When you learn that you are pregnant, you need to start planning the entire pregnancy period one week at a time. Each week until delivery is critical for your unborn baby.
Hence pregnant women must follow various precautions during this period.
There are so many questions on a healthy pregnancy that may occur to pregnant women – what to eat, how to exercise, what tests to undergo - and so on.
One important aspect of a healthy pregnancy is what foods to eat and what to avoid.
Nutrition and Pregnancy
Many pregnant women do not realize that some foods can harm the health and normal growth of their babies.
Foods like fortified cereals, fresh fruits, chickpeas, soy nuts etc are excellent for fetuses.
Experts on nutrition during pregnancy recommend that women stay away from certain foods.
For example, seafood is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein, both excellent for the brain development of the fetus.
Some types of seafood, like king mackerel, swordfish, shark, and tilefish contain excess quantities of mercury and these are harmful to both mother and child.
Similarly, avoid raw, contaminated or undercooked seafood, poultry, eggs, and meat. These increase the risk of food poisoning and bacterial infections.
Unpasteurized foods like dairy products, cheese, eggs must also be avoided. Again, pregnant women must avoid all unwashed vegetables, fruits, greens, and raw sprouts. These may contain disease-causing bacteria.
Wheatgrass is usually harvested from the young wheat plant and the best benefits are enjoyed when it is consumed as a juice.
This juice is made from raw wheatgrass.
Wheatgrass is said to be full of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It is said to contain anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and hence used to treat different health problems.
It is a popular blood purifier.
Wheatgrass is available at health food stores and juice bars. You can grow and make your own wheatgrass juice at home using wheatgrass growing kits and juicers.
Wheatgrass and Pregnancy
The safety of consuming wheatgrass during pregnancy has not been tested.
The main concern is that since wheatgrass benefits are best got when consumed raw, this could affect women during pregnancy since the grass or soil could be contaminated.
Wheatgrass juice also has a detoxifying effect on the body and this could cause certain difficulties during pregnancy.
However, pregnant women who are used to consuming wheatgrass before pregnancy may not have the same cleansing effect. Consult your obstetrician if you are unsure about the effects of wheatgrass during pregnancy.
Pregnant women are advised not to consume wheatgrass by the American Cancer Society since the risk of bacterial and mold contamination is high.
This is because wheatgrass often grows in humid and moist conditions. Mold and bacteria can harm the fetus. High doses of wheatgrass can have purgative effects and this will cause an imbalance of vital nutrients during pregnancy.
On the other hand, some doctors state that if wheatgrass is grown under strict supervision and in the right environment, it could actually benefit pregnant women.
It improves the immunity of both baby and mother, aids digestion, keeps hair healthy, reduces hypertension, cleans the body of toxins, maintains normal blood sugar levels and prevents tooth decay.
Ensure you buy wheatgrass only from a certified organic producer.
This will ensure the product you use is of the highest quality. Wheatgrass has alkalizing agents and these are considered very nutritious for both mother and baby.
If you decide the benefits outweigh the risks, then go ahead and try small quantities.
It is also rich in beta carotene, folates, vitamins, and minerals. Some pregnant women find that drinking wheatgrass juice helps to ease constipation.
Some good wheatgrass products are ‘Amazing Meal’ and ‘Green SuperFood’. The company that produces them – ‘Amazing Grass’ - claim that many pregnant and nursing women consume these products.
They claim their greens do not contain isolated or fractionated vitamins. The body can easily utilize what is needed and eliminate the rest. Check with your doctor for approval.
Precautions before taking wheatgrass during pregnancy
Wheatgrass is usually considered safe when products of high quality are used.
Sometimes it can cause headaches, nausea, and hives, vomiting and swelling of the throat.
This is because wheatgrass can be contaminated by mold and bacteria. Those with celiac disease, grass or wheat allergies, gluten intolerance are advised not to consume wheatgrass.
Usually, pregnant women and nursing mothers are advised not to take wheatgrass products because of the above-associated risks.
Since wheatgrass has high chlorophyll content, some doctors do not recommend it for pregnant or nursing women since these supplements have not been tested on them.
If you are pregnant and have already been enjoying the benefits of wheatgrass, you can check with your doctor about safety issues for both you and your unborn child and consume wheatgrass if they recommend it.