Your life changes the minute you learn that you are pregnant. You have been living on your own all the while, and suddenly, there is life growing inside of you- life that is completely dependent on you. Pregnancy is the time for being extra careful about everything- from the activities you undertake to the foods that you eat. Food that you would normally consider healthy suddenly become toxic, and food that you would not normally touch with a barge pole are now must haves in your diet chart. You have probably always loaded your plate with vegetables if you have watched your diet, but now, you have to watch that too. Take zucchini, for instance. The delicious vegetable is normally considered a healthy option for most people, but what happens when you are expecting?
Low in calories
Zucchini is traditionally a summer vegetable. It is incredibly low in calories, thanks to the immense water content, and contains a veritable host of essential minerals and nutrients. However, despite its low calories, it is an immensely filling dish, and is extremely versatile as well; you can eat it with a salad, put it in curries to make a spicy side, or simply stir fry it with a bunch of other vegetables to make a light yet tasty snack for your lunch.
Balances sodium level
Zucchini has a great quantity of potassium, forming about eight percent of your recommended daily limit. That is great news for your heart; according to the American Heart Association, increasing the potassium level in your food can prevent or reduce your chances of developing cardiac illnesses. This is because the increase in potassium helps to suppress the sodium levels in your blood.
Apart from that, zucchini is also a great source of Vitamin C, an antioxidant, which improves your blood circulation. What is more, it will not only help improving your blood circulation, but will also help in developing the circulation system of the baby. One cup worth of zucchini has about 250 milligrams of Vitamin C, which amounts to approximately thirty three percent of your recommended daily dose of the Vitamin. Vitamin C is also known to boost the immunity of your system, which will come in very handy during pregnancy when your immunity is compromised. Besides, it will also help in building a healthy immune system in the fetus.
Develops bone structure
Consuming zucchini is also very good during pregnancy since it helps in the development of the bone structure of the baby. Zucchini contains moderate amounts of calcium and magnesium, minerals that are both responsible for developing and strengthening bones. By consuming a cup of zucchini on a daily basis you will ensue that your baby is growing a strong bone structure and healthy gums that will later on grow a healthy set of teeth as well. Apart from this, the magnesium content will also help in triggering the enzymes in the body and develop energy at the cellular level.
Zucchini also contains pretty high levels of phosphorus. It is an important element for the healthy development of the brain, so eating cup of zucchini each day will ensure that your baby’s brain grows healthily, thus reducing the chances of neurological disorders. Apart from that, phosphorus also aids in digestion of food, which is an added advantage for the pregnant woman.
Like most vegetables, zucchini also has a very high fiber content. Besides, it contains a lot of water as well, which makes it an ideal addition on the plate of the pregnant woman. Every woman aces digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea during pregnancy, because the metabolism and digestive system is pretty much compromised during those nine months. Both fiber and water help in improving digestion and improves metabolism, which mean that a single helping of zucchini will go a long way in making bowel movements much smoother and easier. Zucchini is also very easily digestible, and so will stay in the stomach for a very short period of time, helping in reducing the occurrence of flatulence, yet another common symptom experienced during pregnancy.
Vitamin B complex
Zucchinis also contain Vitamin B complex, yet another nutrient essential for a healthy pregnancy. Most importantly, one of the primary contents of Vitamin B complex is folic acid, which is one of the most important nutrients the growing baby need. Folate or folic acid helps in developing the spina cord and neural system of the baby, and adequate consumption of folic acid will help in reducing the chances of the baby developing any neural tube defects, or defects of the spine like spina bifida.
There is rally nothing that would prevent you from eating zucchini, unless there is some health complication. The best option would of course be to ask your doctor whether you can include the versatile vegetable in your pregnancy diet. If you can, make sure to wash the vegetable thoroughly before cooking it, and never eat it raw or undercooked. Cook it thoroughly, several times if required, and eat it piping hot.