Beetroots in Pregnancy

Benefits of Beetroot in pregnancy & Fertility

  Beetroots are rich in vitamins and minerals. It is a naturally occurring root vegetable and a rich source of phytochemicals. Also, beets are one among edible taproots rich in fibre foods. Eating fibre-rich foods like beetroot in pregnancy prevents constipation. One cup contains nearly 4 grams, which is about 14 % of the daily recommendation of 28 grams. Starchy root and tuber crops are alternatives to cereals in their carbohydrate content. Potatoes and yams are tubers, Cassava and sweet potatoes are storage roots and canna and arrow roots are edible rhizomes.

Nutritional Profile of Beetroot

A 100 gram of raw beetroot might provide you with the following nutrients that could help with pregnancy. Beetroot is preferred over potatoes during pregnancy due to its high dietary fibre, folate and calcium content. A 100 gram of raw beetroot might provide you with the following nutrients that could help with pregnancy. Beetroot is preferred over potatoes during pregnancy due to its high dietary fibre, folate and calcium content.  

NutrientsRDA  Beetroot per 100gmPotato per 100gm
Total folate600μg109μg        61μg
Calcium1000mg16mg      12mg
Magnesium350-360mg 23 mg      27mg
Potassium2900mg325mg     544mg
Iron27mg0.8mg       0.64mg
Dietary fibre28g 2.8g        2.1g
Nutrition in beetroot

Health Benefits of Beetroot or Beetroot Juice in Pregnancy

Below are the ways how eating beetroot during pregnancy might help –

Controls Maternal hypertension:

Hypertension may be pre-existing or develop during the course of pregnancy. At times it is complicated by the limitations of our medications used to control it. Some of the effective anti-hypertensive medications are not suitable for pregnancy. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi), angiotensin II receptor antagonists/blockers (ARBs/Sartans) and thiazide diuretics are associated with an increased risk of congenital abnormalities to the developing foetus. Beetroot juice is a rich source of nitrate. On consumption, it releases nitric oxide which in turn helps lower blood pressure. In pregnant women, decreased peripheral resistance is important for uterine blood flow and growth of the baby.

Birth defects:

Beets being among the foods with the highest folic acid content, they might help in the nervous system development of new born and could reduce risk of birth anomalies such as spina bifida. Beets are rich in folate and obtaining enough folic acid can prevent certain developmental issues at birth- like anencephaly and spina bifida.

According to the CDC, during pregnancy, an individual should consume at least 400 micrograms of folate or folic acid each day. In certain high-risk pregnancies, they may require significantly more folic acid. It’s very difficult to get enough folate from a diet. So, along with eating beets, high quality prenatal vitamins that contain folic acid should be consumed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Immunity:

Beets are known for antioxidant properties that help to build immunity. Pregnant women require a high level of immunity to avoid various Ailments and infections.

Decalcification of teeth:

Beets contain good amount of silica that enables the body to utilize minerals such as magnesium and copper. It also has calcium and magnesium which may help pregnant women deal with the decalcification of teeth.

Metabolism:

Beets produce potassium which might help balance the electrolytes. It also helps in maintaining blood pressure levels in expecting mothers.

Joint pains and swelling:

Beets have trace amounts of betalain that acts as a potent anti-inflammatory agent. It is most likely to avert pain and swelling in the joints.

Blood purification:

Beets has the ability to cleanse the blood, and helps in preventing the risk of diseases and infections in the foetus. Consuming beetroot juice could improve physical stamina and maintain blood pressure.

Anaemia:

Beets contain iron that improves the haemoglobin count in blood which might therefore help reduce risk of anaemia. Iron deficiency anaemia may occur during pregnancy and lead to symptoms like weakness and fatigue. Daily recommended intake of iron is 30 to 60 milligrams.

Healthy liver:

Beetroot has liver cleansing properties. A group of betacyanins supports this action.

Foetal development: The optimal development of the foetus is aided by the folic acid content present in beetroot.

Digestion:

The fibre present in beetroot helps to improve digestion and aid healthy bowel movement thus helps in constipation management.

Lower risk of preeclampsia:

Beetroot juice diet might lower blood pressure specifically with regard to the risk of preeclampsia.

Help maintain weight:

Beetroots are a good addition to diet because they contain vitamin C, potassium, fibre, folate, manganese, and iron.

Side Effects and Risks of Eating Beetroot During Pregnancy

  • Beetroot has betaine, which could cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and gastrointestinal issues.
  • Beets along with chocolate, spinach, nuts, rhubarb, and some teas contain increased amounts of oxalate and are known to cause kidney stones.
  • The existence of nitrates may trigger fatigue.
  • Beetroot makes urine and faeces pink or red, and researchers’ states this phenomenon is beeturia and may affect up to 14% of the population.
  • In certain cases, it may be a sign of iron deficiency. Beetroot are also high in sugar compared with other vegetables.

Beetroot and Fertility

Beetroot juice would be very beneficial in improving fertility. In fact,this has been proved in studies that women taking juice regularly have better endometrium. Also, it helps maintain hormonal level during fertility treatment due to its boron content. Hence it would prove to be very beneficial in maintaining pregnancy as well as treating infertility. Beetroot improves blood supply to the uterus by its nitrate content. If given after embryo transfer it may improve IVF success. As this taproot is rich in vitamin C, E and folate, it also helps in male fertility by improving sperm health.

How to include beetroot in your menu?

  • Fresh beetroot juice for breakfast.
  • Sliced beetroot with carrot, spinach & olives make a healthy, colourful salad at lunch.
  • Chopped beetroot can be roasted with groundnuts for a tasty side dish.
  • Finely grated beetroot as a chutney with coriander and chillies.
  • Boiled beetroot with other vegetables only with salt and pepper makes a light dinner, can be taken with bread or roti.

Is beetroot safe to eat during pregnancy?

Pregnant women can consume beetroots in all forms. In short,cooked, raw and juice all have been found to be safe for the pregnant woman and the baby. Due to its amazing health benefits, it is a favourite food for pregnant women all over the world. 

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