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Pregnancy is a time of happiness and excitement, but it also comes with many questions, especially concerning diet. One food that has been the subject of much debate is kale. The rise of kale’s popularity is a testament to its remarkable health benefits, as it provides a wealth of vital nutrients in each leafy green bite. But can you eat kale while pregnant? This question is essential to consider when planning a healthy pregnancy diet.
Can you eat kale when pregnant?
Yes, you can eat kale while pregnant. Kale contains essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, C, and vitamin K, as well as folate, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, which are necessary for your baby’s development. Furthermore, the fiber in kale can help prevent constipation which is common during pregnancy.
However, it is essential to note to consume kale in moderation. Kale is a cruciferous vegetable containing compounds called goitrogens that can interfere with thyroid function. Therefore, limiting your intake of kale and other cruciferous vegetables is best if you have an existing thyroid disorder or are at risk of developing one during pregnancy.
In addition, some varieties of kale can contain high levels of oxalates which, when consumed in large amounts, can increase the risk of kidney stones. Therefore, if you are at risk for developing kidney stones during pregnancy, it’s advisable to consult with your doctor before adding kale to your diet.
Can kale cause miscarriage?
No evidence or instance shows that eating kale during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage. Eating kale while pregnant can help you get adequate amounts of essential vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
Kale benefits during pregnancy
Below are some of the evident benefits of consuming kale during pregnancy:
• Provides essential vitamins and minerals for fetal development, including vitamins A, C, K, folate, and calcium.
• High in fiber, kale can help with digestion and prevent constipation.
• Rich source of antioxidants which may reduce inflammation.
• May lower the risk of preeclampsia.
• Can help to keep blood sugar levels stable.
Can I eat raw kale while pregnant?
Yes, it is safe to eat raw kale while pregnant. However, you should wash the kale thoroughly with cold water and ensure that any dirt or debris is removed before eating. It is also advised to use organic kale as conventionally grown kale may be contaminated with pesticides.
Can you eat cooked kale while pregnant?
Yes, you can definitely eat cooked kale while pregnant. Cooking kale can help to reduce the presence of goitrogens which may interfere with thyroid function. Furthermore, cooking decreases the oxalate content in kale which is thought to increase the risk of kidney stones. Therefore, if you are at risk for developing kidney stones during pregnancy, it may be beneficial to consume cooked kale.
Kale is an incredibly healthy food that can provide a wealth of nutrients during pregnancy. Eating kale while pregnant is generally considered safe but should be enjoyed in moderation, and always consult your doctor before adding any new food to your diet. Furthermore, for those at risk for thyroid disorders or kidney stones, limit or avoid raw kale and opt for cooked kale instead.