One of your primary concerns during pregnancy is how to eat good food and stay healthy. As a result, you need to be certain about any food or fruit you plan to add to your diet during pregnancy, especially if it was not specifically suggested by your doctor. Even with a common option like cucumber, it is necessary to have the correct info at all times and be certain that it is good for pregnancy.
As you already know, a good way to improve your diet during pregnancy is to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables – and this includes cucumber. Cucumber is a common and highly nutritious vegetable.
Now, the big question is: “is cucumber good for pregnancy?”
This article provides correct answers to that question. You will also learn some of the benefits and side effects of eating cucumber during pregnancy, how to eat if you would, and some precautions to take.
Is cucumber good for pregnancy?
Cucumbers are rich in helpful vitamins and minerals for pregnant women. In addition, they also serve as a good snack alternative during pregnancy since they are healthy, nutritious, and contain low calories.
Studies show that fresh cucumber contains about 96% water, as a result, they are very good at preventing dehydration during pregnancy. Cucumbers also provide a rich amount of fiber; hence they can prevent pregnancy-related constipation.
Cucumbers are low in sodium (salt), fat, and cholesterol when eaten with the skin. Furthermore, this fruit serves as a good juice option and can be made into cucumber water especially when you are tired of drinking plain water.
What are the health benefits of eating cucumber during pregnancy?
- Natural diuretic: Cucumbers are very rich in water content so they act as diuretics. They help to remove toxins from the body and also help to relieve the swelling that may be present during pregnancy.
- Prevents dehydration: Cucumber contains a lot of water, therefore, if you don’t want to keep drinking a lot of water, you can eat cucumber to stay hydrated.
- Low calories: Cucumber contains low calories and they help to prevent obesity. They can also keep you full for a longer time meaning that you don’t have to keep eating. This helps to avoid unhealthy weight gain during pregnancy.
- Skincare: Cucumbers help to cool and cleanse the skin. This property of cucumber is good for skin nourishment and tightening.
- Provides B vitamins. Cucumbers are a rich source of B vitamins. Vitamin B helps to boost your mood, relieve anxiety, and also helps to reduce stress.
- Fibers: Cucumbers provide a good amount of both soluble and insoluble fibers. The soluble fibers help to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The insoluble fibers help to add bulk to stool, soften it, and also help to treat constipation in pregnancy.
- Provides essential macronutrients: Cucumbers are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C, manganese, and beta-carotene. They help to boost the body’s immune system and also prevent some infections. Cucumbers are also rich in potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, iodine, copper, and phosphorus. All of these are very important for fetal development and can help to prevent fetal growth abnormalities.
- Blood pressure regulation. Cucumber contains sodium and phosphorus. These two electrolytes can help to regulate blood pressure levels during pregnancy.
What are the side effects of eating cucumber during pregnancy?
- Allergic reactions: Cucumbers can sometimes cause allergic reactions leading to swelling and itching.
- Frequent urination: The excess amount of water in cucumber can lead to frequent urination and this can make you uncomfortable.
- Intestinal gas: Excess cucumber consumption can cause gas formation and indigestion. You may also experience belching too.
- Toxicity: Cucumber contains toxins like cucurbitacins and tetracyclic tripepenoids. This is why cucumber can have a bitter taste. Also when consumed in large quantities, the toxins can cause life-threatening problems.
- Hyperkalemia. Cucumbers are rich in potassium. When they are eaten too much, the high potassium content can cause abdominal cramps, bloating, and in extreme cases, it can affect your kidneys.
How to eat cucumber during pregnancy
Before you start munching cucumbers during pregnancy, make sure you consult with your doctor to get consent or approval. Once you have gotten this approval, you can add cucumber to your diet in the following ways:
- Salads: Cucumbers are a great addition to your salads. Cut them into thin slices and add them to your salad bowl containing other vegetables.
- Eat it raw: Cucumbers can be eaten raw. You can even refrigerate it for a few minutes before eating.
- Sandwiches: Cut thin slices of cucumber and put them between slices of bread. You can add some tomatoes, unsalted butter, chopped mint leaves, and some cream cheese.
- Soup: You can make cucumber into soup. To do this, blend some cucumbers, onions, garlic, chopped dills, olive oil, and some sour cream.
- Cucumber pickles: You can also eat your cucumber by making a classic pickle that will go well with your main course. To five cups of water, add one tablespoon of salt and some vinegar then boil and allow it to cool. Add some slices of cucumber, finely chopped dills, olive oil, and garlic to the cooled mixture and refrigerate.
- Juices and smoothies: You can mix cucumber with other fruits and vegetables to make a good pregnancy smoothie. You can also juice the cucumber alone.
Precautions to take when eating cucumber in pregnancy
- Avoid pre-cut and packaged cucumbers: This is because pre-cut fruits and vegetables carry a small but significant risk of listeria contamination.
- Avoid cucumbers from buffet and salad bars because they are prone to cross-contamination.
- Always wash your cucumbers before eating or cooking them: This is because foods grown close to the ground may be contaminated with Toxoplasma gondii present in the soil and may need to be thoroughly washed.
Cucumber is good for pregnancy but you must be aware of the possible side effects they may cause as discussed above.
Talk to your doctor to know if you can add cucumber to your diet during pregnancy. You should also ask about the limit of cucumbers during pregnancy. This will help you know how much you can eat.