This green vegetable tops the table when it comes to being a healthy and nutritious vegetable, but not all healthy foods that can be consumed safely otherwise are safe for pregnancy. So is this superfood broccoli good for pregnancy? Read here as we highlight all the benefits of having broccoli during pregnancy along with its nutritional value and ways you can include it in your pregnancy diet.
Broccoli is a common green vegetable coming from the Italica Cultivar group of the Brassicaceae family. It can be taken both as raw and cooked, but it is always better to steam it a bit and then stir fry it. The entire part of this vegetable, including the florets and the stalk, is edible. Broccoli is usually the shortened version of Calabrese broccoli, though there are other varieties, like- sprouting broccoli and purple cauliflower.
This cruciferous vegetable is known to contain a lot of medicinal properties, such as the prevention of cancers and digestive disorders, control of cholesterol and blood pressure levels, detoxification of the body, improvement of the immune system, prevention of birth defects and skin allergies, protection against eye and visual problems, and boosting of vitamins plus mineral uptake. Broccoli also houses a variety of nutrients, such as vitamins A, B6, C and K, potassium, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, fibres, magnesium and tryptophan. It is also a rich source of organic ingredients (phytonutrient glucosinolates, flavonoids) and antioxidant agents.
Is It Safe To Eat Broccoli During Pregnancy?
Having broccoli during pregnancy is extremely safe, and you need not worry about the same. Besides, the variety of nutrition it contains including the various types of vitamins and minerals, it is not only good but also essential to be included in the pregnancy diet to have a healthy and safe pregnancy. It boosts the development of the fetus and ensures that the baby grows healthy in the womb without any defects.
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Is Broccoli Good for Pregnancy?
A healthy expectant mother should always look for the perfect diet plan. Can pregnant women eat broccoli? To answer this question and to know whether this green veggie provides you with the required nutritious components, let us scroll down to the points below:
Nutritional Value of Broccoli In Pregnancy:
The following is the nutritional value of consuming 100g of broccoli.
- Calories 34mg
- Total Fats 0.4g
- Sodium 33mg
- Potassium 316mg
- Total Carbohydrates 7g
- Dietary fibre 2.6g
- Sugar 1.7g
- Proteins 2.8g
- Vitamin A 12%
- Vitamin C 148%
- Calcium 4%
- Iron 3%
- Vitamin B 6 10%
- Magnesium 5%
Benefits of Broccoli During Pregnancy:
The following are the various benefits of eating broccoli while pregnant
1. Reduces The Risk of Anemia:
Broccoli contains high amounts of iron and folic acid. Regular intake of this vegetable helps in maintaining optimum levels of haemoglobin count, thus reducing the risks of anaemia.
2. Prevents Neural Birth Defect in The Child:
Folate in broccoli helps in the minimisation of several neurological defects, such as spina bifida in your newborn baby.
3. Strengthens Bones:
A pregnant woman is often susceptible to the weakening of bones or osteoporosis. Minerals like phosphorus, calcium, zinc, and magnesium in broccoli ensure that your bones remain strong and sturdy.
4. Prevents Related Skin Disorders:
Skin-related issues are a common problem in an expecting mother. Glucoraphanin and sulforaphane in Broccoli protect the skin against damage from UV rays. The presence of vitamins A, B, E, and K, along with omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, and folate ensures radiating skin and the prevention of any skin-related disorders.
5. Reduces The Risk of Cancer:
Consumption of broccoli while pregnant reduces the chances of various types of cancer, both for the mother and the fetus. It has several anti-cancer ingredients, such as glucoraphanin, diindolylmethane, beta-carotene, selenium, vitamins C, A and E, zinc, potassium, and amino acids. Broccoli has been found to be especially very beneficial for uterine and breast cancers in pregnant women.
6. Good For Eyesight:
As per research, broccoli is also helpful in maintaining good vision and preventing various eye diseases, including cataracts. Vitamins A, B6, C and E, and phosphorus aids in strengthening the eyes by protecting against damage from radiation during pregnancy.
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7. Boosts The Immunity System:
The several vitamins and minerals in broccoli help in improving your immune system and are thus beneficial both for the mother and her developing fetus.
8. Lowers The Risk of Gestational Diabetes:
Diabetes is a recurring issue in many pregnant women. Broccoli contains high amounts of fibres and also helps control blood sugar levels, minimises insulin intake and also prevents constipation.
How To Add Broccoli in Pregnancy Diet:
There are various ways in which broccoli can be added to the pregnancy diet. Here are some of them:
- Boiled broccoli can be added to a salad or topped on pizza.
