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If you’re pregnant, it’s obvious that you would wish to do everything in the right manner for the sake of your unborn baby’s health and well-being. The first and foremost thing you should pay heed to is your pregnancy diet and nutrition. If you are wondering whether including carrots in your daily pregnancy diet is a good option, then read the following article. We shall discuss the various benefits and risks of consuming carrots during pregnancy.
Nutritional Value of Carrot
Carrots are wondrous root vegetables that are loaded with various vital vitamins and minerals. The following table will acquaint you with the nutritional value of carrots.
|Nutritional Value||Per 100 grams|
|Fibre (dietary fibre)||2.8 g|
|Vitamin C||6 mg|
|Vitamin A||5 mg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.135 g|
|Vitamin K||13. 2 ug|
The above-mentioned values are approximate values present in 100 grams of carrots.
Benefits of Eating Carrots During Pregnancy
Carrots are a powerhouse of various vitamins and minerals. These root vegetables can be eaten both in raw and cooked form. Carrots have immense health benefits for you in your pregnancy.
1. Good for Eyesight
Being a rich source of Vitamin A, carrots are very good for your eye health during pregnancy. It not only takes care of your eyes and vision in pregnancy, but is also beneficial for foetal eye development.
2. Strengthens Immune System
Carrots contain good amounts of Vitamin C, which is extremely beneficial in strengthening your immune system. Immunity tends to become low during pregnancy and consuming carrots regularly helps in strengthening your immunity.
3. Helps in Foetal Development
Consumption of carrots is very effective for foetal growth and development because carrots contain ample amounts of calcium and Vitamin A carotene, which is very important for foetal bone and teeth formation.
4. Helps In Preventing Anaemia
Including carrots in your daily pregnancy diet may help in warding off anaemia in pregnancy. This is because carrots are not only rich in iron, but also contain Vitamin C, which helps in the absorption of iron by the body.
5. Relieves Constipation
Constipation is one of the most common problems faced by pregnant women. Carrots have an adequate amount of fibre in them and consuming carrots on a regular basis may help you overcome your constipation woes. Carrots also help in keeping other digestive problems at bay.
6. Prevents Cramping During Pregnancy
Many pregnant women may experience cramping and muscle stiffness during pregnancy. Though these are very common pregnancy problems, they can be very uncomfortable. Carrots contain phosphorus in them, which aids proper muscle functioning in pregnancy and prevents any kind of cramping.
7. Effective in Managing Gestational Hypertension
Some would-be-mommies may experience gestational hypertension, which can lead to various complications in pregnancy. However, if carrots are consumed on a daily basis, then it may reduce the risk of gestational hypertension as it has good amounts of fibre and beta carotenes.
8. Helps in the Formation of Foetal Bone and Cartilage
Carrots contain manganese in them, which is a vital mineral required for better bone and cartilage formation in your unborn baby. You can pep up your manganese intake by including carrot juice in your pregnancy diet.
9. Helps in Development of Foetal Nervous System
The adequate amounts of Vitamin B and folic acid in carrots are beneficial for the development of your unborn baby’s nervous system and brain. Consuming carrots on a daily basis may also reduce your baby’s risk of having neural birth defects such as spina bifida.
10. Helps in Prevention of Cancer
Carrots contain beta-carotene, which is beneficial in reducing the risk of cancer. Beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant for a pregnant woman and reduces the impact of free radicals in your body, thus, saving you and your baby from the potential threat of cancer.
There are many benefits of consuming carrots that you can enjoy during pregnancy, for yourself, as well as your baby’s health and well-being.
Tips to Consume Carrots in Pregnancy
If you are thinking how you can effectively add this miraculous root vegetable in your diet, we have some tips for you that may help you to know how to consume and add this vegetable in your diet:
- Choose smaller carrots if you like a sweeter taste, else you can choose longer carrots, too.
- You should choose fresh carrots for consumption, as they are not only crunchier but taste better too. Break the tip of the carrot, and if it breaks easily, then it is fresh.
- Carrot is a root vegetable. Therefore, it is very important to wash it nicely to get rid of any traces of soil.
- Ideally, you can scrape a carrot, but do not scrape the skin completely, as most of the vital nutrients are present in the skin.
- Carrots are versatile vegetables and, thus, you can not only eat them raw or in a cooked form but also use them in pureed, shredded or chopped form to cook various kinds of dishes.
Risks of Having Carrots or Carrot Juice While Pregnant
Though eating raw carrots during pregnancy is considered safe, and does not pose any threat to you or your unborn baby, there are some risks associated with consuming carrots or carrot juice in pregnancy.
Let us discuss what may possibly go wrong:
- Carrots are orange or red in colour and, thus, when you consume them in higher amounts your skin colour may turn pale or yellow. This is because carrots contain a substance called carotene and excessive amounts may cause a skin condition called carotenemia.
- More than required amounts of Vitamin A may not be good for your baby’s health. When you consume high amounts of carrots, your body loads up on more Vitamin A than required, which can hamper or interfere with foetal growth and development.
- Consumption of carrots may sometimes cause allergic reactions. It may lead to severe headaches, nausea, etc. You may need to exercise caution before adding carrots to your pregnancy diet.
- If you are suffering from biliary tract infection in pregnancy, then it will be a good idea to keep from excessive consumption of carrots.
- Drinking excessive amounts of carrot juice is also not good in pregnancy. Carrot juice in more than required amounts may cause headaches and lethargy.
Delicious Carrot Soup Recipe
This easy carrot soup is scrumptious, healthy, and perfect in the cold weather.
- Garlic- 2 cloves (finely chopped)
- Ginger- 1-2 inches (finely chopped)
- Onion- 1 (finely sliced)
- Oil- 2 tbsp
- Carrots- 5 (chopped)
- Water- 2 cups
- Pepper- 1 tsp
- Salt- to taste
- Fresh cream- 1 tbsp
How to Cook:
- Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the ginger and garlic. Saute for two minutes.
- Add the onion and further saute for a minute or until light brown.
- Add the carrot and salt, top it up with water, and pressure cook for 4 whistles.
- Wait for the pressure to release, open, and wait until completely cool.
- Transfer only the cooked veggies to a blender, leaving out the water, and blend to a smooth paste.
- Transfer the paste to a vessel on the stovetop.
- Add the remaining water from the pressure cooker, little by little, till you reach the consistency you desire.
- Bring the soup to a boil and add the pepper.
- Serve with a dash of fresh cream.
There is no denying the fact that carrots have immense health benefits for a pregnant woman but the probable risks cannot be undermined. If you plan to include carrots in your pregnancy diet, it is suggested that you consult your doctor about the same. Once your doctor approves and signals you to include it in your diet, you can go ahead and reap many health benefits of carrots in pregnancy. However, make sure you do not go overboard with its consumption, as it may cause various complications and side- effects.