When I’m pregnant, I literally Google every food prior to consumption to check whether it’s safe. I’m a pretty reasonable person and know that most fruits and vegetables are probably safe, but it’s so tempting when the information is at my fingertips! Also, not everything is totally safe, even though you would assume it is, i.e. eggplant.
Long story short, garlic is safe, but not too much! According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, pregnant women can consume approximately two to four cloves of fresh garlic per day. During the second and third trimesters, it’s recommended to seek guidance from your healthcare provider since excess garlic consumption could thin your blood and lower your blood pressure.
It’s a good thing I Googled because I eat roasted veggies almost every night. I’m one of those people that could easily eat the same meals every day, which drives my husband bonkers! I normally include 8 cloves of garlic, so time to cut down 🙂
Benefits of Eating Garlic While Pregnant
I love garlic… The smell, the taste, everything! About 4 or 5 years ago I met a woman named Kate who swore that consuming raw garlic kept her healthy and cold-free. After lots of Googling, it seems she’s right!
Garlic has been around for thousands of years, and is one of the oldest known horticultural crops. Check out a brief history of garlic here. As well as being delicious, garlic has been used to cure a variety of diseases and conditions, including poor blood circulation, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels during pregnancy.
Additional benefits of eating garlic while pregnant include:
- Reduces Fatigue. Yes please! I have never experienced morning sickness but man… The fatigue is real!
- Reduces The Risk of Pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is a serious complication that normally occurs after 20 weeks, affecting between 2 – 5% of pregnancies. Symptoms include high blood pressure, protein in the urine and swelling. Garlic has been found to reduce the risk of this condition.
- Reduces Cholesterol & Heart Problems. Garlic is used for many conditions related to the heart and blood systems. Specifically, allicin helps to maintain a healthy cholesterol level and to thin your blood, preventing the possibility of a stroke or a heart attack.
- Fights Cold, Flu & Infections. This is why I started consuming raw garlic in the first place! Garlic can keep the growth of harmful bacteria in your system in check, as well as maintain a healthy immune system.
- Boosts The Weight Of The Baby. For babies at risk of being born pre-term birth or that may be born underweight, garlic is said to boost the overall weight.
- Treats Yeast Infections. The allicin in garlic is rich in anti-fungal properties, and can be used to prevent yeast infections or improve current conditions. If you feel a yeast infection coming on, take a clove of fresh, peeled garlic and insert into your vagina at bedtime, leaving it in overnight. I don’t suffer from yeast infections, but countless women swear this method clears up in the infection in days.
Raw Garlic vs. Cooked Garlic
I strongly suggest consuming raw garlic since it has a significantly better nutritive profile than cooked. Also, essential oil and garlic power do not contain allicin, the compound produced when garlic is crushed or chopped. Allicin appears to have an antibiotic effect, an antioxidant effect, to lower cholesterol and to fluidize blood.
How To Eat Raw Garlic
I aspire to eat raw garlic daily. I normally dice up 3 cloves and add them to my salad. However, you can also cut the garlic into pill sized pieces and take with water. I wouldn’t try 3 cloves from the get go since garlic can be a bit tough on the stomach. Start with half a clove and work up.