Can you eat karela when pregnant?

In this article we are going to answer can you eat karela when pregnant, what is karela, is it healthy to eat karela when pregnant, what are the benefits of eating karela when pregnant, what is the risk of eating karela when pregnant and how can you add karela to your diet. 

Can you eat karela when pregnant?

Yes, karela can be eaten when pregnant. It is a very healthy fruit to add to your diet when  pregnant. 

There is no scientific background for this but it is supposed that it can cause uterine contractions, bleeding and it can lead to miscarriage. So, it is recommended to not eat karela in your first trimester. 

What is karela?

Karela is a tropical and subtropical vine of the family of Cucurbitaceae. It is also called bitter gourd or bitter melon and it is among one of the most bitter fruits. Karela has a warty-looking exterior and an oblong shape with white translucent flesh. 

Karela or bitter gourd is also a vegetable. It is also known in Japan as nigauri, goya in Okinawa, ampalaya in the Philippines, and Ku-ga in China. 

It grows in hot and humid climates with plenty of sunshine and regular water access. The most common types of karela are Chinese karela and Indian karela. The Chinese karela looks like a pale cucumber with bumpy skin while the Indian karela is more narrow with angled ridges all over its surface. 

The fruit is more normally eaten green. It is typically found in India. It is used in Ayurveda as

  • Roots are used for the treatment of eye-related disease
  • It is known as a colling, digestible, laxative, antipyretic, anthelmintic fruit

Is it healthy to eat karela when pregnant?

Yes, karela is a very nutritious fruit and vegetable to add to your diet when pregnant. It is full of antioxidants, flavonoids, and other polyphenol compounds. 

One fresh karela contains 21 calories, 1 gram of protein, 0 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbohydrates of which 3 grams are from fat, and 6 milligrams of sodium. It can be added to your diet without any guilt. 

One-half cup of karela can give you about 93% of your daily intake of vitamin C. The younger the fruit is eaten, the more vitamin C you can find in it. Also, karela is considered            a fruit with high content of vitamin A, calcium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, potassium, zinc, and magnesium. 

What are the benefits of eating karela when pregnant?

Karela has been linked to a lot of benefits because of its high content of nutrients. Some benefits are 

High folate (folic acid) content

Karela has a high amount of folic acid which is a very important vitamin during the first trimester. It promotes the proper growth of the baby and prevents possible neural tube defects. 

Promote healthy digestion

Because of its high content of fiber, karela helps to promote healthy digestion and prevents constipation, a normal condition in pregnant women, especially in the last trimester. 

Help with blood sugar

Karela contains charantin and polypeptide P which helps to prevent gestational diabetes. 

High amounts of antioxidants

It is considered a fruit and vegetable with high amounts of antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight inflammation and help build a healthy immune system.

Help develop proper growth of the fetus

Karela is high in a lot of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for the proper growth and development of the fetus. Even a small amount of this fruit can help you have a healthy pregnancy. 

What is the risk of eating karela when pregnant?

Karela may cause toxicity if eaten in high amounts. It has a high quantity of alkaline components such as resins, quinine, saponin glycosides, and morodicine. These compounds can lead to stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and extreme salivation in pregnant women. 

Also, karela has been linked to causing uterine contractions that can lead to pre-term labor or miscarriage. So, the recommendation is to eat it in moderation. 

How can you add karela to your diet?

Karela is more easily found in Asian and Indian grocery stores and supermarkets from June through November. It has a variety of culinary uses. Karela can be steamed, boiled, stir-fry, braised, pickled, or just added to some delicious dishes. 

You can even find karela juice. Follow this link on how to make karela juice. 

Conclusion

This article answered can you eat karela when pregnant, what is karela, is it healthy to eat karela when pregnant, what are the benefits of eating karela when pregnant, and what is the risk of eating karela when pregnant and how can you add karela to your diet.

Citation

https://www.thehealthsite.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-guide-pregnancy/why-pregnant-women-should-avoid-eating-bitter-gourd-or-karela-776847/

https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-of-eating-bitter-gourd-during-pregnancy/

https://www.momjunction.com/articles/benefits-of-bitter-gourd-during-pregnancy_00326723/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.