3 Main Reasons To Avoid Brinjal (Eggplant) During Pregnancy

Beware of the negative impacts of this vegetable if you are expecting a child.

Medically Reviewed by Reda Elmardi, RDN
By Tanya Choudhary

Balanced and nutritious meals should be a major focus during pregnancy. But unfortunately, certain myths and taboos are also associated with this topic. One such belief is about avoiding brinjal during pregnancy. In most cases, the diet of pregnant women is influenced by age-old customs, sayings, traditions, food facts, and culture. Certain foods are usually divided into three categories – cold foods, hot foods, and sour foods – which are avoided during pregnancy as it is believed they may exert negative effects on the mother and the baby. Brinjal is categorized into cold foods.

Brinjal is one of the most affordable and common vegetables. Its taste is loved by many, and it is used in making many delicacies. It is loaded with many beneficial nutrients and vitamins and can be a healthy addition to your diet. It also offers an array of health benefits. It may help relieve insomnia, stomach gas, congestion, manage malaria, and even aid digestion.

However, brinjal is most often avoided in the diets of pregnant women. Even Ayurvedic texts seem to recommend minimizing its consumption during this period. But how far is this belief true? Continue reading to know more.

Reasons to Avoid Brinjal (Eggplant) During Pregnancy

There are various reasons for a pregnant woman to avoid eating brinjal. Some of the important reasons are as follows:

  1. Ayurveda strictly advises the limit of brinjal consumption. Brinjal or eggplants contain large amounts of phytohormones, which may help in treating premenstrual syndrome and amenorrhea. There brinjal works as diuretics. It can stimulate menstruation when consumed daily which is not a good option for a pregnant lady. This is one of the main reasons to avoid brinjal during pregnancy. However, research in this regard is limited.
  2. Eggplants or brinjals are enriched with menstruation-inducing properties. Due to these properties, brinjals may also lead to abortion.
  3. These are also not good as they may cause acidity problems; therefore, it is suggested that women should avoid eating brinjal during pregnancy.
  4. Brinjals are not recommended for pregnant women due to their high content of nitrates. The nitrate ion (NO3-) is a chemical that occurs naturally in the environment. In food, it is usually present as nitrate (NO2-). When consumed by humans, the nitrate ion can cause health problems. This is especially true for infants, pregnant women, and people with low stomach acid levels.

These are some of the major causes for the restriction of brinjal consumption during pregnancy. But it is only in the Indian cultures where brinjal is suggested to be avoided during pregnancy. Brinjal contains good amount of Vitamin A, dietary fiber, and iron (1). These are some of the essential nutrients that are needed during the pregnancy period. But, the causes revealed by Ayurveda cannot be ignored too.

An expectant mother should follow a proper diet that fosters optimal growth patterns. Though researchers are still unsure about strictly avoiding brinjal during pregnancy, moderation is the key, and prevention is better than cure.

My advice is not to risk your and the fetus’s health for the sake of this vegetable. It is better to avoid eating brinjal during pregnancy.

A well-balanced diet should be the primary focus for pregnant women. Including various fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet supports a healthy pregnancy. However, the safety of consuming brinjal during pregnancy is still under question. As per Ayurveda, it is not safe to consume brinjal while pregnant as the phytohormones in the vegetable may stimulate menstruation and trigger acidity. Consult your doctor for more clarity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which vegetables should you avoid during pregnancy?

Undercooked beans, sprouts, raw radish, brinjal, and alfalfa should be avoided during pregnancy.

Can I eat brinjal after a cesarean?

Yes, brinjal is safe to eat after a C-section.

Is tomato good for pregnancy?

Yes, tomatoes are good for pregnancy. They contain many major nutrients like folic acid, vitamins, and fiber that are beneficial for pregnant women.

Sources

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  1. Eggplant raw
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169228/nutrients
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author
Tanya is an ISSA certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition. She specializes in writing articles on ingredients that benefit skin,... more

Reda Elmardi

(RDN)
Reda Elmardi is a registered dietician, certified nutritionist, and certified strength and conditioning specialist trainer. He has more than 10... more

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