Can you eat leek when pregnant?

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

Can you eat leek when pregnant?

Leeks are safe and healthy to eat when pregnant. Pregnant women need to eat leeks that have been washed thoroughly prior to eating them. Unwashed leeks have the risk of containing bacteria and parasites that can cause food-borne illnesses. 

Pregnant women are at high risk of having worse symptoms and side effects from food-borne diseases because their immune systems are weaker due to hormonal changes. 

What is a leek?

Leek is a member of the family of onions, native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East. One of the biggest producers of the leek is Indonesia, Turkey, France, the Republic of Korea, and Belgium. 

They are bulbous vegetables with white flesh and leafy green tops. Leeks are one of the most expensive vegetables from the onion family. They tend to be inexpensive only in countries that are commonly used. 

Leeks have a very similar appearance to scallions also known as green onions but they are larger. They have a mild flavor and are easy to prepare. They are great to add to soups, casseroles, and white meat entrees. They usually spring in autumn. 

Is it healthy to eat leek when pregnant?

Leeks are part of the allium family. They are a very healthy vegetable high in vitamin A, one cup can provide up to 30% of your vitamin A requirement. Leeks are also a very good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin B6 as well as iron and manganese. 

One cup of raw leeks contains 54 calories, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, 2 grams of dietary fiber, and 0 grams of fat. 

Leeks also are high in flavonoids and polyphenols. It has been shown that like other members of the onion family, leeks protect against oxidative stress, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. 

What is the risk of eating leek when pregnant?

The main concern of eating leek when pregnant is that if not washed well, pregnant women may get food-borne illnesses. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women avoid eating root vegetables that have not been washed correctly.

They are 20 times more susceptible to having worse symptoms. The main symptoms you can experience with a foodborne illness:

  • Blood or brain infections
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting
  • Miscarriage
  • Preterm labor
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever

The three main diseases you can contract if you eat lobster in bad conditions are toxoplasmosis, salmonella, and listeriosis. 

Listeria monocytogenes

Listeria monocytogenes cause listeriosis. If you let the bacteria go too far, it can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and other health problems. It can cause respiratory tract symptoms, septicemia, and encephalitis. 

According to the American Pregnancy Association, approximately 2,5000 people will get infected with listeria every year. It means that it’s very rare to get infected but pregnant women are in a more delicate condition and need to be a little more careful because it could lead to fatal health conditions. 

Listeria has been linked to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, septicemia, and pneumonia in the newborn baby. 

Toxoplasma Gondii

Toxoplasma Gondii is the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. For a normal, healthy person, it usually doesn’t cause any symptoms but for pregnant women, it’s too risky, it can cause serious health problems.  One important thing to add is that once you contract toxoplasmosis you can’t contract it again. 

It has been linked with poor health of the unborn baby with problems such as chorioretinitis, mental retardation, hearing loss, blindness, or epilepsy. 


Salmonella is a bacteria that can be very dangerous in pregnant women. It also causes digestive symptoms like the other pathogens listed above. One important thing about salmonella is that it can cause bacteremia, a condition where there is bacteria in the blood and can be fatal to pregnant women. 

How can you add leek to your healthy diet?

Leeks can be used in a variety of dishes. You can cook it with your vegetables with olive oil and salt, cook it with some meat or add it to your favorite soup.

Leeks go perfectly with recipes that include cheese and cream and they can be found paired with cauliflower can cabbage, basil, parsley, sage, and thyme. 

Follow this link to try some leek recipes.


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


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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.