Consuming a lot of vegetables during pregnancy is a must. Vegetables are not only great to help mothers overcome some digestion problems commonly occur during pregnancy such as constipation and slow bowel movement. Moreover, benefits of zucchini during pregnancy are not only great for the mother but also for the baby.
What Is Zucchini?
There are a lot of similarities of zucchini with cucumber, so in a glance there are a lot of people who are mistaken it with the juicy cucumber and it is closer to pumpkin instead of cucumber though they come from the same genus Cucurbita. The other name of zucchini is courgette and also well known as summer squash. There are some varieties of zucchini but the common one is the green one but there is also golden zucchini and striped zucchini. As vegetables, zucchini is one of the foods highly recommended to be consumed during pregnancy.
Nutritional Values of Zucchini
There a lot of nutrients in zucchini that is so essential for mothers during pregnancy. The benefits of zucchini during pregnancy is not limited to the fact that it is packed with essential vitamins and minerals but zucchini is an excellent source of folate and potassium which are super essential for mothers during pregnancy to make sure both mother and baby are in healthy stage during pregnancy. The list about benefits of zucchini below will tell you more about how amazing this vegetable is for pregnancy.
- Zucchini Is Excellent Source of Vitamin C
Just like squash and cucumber, zucchini is also excellent source of vitamin C. There are a lot of vitamin C benefits and vitamin c itself is one of the potent antioxidants to help protect body from free radicals.
- Natural Immunity Booster
One of the health benefits of vitamin c is as natural immunity booster. During pregnancy, mothers, if possible, are not allowed to get sick because mothers cannot just consume any drugs because drugs could affect the fetus in negative way.
- Aids Collagen Production
Hormones could affect skin conditions. That is why most of mothers during pregnancy may suffer some skin conditions like dark spots and even wrinkles. That is why consuming food high in vitamin c is essential because vitamin c could optimize the production of collagen to keep skin firm and healthy.
- Good for Maintaining Weight
Overweight during pregnancy is common to happen. However, it is better to maintain your weight because healthy weight means you are in healthy condition. Moreover, if you could maintain your weight during pregnancy without endangering your fetus is a plus because after pregnancy you could get back to your ideal weight in easier way.
- Reduces the Risk of Hypertension
Hypertension during pregnancy could be fatal because it could lead to preeclampsia that could put both mother and the baby in danger during labor process. The only option when a mother is diagnosed with preeclampsia is giving labor through SC procedure.
- Lowers Blood Pressure
When the symptoms of high blood pressure appear, mothers during pregnancy are recommended to consume foods like zucchini. The effect is not instant but super helpful.
- Reduces the Risk of Baby Born with Birth Defect
There are a lot of factors why baby born with birth defect but in the most case, mal nutrient and the deficiencies are the reasons behind the case.
- Helps Control Diabetes
There are three types of diabetes and gestational diabetes is common during pregnancy. Consuming zucchini that could help controlling the blood sugar level may help in reducing the risk of gestational diabetes in women during pregnancy.
- Foods That Could Lower Cholesterol
When talking about foods that lower cholesterol level, zucchini is in the top of the list. This vegetable contains some active compound that could help reducing the accumulation of palette in the arteries by reducing the production of ‘bad’ cholesterol. That is why consuming zucchini during pregnancy is highly recommended.
- Enhances Digestion
Constipation is one of the common cases during pregnancy. When the fetus grows inside the womb will affect the space around the digestive system and slowing down the bowel movement. Zucchini is rich of fiber and one of the main health benefits of fiber is to enhance the digestion.
- Excellent Source of Potent Antioxidants
You could list some potent and essential antioxidants such as flavonoids, vitamin C, vitamin A and also all the health benefits of vitamin E. All of those antioxidants could be found in zucchini.
- Strengthens Bones and Teeth
If you think, you only need calcium to maintain the health of bones and teeth, you are wrong. Vitamin K has essential role in maintaining and strengthening the bones and teeth. Zucchini is also excellent source of vitamin K.
- Maintains Energy Level during Pregnancy
Pregnancy requires a mother to always have enough energy. Consuming foods that could boost your energy is essential. Zucchini contain some essential minerals such as iron and magnesium are excellent energy booster.
- Prevents Mood Swing
During pregnancy, hormone imbalance is quite common to happen and this condition could affect mood. Consuming zucchini could help preventing mood swing to take over.
- Excellent Source of Folic Acid
Folic acid is super essential during pregnancy. This active compound will make sure the optimal development of nerve system and brain of the baby especially in the first trimester.
- Promotes the Production of Red Blood Cells
Iron, magnesium and other essential minerals contained in zucchini may promote the optimal production of red blood cells. The deficiencies could lead to premature birth or baby born with birth defect.
- Helps Skin Hydration
Dry skin, dark spots and wrinkles could happen during pregnancy. Consuming zucchini or using the pure to help hydrating the skin from outside could help maintaining the health of your skin.
- Excellent for Brain Development
As mentioned in some previous point, there are some factors that could optimize the development of fetus’ brain. Optimal production of RBCs, folic acid and some essential vitamins and minerals will affect the development of brain and may increase the memory ability.
Cautions of Zucchini for Mothers during Pregnancy
The case regarding side effects of consuming zucchini during pregnancy is not a yet reported but there are some cautions that you should know to make sure your pregnancy is fully protected.
- Organic zucchini is always the best option to consume during pregnancy because the residue of chemical substances during the cultivation may not affect the mother but could put the fetus in danger.
- Though zucchini could be consumed raw but during pregnancy, mothers should be super careful because consuming raw vegetables are not recommended for mothers during pregnancy because even though the vegetables are organic but bacteria and worm still could contaminate them. The trick is to wash the zucchini using running water to reduce the risk of bacteria and worm contamination.
- Those who are allergic to vegetables like cucumber or pumpkin should be really careful with zucchini as well.
During pregnancy, mothers should consume a lot of vegetables and the benefits of zucchini during pregnancy are excellent. Moreover about zucchini, this vegetable is also tasty to be baked and the crunchy texture is excellent for the cake as well as food.