During pregnancy the mothers body needs important nutrient to ensure healthy growth of the foetus. While the goodness of fruits and vegetables is known to all, some expectant mothers wonder is okra good during pregnancy? The answer is definitely yes as even several centuries ago; okra was considered to be a very versatile vegetable that is packed with beneficial properties. Okra is loaded with essential vitamins and nutrients and its goodness has made it a part of must-have pregnancy diet in different parts of the world.
Nutritional Benefits of Okra During Pregnancy:
Okra is rightly termed as the nutritional powerhouse and finds usage in both culinary and medicinal purposes. Eating okra during pregnancy is vital for healthy development of the growing foetus. It has a very unique taste and is particularly beneficial when consumed during the first trimester. Take a look at some of these excellent benefits of okra during pregnancy:
1. Dietary Fiber:
Fiber is very important for easing problems during pregnancy that are associated with the bowel movements. Okra is a rich source of both soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. According to some recent findings, soluble fibre prevents diabetes and helps to lower blood cholesterol level where as insoluble fibre aids in the functioning of the digestive system.
2. Vitamin C:
Vitamin C is very important for baby’s growth. It aids in the absorption of iron and helps in strengthening the immune system of the body. A cup of okra meets 13 mg of Vitamin C requirement daily. During pregnancy Vitamin C also helps in development of bone, skin and blood vessels of the baby. Healthy dose of this essential vitamin also helps in eliminating cardiovascular problems.
According to the finding that was published in various nutritional journals, okra has much higher content of antioxidants when compared to other green vegetables. These beneficial properties of okra help to restrict the ability of the free radicals in damaging the DNA and cell tissues. It was further found that absence of antioxidants such as copper, zinc and manganese can result in restricted foetal growth, besides increasing the risk of cardiovascular and type-2 diabetes in the child.
Folate or folic acid in the body aids metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It was stated that during pregnancy, a woman requires 400 mg of folate daily and a ½ cup of okra provides 37 mg of this requirement. Folate is also essential for normal growth of your baby in the womb. According to some recent findings it was concluded that pregnant women who met the folic acid requirement were at reduced risk of delivering babies with birth defects like neural tube defects.
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Factors To Be Considered:
Okra is not only loaded with powerful nutrients it is also low in calories, making it a healthier choice of food for expectant mothers. The goodness of the versatile vegetables can be benefited provided it is consumed in moderation. Eating excessive amount of okra during pregnancy may cause some complications and hence should be avoided. It is best to consult your doctor about the required dose of green vegetables.
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Eating right will mean a happy baby and an enjoyable pregnancy period. So, next time when you feel hungry, think twice before laying your hands on some unhealthier snacks, and rather take some time out and cook a delicacy from okra. Besides satiating your taste buds, okra also gives a plenty of health benefits for you and your baby.
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