Many pregnant women take their diet very seriously, as they want only the best for their babies. Today, we want to answer some questions that bother almost every pregnant person. For instance, is garlic good for a pregnant woman? Should you eat garlic during pregnancy? What are garlic benefits and side effects? Let’s talk about that!
Is it safe to eat garlic during pregnancy?
First, let’s start this article with the answer to the age-old question. Garlic and pregnancy: is it a good combination? And the answer is…
Yes! Provided that you consume garlic in moderation. If you are still in early stages of your pregnancy, you do not really have to worry about counting the cloves, as what you eat will not have much of an effect on the baby at this point.
However, once you move on to the second and third trimesters, you should look at your garlic consumption more closely. If you eat too much of it, you might face some unpleasant consequences (that we will talk about in detail later). Therefore, you should consult your doctor about the amount of garlic you can eat during your pregnancy.
In general, you can safely eat two to four raw cloves of garlic every day. This is approximately 600-1,200 mg of garlic extract, 0.03-0.12 ml of garlic essential oil, 5 ml of fluid extract or 20 ml of tincture per day.
Garlic might also be replaced with garlic supplements that come in the shape of freeze-dried pills. You can take the 400 mg pills three times every day. Regardless of the way you choose to consume your garlic, make sure you consult your doctor beforehand to determine the exact allowed dosage and whether you are allowed to eat it at all.
You might be wondering:
But what is the point of replacing garlic with supplements?
Well, not all people like the taste or smell of garlic. Nevertheless, they still might want to experience at least some of the benefits of eating garlic, which is exactly what we are going to talk about next.
There are lots of health benefits of garlic for everyone, but they become even more apparent during pregnancy. We have compiled a list of eight benefits of garlic you should be aware of. Here they are:
- Garlic lowers the risk of high blood pressure. High blood pressure, or pre-eclampsia, is something that every tenth pregnant person suffers from. By consuming garlic, you can decrease your chances of having high blood pressure, as well as having high levels of protein in the urine.
- Eating garlic can boost the weight of the baby. Research shows that if you eat garlic, the chances of your baby being born underweight or prematurely become much lower than if your diet did not contain garlic. If you take garlic tablets, you can significantly lower the chances of having birth complications. Experiments show that garlic extract stimulates the growth of placental cells and enhances the activity of enzymes.
- Garlic has a positive effect on heart issues and cholesterol levels. Allicin that is contained in garlic reduces the levels of cholesterol and does not let them rise above the norm. It also makes blood thinner, which helps to prevent a stroke or a heart attack.
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- Eating garlic can prevent cancer. If you eat garlic regularly, it can protect you from some forms of cancer, particularly colon cancer. Scientists have confirmed that eating onions, chives and garlic can greatly reduce the risk of stomach and oesophageal cancers.
- Garlic can boost your immune system. It is no secret to anyone that eating garlic (or even just being in close proximity with it) can prevent flu, cold and other similar ailments. This is especially crucial when you have to worry about not only your own health, but also the health of the little one that is growing inside of you.
- The allicin in garlic can help you fight yeast infections. The microelement we have mentioned before, allicin, has anti-fungal properties. This means that it can help you fight such infections as yeast hypersensitivity syndrome and chronic candidiasis that might plague your nether regions.
- Garlic can be made into a topical solution that would prevent oral and skin infections. While it is hard to imagine using garlic as a mouthwash (just think of the smell!), its antimicrobial properties make it a perfect tool for preventing various infections.
- Eating garlic can prevent hair loss. Some pregnant people suffer from hair loss during and even after pregnancy. If you want to keep your hair, just eat some garlic. Once again, it is the allicin that does the magic here. As it is a sulphur-based compound, it can prevent the hairs from falling out and promote the growth of new hairs.
Garlic side effects
Of course, like many great things in life, garlic is not without its side effects. However, it is important to note that all of these usually happen only if you have eaten too much garlic. If you pace yourself and listen to what your doctor says, you should be just fine! Nevertheless, here is what you should know about the possible side effects of garlic:
- As we have mentioned before, garlic can make your blood thinner. However, in some cases, it is not a good thing. For instance, if you are due for a C-section, you might bleed more than normal, so just be aware of that.
- Another thing you should know is that garlic supplements might come into reaction with certain anti-clotting medicine, as well as insulin.
- If you eat too much garlic, you risk upsetting your already vulnerable digestive system. This can lead to stomach problems, which is definitely not something you want during pregnancy, of all times.
We cannot stress enough that garlic is great in moderation. Just monitor your garlic intake, and you should be fine.
While we are on the topic of side effects, we want to address two more questions. First of all, are there side effects of eating garlic on an empty stomach? The answer to this question is ‘no’, so go ahead and have some garlic first thing in the morning :)
The other common concern is whether garlic can cause miscarriage. Actually, it can, but do not freak out just yet. In order for it to terminate a pregnancy, you would probably have to eat a whole head of garlic (please do not do that). If you eat no more than four cloves, you and your baby should be perfectly fine.
That is all we can tell you about garlic and its effects on pregnancy. Have we answered all of your questions? Do you like garlic? Would you add it to your diet? Let us know in the comments. We love to hear from you!
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