If you’re pregnant, you may wonder if eating artichokes is safe. Artichokes are nutrient-rich vegetables that provide many health benefits. Can pregnant women eat them?
Pregnant women can eat artichokes safely. Artichokes even provide some health benefits during pregnancy!
However, as with all foods, pregnant women should eat artichokes in moderation. Eating too many artichokes can cause side effects such as gas, upset stomach, and diarrhea.
We’ll explore the nutritional content of artichokes and the safety concerns to consider when eating them during pregnancy. Read on to learn more about this delicious vegetable.
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Are Artichokes Safe When Pregnant?
Artichokes are safe when pregnant. However, as with many foods, pregnant women should eat them in moderation. Why? Because eating too many artichokes can cause side effects such as gas, upset stomach, and diarrhea.
There is no particular scientific evidence about the safety of artichokes during pregnancy, so it is always best to stick with culinary amounts only (source: WebMD).
There are some preventive measures you can take depending on what type of artichoke you’re eating. Here are the varieties of artichokes and different ways of preparing them:
Also known as sunchokes, these artichokes are actually a type of sunflower. They’re not a true artichoke. Jerusalem artichokes are safe to eat during pregnancy, but there is a catch.
Jerusalem artichokes contain a sugar called inulin, which can cause gas and bloating (source: Harvard). If you’re prone to these symptoms, you may want to limit your intake of Jerusalem artichokes.
Globe artichokes are the type most commonly found in grocery stores. They are widely eaten fresh or cooked. They can be steamed, boiled, or baked.
If you eat globe artichokes fresh, make sure to wash them properly. Residual soil on artichokes may harbor toxoplasmosis.
Toxoplasmosis can be dangerous for pregnant women because it can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature birth (source: National Health Service). So to be on the safe side, make sure your globe artichokes are always washed and cooked.
Canned or Marinated Artichokes
Canned artichokes are safe to eat during pregnancy as long as you ensure that the can is not damaged and the artichokes are not expired. Canned artichokes are usually cooked, and have often been pasteurized or sterilized to make them safe to eat. Avoid damaged or bloated cans, since damaged cans and expired food can cause food poisoning.
Pregnant women can eat marinated artichokes. But as with all foods, pregnant women should eat them in moderation because they may contain high salt levels. Too much salt can cause water retention and high blood pressure (source: Placenta Journal).
Moreover, you should check the label to ensure that the marinade does not contain alcohol. Alcohol is not safe to consume during pregnancy and can cause congenital disabilities (source: Alcohol Research and Health Journal).
Raw artichokes may contain harmful bacteria that cause food poisoning. Food poisoning can be dangerous for pregnant women and lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature birth.
If you want to eat raw artichokes, it is best to wash them properly and cook them thoroughly. To learn more about how to properly wash and prepare vegetables during pregnancy, read this article. You can eat artichokes raw (such as when they’re shaved on a salad), but they must be thoroughly washed first.
Many store-bought artichoke dips are safe during pregnancy, but you should make sure they’re eaten soon after opening and are stored properly. If the dip is served at a buffet, or you don’t know how long it’s been at room temperature, it might be best to skip it – not only for the food poisoning risk, but also cross-contamination.
Dips often contain cheese, particularly soft cheese, which can be a source of listeria, a bacteria that causes food poisoning. Pregnant women are more susceptible to listeria infection, which may lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature birth (source: FDA).
For a dairy-free version, try vegan cream cheese!
Are Artichokes Good for Pregnant Women? The Nutritional Benefits
Artichokes are a nutrition-packed food containing the following:
Choline: Choline is essential for the baby’s brain and spinal cord development (source: HHS Public access). The recommended intake of choline for pregnant women is 450 mg per day (source: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology). 100 grams of artichokes provide about 34.4 mg of choline (source: USDA).
Fiber: Artichokes are a good source of fiber. Fiber is vital for pregnant women because it can help prevent constipation (source: Food Science and Nutrition Journal). The recommended intake of fiber for pregnant women is 28 grams per day (source: Nutrients Journal). 100 grams of artichokes contain about 5.4 grams of fiber (source: USDA).
Folic acid: Folic acid is a nutrient that is important for the development of the neural tube. It can also help prevent congenital disabilities such as spina bifida (source: Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology). The recommended intake of folic acid for pregnant women is 600 micrograms per day (source: Nutrients Journal). 100 grams of artichokes have about 80 micrograms of folic acid (source: USDA).
Can I Drink Artichoke Tea When Pregnant?
Artichoke tea is a caffeine-free, herbal tea that is safe to drink during pregnancy.
Artichoke tea can have many health benefits for pregnant women. This is because it is a good source of antioxidants and can help improve digestion. Artichoke tea can also help to relieve nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (source: Healthline).
However, it is best to avoid herbal teas containing parsley or any herbs that can harm pregnant women and cause miscarriage or premature birth (source: Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine).
Also, moderate your consumption of black and green teas because they contain caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase the risk of miscarriage and low birth weight (source: National Institutes of Health).
Remember, if you are unsure whether an herbal tea variety is safe to drink during pregnancy, it is best to speak to a healthcare professional.
Artichoke extract is often used as a supplement. Studies show that artichoke extract has antioxidant, choleretic, bile-enhancing, and lipid-lowering effects (source: Springer Link Journal).
Even though there is not enough evidence to say whether artichoke extract is safe for pregnant women, it is best to avoid taking artichoke supplements during pregnancy unless recommended by a healthcare professional, since some supplements can harm pregnant women and their developing babies.
To sum it up, even though artichokes are generally safe to eat and drink during pregnancy, you still need to be careful and prepare them carefully.
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