouted chaat
Sprouted Moong Chaat is a healthy snack made with mung bean sprouts, tomatoes, onions, coriander, mint leaves, etc. Here are the steps to make the sprouted moong chaat recipe:
- Take cooked sprouted mung bean, chopped tomato, chopped onion, cumin powder, red chili powder, rock salt, and chopped mint or coriander leaves.
- Mix them well.
- Add a fistful of roasted peanuts or chana on top for some crunch.
- Enjoy it as a tea-time snack.
FAQs About Eating Sprout In Pregnancy
Are sprouts in pregnancy good or bad?
Sprouts are a great addition to your pregnancy diet as they contain large amounts of fiber and nutrients. However, cook them well before consumption, as undercooked or raw sprouts may contain bacteria like E. coli or Salmonella.
Which sprouts are good during pregnancy?
All boiled or cooked sprouts are good to eat during pregnancy, including moong bean sprouts, radish seed, broccoli, alfalfa, and clover sprouts.
How to eat sprouts in pregnancy?
The only safe way to eat sprouts during pregnancy is by cooking them to 165°F/75°C. Then, you can add them to your salads, poha (flattened rice), or sandwich fillings.
Can we eat palmyra sprout during pregnancy?
Yes, it is safe to consume palm sprouts during pregnancy if cooked thoroughly. However, avoid raw sprouts as they can develop food-borne diseases.
Are broccoli sprouts safe for pregnant moms?
Yes, eating broccoli sprouts during pregnancy is completely safe. Just make sure you cook it well before consumption.
Can I eat raw sprouts during pregnancy?
Eating raw sprouts during pregnancy is unsafe because they could be contaminated with bacteria, such as Listeria, Salmonella, and E. coli. Be sure you rinse and cook them thoroughly before consumption.
Are home-grown sprouts safe to eat by pregnant women?
Raw home-grown sprouts are equally dangerous as store-bought ones. It can also cause food-borne illness. So make sure to cook them thoroughly before eating.
Sprouts are full of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Therefore they are a healthy and delicious snacking option for pregnant women.
However, you should avoid eating sprouts in raw form during pregnancy.
According to professional health agencies and many studies, you should thoroughly cook sprouts 165°F/75°C before consumption.