Why are we insisting on eating kale while pregnant? The benefits are multifold. Kale is a dark green leafy vegetable that is nutrient-dense, serving it to be the right ingredient for your baby’s growth. The abundance of vitamins, calcium and fibre makes it an ideal food that should slip into your pregnancy diet. However, when you cook the kale, you may observe that you don’t really like the smell of it. But, the good news is, there are many ways to enjoy kale. We’ll tell you about it in this article.
Nutritional Value of Kale for Pregnant Women:
Can pregnant women eat kale? Well, here is a look into the nutritional value of kale. You can then see the answer in it.
Kale offers a rich dose of iron, calcium, phosphorous, and vitamins A, C and K. It also comes packed with antioxidants, along with copper and magnesium. Vitamins B6, B1, B2, and B3 are also packed in them. Kale has very few calories, but more fibre. Its chunk of omega-3 fatty acid, known as alpha-linolenic acid helps to reduce hypertension.
What Are The Types of Kale to Eat?
The goodness of kale now comes in four different types of it.
- Curly Kale: This is the popularly consumed kale, the one commonly found in the markets. It has a pungent smell with a peppery flavour. It is usually slightly bitter, but in case you prefer less bitterness, look for younger and fresh leaves.
- Redbor Kale: This kale has ruffled leaves and looks pretty. The colour ranges from deep red to purple and also green sometimes. This type of kale is usually used for garnishing the dish.
- Lacinto Kale: This is otherwise known as Tuscan cabbage or Dinosaur kale. The leaves are dark green and narrow. The leaves are attached to a strong stem that is usually removed when cooking. It adds a rich flavour to the dish.
- Russian Kale: Russian kale is otherwise known as Siberian kale and is pretty difficult to find them. However, it is very beneficial for the body whose leaves look like a rocket, and the colour varies from purple to red. It is mildly sweet and can be cooked pretty much the same way as the other kale.
Read Also: Vegetables to Eat and Avoid in Pregnancy
Facts About Kale:
Kale is a leafy green-coloured vegetable that is abundantly found during the winter season. However, these days it is found in grocery stores all year round. Kale, when cooked, emits a Sulphur-like smell that becomes non-appealing for some expectant mothers. There are different varieties of kale like Greens, Lacinato and Siberian Kale. Choose a variety that you prefer depending on the choice of your recipe.
Benefits of Eating Kale During Pregnancy:
Although all green leafy vegetables are considered healthier food options, kale tops the chart amongst these. It is rightly termed as a nutrient powerhouse and is highly beneficial for expectant mothers and growing babies. According to health nutritionists, a cup of kale can give you a surplus dose of Vitamins A and C, which you need in a day. Take a look at these nutritional benefits of kale during pregnancy.
Kale is known to be a powerhouse of calcium that ensures stronger teeth and bone development for your baby. Calcium is also required for the development of the heart, muscles and nerves in the growing baby. It has been proven that kale provides more calcium than dairy products and is also better absorbed in the body.
Kale has a very high content of fibres that adds roughage to the food and aids digestion. The fibres help to relieve several stomach-related disorders and also prevent constipation, a severe condition experienced by women during pregnancy.
3. Vitamin A:
Vitamin A is essential for a stronger immune system that in turn helps the body fight against foreign infections. Adding kale to your diet gives you a good dose of Vitamin A and is healthier for you as well as your baby.
4. Vitamin C:
Kale has a high content of Vitamin C that protects and nourishes the foetus while providing added vitality and energy to the expectant mother. Besides, another functionality of Vitamin C is to guard pregnant women from infections such as coughs and colds.
Kale is laden with anti-inflammatory properties. Most of the diseases in the body such as heart disease, arthritis and auto-immune disorders result due to inflammation. The goodness in kale helps to prevent and even suppress these illnesses.
Magnesium is a very important mineral that regulates more than 300 functions in our body. Its main function is to aid energy production in our body. So, if you feel tired during pregnancy, eat a bowl of kale to get a good dose of magnesium.
7. Strengthens Blood Flow:
Kale is known to strengthen blood vessels. This is extremely important especially for pregnant mothers because they tend to have added blood in the uterine area.
Read Also: Eating Asparagus During Pregnancy
Side Effects of Kale in Pregnancy:
Every good thing on Earth has its own share of side effects too. Here are some side effects of kale that you should be aware of.
- Dry mouth and dehydration are the first signs of eating too much kale. Kale has a diuretic nature, meaning, you may have the urge to urinate more thus helping you flush out toxins. However, this can sometimes deprive your body of water, thus resulting in dry mouth and dehydration.
- When you eat too much dietary fibre, your body will not absorb nutrients efficiently. This can result in bloating, intestinal gas etc.
- An allergic reaction is another side effect of kale in pregnancy.
- A higher intake of antioxidants can also risk your health and baby.
Best Ways to Serve Kale While Pregnant:
Here are some ways you can take kale.
cut out a fresh set of leaves to add to your bowl of salad. This is one way to make sure you get enough of it and also feel less of it if you don’t like its taste.
Make kale soup. Simply boil and strain kale. Add a stick of butter and small chopped onion. Add the blended kale and bring it to a boil. It is Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Kale Dip:
Enjoy your crackers with a classic kale dip.
4. Kale Smoothie:
The Kale smoothie is also a good way to eat kale. Kale smoothie for pregnancy contains honey instead of your regular sugar.
Make a classic kale smoothie that is easy to do and delicious to make.
- Add half a dozen frozen bananas. In case you don’t like bananas, supplement them with avocados.
- To this, add some cherries and strawberries. If you like, some blueberries too.
- One bunch or a handful of freshly washed and dried kale leaves will now go into the blender.
- 1/3 cup of yoghurt or almond milk and a small spoon of flax seeds has to be added.
- If you like, add a spoonful of peanut butter and some water for smooth blending. Squeeze some lime onto it.
- Blend all of them well and serve mild chill!
This classic kale smoothie for pregnancy will ensure you get the right amount of nutrients for the day!
Read Also: Eating Broccoli in Pregnancy
How to Select Fresh and Healthy Kale for Pregnancy:
Smaller-leaved kale is good. They are tender and also have a mild flavour only. This type will be suitable if you are planning to enjoy your salad form. Generally, they are selected seeing their moistness and crisp, unwilted kale. Tiny holes on it indicate damage caused by insects. The leaves also should not be yellow or brown, as it is a suggestion that it is already damaged.
Kale in the right quantity is sure good for your body. Get creative with the many things you can do with kale. Try out recipes and figure out what you like the best. In any form, try to consume it. Eating kale during pregnancy has a lot of benefits and can turn out extremely good for your body.
Q1. How Much Kale Can Pregnant Women Eat?
Ans: Since eating kale is good for pregnancy, you can include it in your pregnancy diet for about two to three routines a week. A handful of kale will do good in your salad bowl and you can eat the same for your smoothie too.
Q2. Eating Raw Kale in Pregnancy Safe or Not?
Ans: No! it is not safe. Raw or uncooked kale or any vegetable or meat will have bad bacteria. This can contaminate, thus causing trouble for your health.
Q3. Is it Safe to Have Kale Smoothie?
Ans: It sure is safe. Kale in any form is good during your pregnancy. You may have to substitute your daily dose of sugar with honey for added benefits and goodness.