Side Effects of Beetroot during Pregnancy

Side Effects of Beetroot during Pregnancy
Table of Contents

Your pregnancy calls for a diet check. You might have added and removed certain foods from your diet chart. Beetroots may or may not have made it to your list.

Beetroots are root vegetables that are known for their bright red or magenta color. They are also highly nutritious and delicious when cooked. Based on the intake, beetroots have benefits and side effects on your body.

In this article, we’ll look at the benefits and side effects of having beetroots during pregnancy and some interesting recipes you can make from them.

Benefits of Beets for Pregnant Women

Beetroots are rich in essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber and have several benefits for your pregnancy. Below are some benefits of beetroots for your pregnancy.

1. Reduces Constipation

Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy. You need to take fiber-rich foods that can soften your stools, regulate bowel movements, and ease constipation.

Luckily, beetroots are high in fiber content. One cup of beetroot has around 4 grams of fiber. This is around 14% of the recommended 28 grams of fiber to take daily during pregnancy.

2. Prevents Neural Tube Defects

During pregnancy, one of the essential supplements your doctor will prescribe for you is the folic acid (folate) supplement. Folic acid is the natural form of Vitamin B9 and is essential to prevent neural tube defects in the baby. It also promotes the healthy development of the baby.

Beetroots are high in folic acid. Studies show that pregnant women must take at least 400 grams of folic acid daily to meet adequate levels. Women with high-risk pregnancies may need to take higher amounts to reduce risks.

Aside from beetroots, you should also take multivitamin supplements to provide your body with the necessary levels of vitamins.

3. Reduces Iron Deficiency

Women are prone to iron deficiency and anemia during pregnancy. Aside from vitamins, they also need to consume sufficient amounts of iron through foods or supplements to maintain their health and prevent symptoms like fatigue and tiredness.

Studies show that pregnant women must take around 30–60 mg of iron daily to maintain their iron levels. Beetroot is a good source of iron you can take to improve your iron content.

4. Lowers the Risk of Pre-Eclampsia

Pre-eclampsia is a condition of high blood pressure in pregnant women. Beetroots have nitrates, which can help regulate blood pressure and improve vascular function in pregnant women.

Though beetroots have been believed to reduce risks of pre-eclampsia due to their blood pressure regulating properties, this has not been proven in any study. More research needs to be done to test the effect of beetroot on blood pressure.

5. Prevents Fetal Growth Restriction

Fetal Growth Restriction (FGR) is a condition where the baby’s weight is less than the tenth percentile of the weight it should be for its gestational age. This condition can affect the growth of the baby’s organs, cells, tissues, and overall size and weight.

FGR is mainly due to issues with the placenta. Beetroots have nitrates, which have been shown to improve blood flow to the placenta and prevent such complications.

Risks and Side Effects of Eating Beets During Pregnancy

Though beetroots have ample benefits for pregnancy, it is only when they are taken in adequate amounts. Beetroots can also cause certain complications if you take them above the recommended amount.

Below are some of the risks and side effects of adding too much beetroot to your pregnancy diet.

1. In about 10–14% of pregnant women, overeating beetroots has been shown to cause beeturia, a condition where the urine and feces appear pink or deep red in color.

This condition is more prevalent in women with iron deficiency. It is harmless and won’t cause any complications. However, it can be a bit alarming.

2. Beetroots contain a component called betaine. Excess amounts of betaine in the body can cause gastric discomfort, bloating, and other digestive issues.

3. Though nitrates are good for you and your baby, excess levels of the component can cause constant fatigue and tiredness.

4. Beetroots contain another component called oxalate. At high levels, this component can increase the risk of kidney stones.

5. Excess beetroot has also been shown to decrease calcium levels in your body. This can increase your risk of calcium-related issues.

Streamlined Preparations

There are several ways to have beetroots. Below are some simple and easy ways to prepare a delicious beetroot recipe.

  • Blend them in a juicer, add any fruits or vegetables you want, and have a tasty beetroot juice.
  • Add them to your smoothie.
  • Cook them with other vegetables and have them as a salad.
  • Make a tasty beetroot chutney and have it with your rice or other dishes.
  • Roast beetroots and have them as an evening snack.

There are multiple ways you can have beetroots during your pregnancy. You only need to be mindful of the amount of beetroot you consume to prevent complications.

Does the Desire for Beetroot Indicate One Sex Over Another?

No, like any other foods, your choice to eat beetroots during pregnancy depends on your personal preference, culture, and diet requirements. It does not have anything to do with the sex of the child.

If you like beetroots, you can have them. If you do not, you can remove beetroots from your diet plan and add another food that provides you the nutrients beetroots provide.

Conclusion

Beetroots are rich in essential nutrients and are a good addition to your pregnancy diet. Before adding them to your pregnancy chart, check if it is okay with you.

For most women, their food preferences change during pregnancy. So, have a trial session and check if you like the smell and taste of beetroots. If all is fine, then you can go on and enjoy the benefits of beetroots during pregnancy.

FAQs

Yes, expecting women can consume beetroots. They are high in nutrients and are a good source of iron, vitamins, and fiber. They can keep both the mother and baby healthy during pregnancy.

There is no specific time to consume beetroots, you can have them whenever you like. You just need to be mindful of the quantity you take and take them in moderation.

One beetroot a day can be considered adequate during pregnancy. Excess consumption of beetroots can sometimes cause complications like beeturia and kidney stones.

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Dr. Rukkayal Fathima

Dr Rukkayal Fathima, India's Leading Gynaecologist and the best fertility doctor in Chennai. She has 11+ years of experience and treated 1000+ patients. She finished her M. S., Obstetrics and Gynaecology from the Institute of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (Madras Medical College), Chennai. She is a visiting consultant at St. Isabelle Hospital, Motherhood Hospital, Rainbow Hospital & Mehta Hospital. Dr Rukkayal Fathima specialises in Obstetrics care, Early Pregnancy Scan, IVF, ICSI, TESA/Micro TESE, Menopause advice, Gynaecological surgeries and endoscopy. She is a Co-Founder of Hive Fertility, the Best Fertility Center in Chennai.

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