The sprouts we eat are the stems of seeds and grains which started sprouting. The most popular and available ones are sprouts of mung beans, alfalfa, lentils, peas, sunflower and other legumes or cereals. Why are they so good for us? And how come, despite their many benefits, so many experts don’t recommend on having them in your pregnancy diet?
The Health Benefits of Sprouts
Sprouts are considered as extremely healthy. The reason for that is because the amount of vitamins in the seed or legume that sprouts is exceptionally high and varied. Sprouts also contain a lot of enzymes which our body needs build muscle tissues for digestion; amino acids which are especially important for vegetarians and vegans, minerals, fiber and many other nutritional ingredients. As if all these aren’t enough, sprouts are very easy for digestion and keep the person who eats them sated for a long while.
The Risks of Eating Sprouts during Pregnancy
So, if sprouts are so good for us, how come many experts recommend avoiding during pregnancy?
The problem with having sprouts while pregnant is that sprouts may contain dangerous bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella. Usually our bodies can handle a small amount of them. However, the risk of pregnant women to get infected is up to 20 times (!) greater than people who aren’t.
This means that if a pregnant woman will wonder what to eat when pregnant and choose sprouts, there’s significant risk she will get infected by one of these unfriendly bacteria. Such infection might lead food poisoning, which will cause diarrhea, vomiting, fever, stomach pain and more. On severe cases, such poisonings might cause permanent damage for both the mother and the baby, and even stillbirth and the mother’s death.
Sprouts while Pregnant: What should you do?
These days infections from sprouts are relatively rare. Even if it did happen, modern medicine has effective solutions for food poisoning and its symptoms.
Still, food poisoning while pregnant is an extremely unpleasant experience, and there’s always a chance that it might cause serious damage for the mother or the fetus. Even if washed well or cooked, there’s a chance of that some bacteria will remain on the sprouts, and lead to infection. Therefore, much like uncooked meat, raw fish and unpasteurized milk, it is best to exclude sprouts from your diet while pregnant.
If you suspect you have been infected, contact your physician or visit the nearest hospital as soon as possible.