Many sources recommend that Pregnant women take soup made from vegetables, fruits, and greens. Bitter leaf can be found in such lists as well. But is it safe to take bitter leaf soup during pregnancy? Can bitter leaf abort the pregnancy? Is bitter leaf soup good for a pregnant woman? All this and more are what you would find in this article.
What is a bitter leaf?
Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) is a vegetable used for preparing the popular Bitter leaf soup. Yoruba people call it Ewuro, Igbo name it Onugbu, and Hausa people call it Shiwaka.
Although this plant has been around for hundreds of years, only a few people know of its medicinal and healing properties.
Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) as the name implies, is a bitter plant whose leaves, extracts, stems, and barks are used for culinary, medicinal, and curative purposes.
is it safe to eat bitter leaf soup during pregnancy?
Yes, it is. However, you need to avoid eating bitter leaf soup during your first trimester or at least reduce your intake during this time. Because it can cause early contraction during this period.
Nutrient Content of Bitter Leaf Soup during pregnancy
Usually in one serving of bitter leaf soup contain the various nutrient. The common nutrient is as listed in below lists:
- Calories 356
- Calories from Fat 90gr
- Total Fat 10g
- Saturated Fat 2g
- Cholesterol 185mg
- Sodium 339mg
- Potassium 1349mg
- Total Carbohydrates 6g
- Dietary Fiber 2g
- Sugars 2g
- Protein 57g
- Vitamin A 82gr
- Vitamin C 28gr
- Calcium 8gr
- Iron 17gr
Can bitter leaf abort the pregnancy? Side affects bitter leaf soup during pregnancy
Eating too much bitter leaf in early pregnancy can lead to a miscarriage. The dried back of a bitter leaf tree, especially, can cause contractions in early pregnancy.
It is important to note that this can only happen when the woman eats too much bitter leaf. It is safe for women with more advanced pregnancies if they eat it in moderation. Here are the Top 10 Nigerian Foods That Cause Miscarriage During Pregnancy.
If a pregnant woman eats too much bitter leaf soup during pregnancy, she risks getting an upset stomach, indigestion, or even constipation. In this case, you can no longer use the bitter leaf to treat these discomforts since it is directly responsible for the symptoms.
It is important to note that it is highly unlikely that you will eat unsafe amounts of bitter leaf in soups. This is because when people wash the leaves to reduce the bitterness before adding them to soups, they reduce the potency of the leaves. This reduction makes it possible to eat your delicious bitter leaf soups without worrying about over-consuming them.
However, if you love juicing bitter leaf to extract the juice, you risk consuming too much of it. You can enjoy your bitter leaf when you eat it in moderation!
Medical use to bitter leaf
1. Bitter leaf vs cancer
Bitter leaf has been proven to reduce the risk of cancer and to reduce the spread of the cancer cells for those who already have cancer. This is especially true in the case of prostate cancer.
2. Reduces blood pressure
The high amounts of potassium found in bitter leaves help in the management of high blood pressure. Chewing bitter leaves or drinking the juice often can help with high BP.
A study published by the Journal of Food Biochemistry showed that bitter leaf is antihypertensive, making it a great remedy for people suffering from hypertension.
3. Reduces blood sugar
Bitter leaf counteracts the effects of sugar in the body. Some people take it to reduce high blood sugar and manage diabetes.
Bitter leaf juice can heal many diseases like malaria, fever, pneumonia, typhoid, and the like.
Bitter leaf helps with conception. According to Dr Grace Johnson in this article published in the Guardian Nigeria, bitter leaf boosts your general health, helps the ovaries to release healthy eggs, and balances the hormones.
Ultimately, the bitter leaf can improve the fertility of those who consume it regularly.
Some of the health benefits of Bitter leaf soup during pregnancy
The soup is also rich in protein that can help to support brain development. This is important for the fetus brain to help to optimize the mind and brain nerve. There are the same health benefits of rainbow trout that can help to support brain development too.
2. Better Digestive
The high fibre content also can help to perform a better digestive system. It will optimize the intestine bowel movement that will lead to a better digestion system. Furthermore, it will help to perform fasten digest. Therefore, it can help a pregnant woman to avoid any digestive problems that commonly happen during the third semester. These are the same health benefits of purple hull peas that also can help to optimize the digestive system.
3. Add Energy
The calories and carbohydrates inside the soup are good to add energy for a pregnant woman. As pregnancy mainly in the third semester will require more energy in supporting the mother’s daily activities. Furthermore, it can help to bring enough power to carry on the baby every day.
4. Great for weight loss
It speeds up metabolism and therefore is great for weight loss.
5. Rich In Nutrient
The soup is known rich in various nutrients. Therefore, consume the soup during pregnancy will help to supply nutrients needed by the fetus. Furthermore, it will help to comply with the vitamins and minerals for the fetus growth. There is the same health benefits eggs avocado that also rich in nutrients.
6. Source Of Fiber
The soup also contains high dietary fibre. Therefore, it can be a natural alternative to fulfil the needs for more fibre during pregnancy. As the pregnant mother will require more portions of fibre rather than normal people.
The overall health benefits of bitter leaf soup during pregnancy have proven good and best to supply nutrients for the fetus. However, the side effects shall be a consideration too. Therefore, always consume in proper portions and mix with other various meals for the best result.
Drop your thoughts In the comments section. Thanks for reading through.
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Sharon Marie olabanji RN, CHO, Founder and CEO of Pregnancyvitamins, has a background in community health, nursing, and nutrition. As a mom of two, I do thorough research and I decide to take good care of my self and tackle health problems during pregnancy and after delivery. Pregnancyvitamins.net is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the research team.