- Making broccoli soup is a healthy way of consuming broccoli in good quantity.
- Stir-frying broccoli with a vegetable such as corn, or carrot, in olive oil can be made into a quick snack.
- You can even make some amazing dips using broccoli.
- There is no specific way of cooking broccoli. You can cook it up at your sweet will and add whatever seasoning you want to it.
How To Select Fresh and Healthy Broccoli During Pregnancy:
Eating broccoli has no side effects, but you must be cautious in choosing the right broccoli so that there is no room left for any accidental infection.
- Don’t eat the broccoli that is dried up or shreds its florets.
- The stem of the broccoli should be heavy and full. Any item that is hollow should be avoided.
- The broccoli that has started turning yellow is best avoided.
- Like any other vegetable, even broccoli should be fresh and dense.
- The broccoli is dark green or bright.
- Green in colour signifies that the broccoli is fresh and must be chosen.
2 Simple Recipes To Eat Broccoli During Pregnancy:
Here are two simple recipes that will help you include broccoli in your pregnancy diet:
1. Broccoli Almond Soup:
- Chopped broccoli stalks ½ cup
- Broccoli florets 1 cup
- It is a Finely chopped onion 1/4 cup
- Finely chopped garlic 1 tsp
- Finely chopped celery 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Corn flour 1 tsp dissolved in 1 cup milk
- Freshly ground black peppercorns 1 tsp
- Roasted almond slivers 1 tbsp
- Heat 2 cups of water in a deep pan and add the broccoli stalks and allow it to cook for about 5 minutes.
- Now add broccoli florets, garlic, onion, celery, and salt and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Keep stirring occasionally.
- Remove from flame and allow it to cool and transfer the contents to a bowl.
- Now run the hand blender to make a smooth paste of it.
- Transfer the paste to the same Kadai and place it on the gas on medium flame.
- Add the cornflour paste in it and stir continuously cooking it for a couple of minutes.
- Then add black pepper powder, and almond silvers and cook for another minute.
- Serve hot garnishing with almond slivers.
2. Roasted Broccoli – The Best Broccoli of Your Life:
- Broccoli florets 2 cups
- Garlic cloves four peeled and thinly sliced.
- Olive oil
- Salt 1½ tsp
- Freshly ground black peppercorns ½ tsp.
- Grated lemon zest 2 tsp
- Fresh lemon juice 2 tbsp
- Grated parmesan cheese 1/3 cup
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Place the broccoli florets on a sheet in the cooking pan large enough to hold all the florets in a single layer.
- Sprinkle the broccoli with garlic slices and drizzle it with 5 tsp olive oil.
- Also, sprinkle the salt and black pepper.
- Bake it for 20-25 minutes until the florets are crispy and tender and the tip has started turning brown.
- Remove it from the oven and immediately toss it with 1½ tsp olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
- Garnish with parmesan cheese at the top and serve hot.
Broccoli is well known for its various nutritional properties, but motherhood is delicate, and you need to be always extra cautious. Never forget to check the expiry date of frozen broccoli in the shops and ensure that it is free from added preservatives or sodium. Broccoli also contains several compounds that might have adverse effects on your skin. So, be sure that you are not sensitive or allergic to this vegetable. Consume it in moderate quantities and take the advice of your healthcare provider while including this ingredient in your pregnancy diet plan.
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Whether the food is very healthy and nutritious or whether it’s your favourite, the thumb rule of pregnancy is to eat in moderation. Anything in excess could be harmful to you and your baby. The broccoli howsoever healthy it might be if consumed in excess could lead to an allergic reaction or some other complication, so enjoy this healthy food in moderation and stay healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:
Q1: How Much Broccoli Can a Pregnant Woman Eat?
Ans: Broccoli is absolutely safe during pregnancy and doesn’t have any side effects whatsoever. However, one should always remember the golden rule of pregnancy everything should be consumed in moderation. Anything in excess howsoever nutritious and healthy it might be could have its own side effects.
Q2: Eating Raw Broccoli in Pregnancy – Safe or Not?
Ans: Raw broccoli is even more nutritious when eaten raw. However, during pregnancy, the digestive system becomes weak, and it could be difficult to digest this cruciferous vegetable hence, it is best to avoid eating broccoli raw.
Q3: Can Eating Broccoli Cause Harm to a Pregnant Woman?
Ans: Broccoli is one vegetable which is absolutely safe for consumption during pregnancy. It is a very nutritious vegetable rich in varied sources of nutrients and when consumed during pregnancy is highly beneficial to both the mother and the child.