Health Benefits and Risks of Eating Pickles During Pregnancy

Pickle is one of the most craved foods during pregnancy and pregnant women are notorious for having weird cravings for foods like pickles and ice cream. While pickles aren’t the healthiest food you could eat during pregnancy, indulging in a pickle or two every once in a while isn’t likely to cause harm. Pickles have very less nutritional value. One ounce of pickle contains no amount of protein, fat or cholesterol and less than one gram of carbohydrates. This is less than 0.1 percent of the amount of carbohydrates you should ideally have on a daily basis while you are pregnant. Pickle juice does contain high amounts of vitamin C and sodium. It also contains very small amounts of potassium

Is Consuming Pickles in Pregnancy Safe?

Consuming pickles in limited measures when pregnant may not be harmful. But it is not advisable to make pickles a part of your everyday diet while pregnant. Overindulgence in pickles during pregnancy can lead to certain health issues. Moderation should be the guiding factor whenever you are tempted to reach for that jar of pickles.

Moreover, during pregnancy, it is crucial to pay special attention to your dietary intake for your health along with that of your growing fetus. Pickles don’t include much nutritional value. So, their consumption is best kept to the minimum. Further, you may also like to avoid consuming very spicy pickles.

Benefits you eating pickles in moderation:

Helps Maintain Proper Balance Of Electrolytes In Your Body: Potassium and sodium are the two main electrolytes in your body. These are minerals that help in conducting electrical transmissions in your body. When you are pregnant, your body starts retaining more amount of fluid. During these months, your baby’s needs from your body also increase. This causes an increase in your body’s need for an electrolyte.

Calories, Macronutrients, and Boosts Digestion: Pickles are thought to improve digestion and even the immune function to some extent. Pickles may contain healthy bacteria which prevents it from getting spoiled. So eating pickles can aid in multiplying the good bacteria in your digestive system which can help in combating a lot of digestive issues. Eating pickles isn’t likely to cause you to exceed your daily recommended calories during pregnancy and gain too much weight. Dill pickles are low in both calories and fat.

Vitamins and Minerals: Having fresh pickles of various vegetables and fruits may provide important vitamins like vitamin A, C, K and minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium which can lower your risk of falling prey to diseases during pregnancy by strengthening your immune system. Each pickle has about 25.4 micrograms of, or 32 percent of the daily value for, this essential vitamin. Dill pickles provide trace amounts of other essential micronutrients as well, such as calcium, potassium, manganese and vitamin A.

Risk To Your Unborn Baby And You From Excess Sodium Content In Pickles:

Sodium Considerations: The main problem caused by eating dill pickles during pregnancy comes from their high sodium content. This can negate any benefits that eating pickles may have during pregnancy. The high quantity of sodium can actually be very dangerous for both your unborn baby and you if taken regularly over a period of time. Each pickle has 595 milligrams of sodium, which is about one-third of your daily sodium need during pregnancy. Getting too much sodium can increase your risk for high blood pressure, and during pregnancy, it can make you more likely to suffer from swelling. Drinking plenty of water can help minimize this effect. Another option is to eat a low-sodium version of dill pickles instead because these pickles have only about 12 milligrams of sodium each.

Potential for Heartburn: Refrain from eating very spicy pickles as it can trigger dysentery and digestive problems like heartburn and acidity. Pregnant women sometimes have problems with heartburn because pregnancy causes your body to produce more of the hormone progesterone. This hormone relaxes the valve that helps keep stomach acid and partially digested food from backing up into the esophagus.

Food Safety Considerations: Eating pickle during pregnancy which is homemade may have traces of listeria bacteria that can be potentially dangerous for the pregnancy. While store-bought dill pickles are generally safe during pregnancy, you may want to stay away from homemade refrigerator pickles during pregnancy. The listeria bacteria can survive the process used to make this type of pickle and this type of food poisoning is particularly dangerous for pregnant women. It can cause premature delivery, stillbirth, health problems for the baby or miscarriage.

Having a little pickle is alright, as long as you are not overdoing it and it is not turning into a regular habit. Speak to your doctor when pregnant before consuming pickles and discuss how much and how frequently you can have pickles if you really crave for it, as well as your concerns regarding safety and likely allergic reactions.


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