During pregnancy some foods must be avoided because they pose a health risk to you or your baby. Gyros may be safe to eat in most cases, but some gyros contain ingredients you shouldn't eat while pregnant. Gyros do contain many nutrients that are important during pregnancy, making them a healthy addition to a well-balanced diet as long as you prepare them properly and avoid certain additions.
Gyros are often made with lamb or beef, served in a pita with tomato, onion and tzatziki sauce, which is made with Greek yogurt, cucumbers, lemon, dill, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. Variations may call for turkey, venison or chicken. Other ingredients that appear in some gyro recipes include, vinegar, hummus, parsley, mint and olives. When stored and prepared properly, these items should not pose a risk to you or your developing baby.
Undercooked meat can cause several types of food borne-illnesses, including salmonella and toxoplasmosis, which can make you ill and create complications with the pregnancy, such as dehydration. Beef and lamb should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145F and turkey and chicken needs to be 165F to be safely eaten. Some types of soft cheeses, such as feta, found in some gyro recipes, can harbor listeria, a potentially serious bacteria that can cause stillbirth, miscarriage or infant blood poisoning after delivery. Failure to wash vegetables and herbs before adding them to the tzatziki sauce or pita bread can cause toxoplasmosis or other food-borne illnesses.
The ingredients used to prepare gyros contain a variety of nutrients that are important for your health and the health of your baby. Meat is a good source of protein, zinc, iron and B vitamins. The Greek yogurt in the tzatziki sauce contains protein and calcium and the vegetables found in gyros offer fiber, carbohydrates and vitamins A and C. The pita bread also contains carbohydrates, fiber and iron.
Protein is important for healthy growth and development and plays a role in cell repair. Your iron needs increase during pregnancy and getting enough can prevent pregnancy related anemia, low birth weight and early delivery. Calcium is necessary for your baby's bones and teeth. Zinc helps produce various enzymes that your body needs and that your baby's body needs as it develops. Vitamins A and C help form red blood cells, muscles and aids in the development of the immune system. B vitamins support your eyesight, nervous system and red blood cells.