Is It Safe To Eat Honey During Pregnancy?
Being paranoid about what to eat and what not is common among to-be mothers. Pregnant mothers remain aware about every food they take and are concerned if it is harmful to them and the baby.
What about the sweet, sticky stuff that you’ve always loved and eaten? Can pregnant women eat honey?
Well, honey has been considered as a natural sweetener even before time sugar existed and became popular. Loved by humans and even animals like beads and badgers, honeybee hives have been raided despite the risking stings to obtain the reward that we call honey.
Honey as a natural ingredient is a remarkable stuff. With the blend of several nutrients including sugar, vitamins, amino acids, trace enzymes and minerals, honey is a super food in itself.
Rich in fructose, there are more than 300 kinds of honey, each with a different but unique color and taste. But, is honey good to eat during pregnancy, or does honey affect to-be born babies in any way? Let’s get the details in complete.
Is honey safe to eat during pregnancy?
Many doctors are often asked by pregnant women if honey is good to eat during pregnancy. Well, there is absolutely nothing in medical research literature that says anything bad about honey. Eating honey does no harm to pregnant woman.
However, you need to be concerned that honey contains botulinum toxin. A research journal published in the Canadian Family Physician reports that adult gastrointestinal system has bacteria that protects against botulism and there’s no way the toxin can penetrate placenta and affect the body.
These spores of bacteria does not reach to the fetus and there’s no way it’ll enter the blood stream and affect your unborn child.
Even in pregnant woman who succumb to gestational diabetes, a condition that occurs because of the rise in blood sugar level during pregnancy can eat honey, maintaining the calorie intake.
It’s perfectly safe.
Health benefits of honey
Sweet, tasty and safe to eat, honey comes several health benefits. Rich in fructose, and glucose together with several other nutrients, some of the health and nutritional benefits of honey are:
It boosts immune system. It can be used to heal wounds, minor burns and cuts. It also neutralizes acids in the stomach to help pregnant women get rid of heartburn. The antioxidant and antibacterial properties that is present because of several enzymes and amino acids in honey is what helps to boost immune system.
It provides relief from insomnia. Eating a table spoon of honey before bed helps pregnant women to sleep well. It has also been linked with cures of sleeplessness and insomnia.
It prevents colds and cough. As honey boosts the immune system, pregnant women develop more power to stay away from cold and cough.
It soothes sore throat. Honey when used in tea along with ginger can help to soothe the throat and kill bacteria causing infection in the neck.
It cures cancer. Several medical researches has found that eating honey regularly reduces the growth a H. Pyroli, a bacterium that is linked to causing ulcers.
It improves scalp. Most pregnant women suffer from dandruff and itching during pregnancy more than ever. Honey, when diluted in warm water has been found to improve seborrheic dermatitis, a scalp condition that deteriorates hair conditions.
It reduces linea nigra mark. Pregnant women who used honey on their belly skin have reported that they were able to get rid of linea nigra quickly. The dark black line gradually faded as their skin got more bright and looked young.
It reduces allergy. The pollen spores that are picked up by honey during honey-production introduces you to allergen when you eat it. This activates your immune system and develops power in your to become resistant to allergies.
Side effects of honey
Though honey has been used for medicinal reasons and is considered safe for adults and pregnant women, there are some side effects of consuming honey at large. With 53 percent of fructose present, each table spoon has about four gram of fructose.
Here are a few side effects associated with eating honey in excess:
It can exacerbate insulin sensitivity. Excess consumption of honey increases the amount of blood sugar level and exacerbate the pre-existing insulin resistance. Pregnant women are advised to take less than 25 grams of fructose per day.
It can cause cramping. Consuming too much honey also leads to stomach cramping and several other problems like diarrhea, constipation and bloating.
It affects gastrointestinal tract. Together with the increase in blood sugar level, eating honey in excess makes your body slightly acidic. This in turn affects the gastrointestinal tract and hampers digestion.
It decreases teeth health. Eating honey in access has also been reported to cause dental cavities. It is sugary and a high consumption can affect the health of teeth causing tooth enamel to erode.
It causes weight gain. As honey is rich in calorie, consuming too much can increase weight as well.
Despite the health benefits of honey being considered to outrank its side effects, it can worsen health conditions at different times when used with other edibles.
Adding honey to hot water or beverages destroys the enzymes present in it and reduces the quality it holds in its raw form. Similarly, when put together with foods rich in vitamin C and D, the minerals present in honey don’t show as much effect as they should while also negating the power of vitamins. Also, when used with bean curd, it can cause indigestion problems.
Can infants or babies eat honey?
Honey is considered absolutely safe for pregnant women if taken in moderation. It does not affect the fetus in any way and does not affect the unborn baby.
However, the problem associated with eating honey in infants and babies under the age of 1 or 2 is botulism. Eating raw or unpasteurized honey can cause spores of bacteria and the digestive track in infants is not developed enough to get rid of spores.
The intestine in babies are not mature enough to destroy bacteria so, if eaten it might hamper the digestive system and can lead to problems like diarrhea, and indigestion.
It is always advised that you purchase honey from trusted brands only which commercially undergo extensive processing including pasteurization before being bottled up and marketed. This ensures you get the vital nutrients and not just add the amount of fructose in your body.
If you have any thoughts or experiences about eating honey and its effects or health benefits during pregnancy, write us in the comments below!