Is Fresh Ginger Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?

Ginger is a member of the herb family, and the root of the plant is edible. Adding a spicy zip to recipes such as stir-fries and baked goods, ginger is low in fat and calories and contains small amounts of key nutrients you need during pregnancy. While ginger is safe to consume while you're pregnant and can offer benefits that go beyond nutrition, don't eat ginger or take oral ginger supplements without discussing the risks and benefits with your obstetrician.

Fresh Is Best

MedlinePlus reports that fresh ginger in food form is likely safe during pregnancy; however, use caution with ginger supplements, notes. The American Pregnancy Association explains that ginger might help ease morning sickness. The key is to use normal amounts of ginger, such as the small amount you would use in a recipe or have in a serving of ginger tea. Always talk to your doctor before taking supplements that contain ginger because these can contain higher concentrations of the herb compared to what you get by using fresh ginger for cooking purposes.

It's Nutritious

As if easing morning sickness didn't make ginger attractive enough, you'll also get small amounts of key nutrients when you consume fresh ginger. Fresh ginger supplies iron for proper blood formation, vitamin C to help support the formation of your baby's immune system and folic acid, which helps prevent birth defects. Ginger is also low in sodium, which makes it a good addition to recipes to punch up the flavor without going overboard with salt.

Get Creative

Ask your doctor about drinking ginger ale or ginger tea to help ease morning sickness, and use fresh ginger in your cooking. It might help reduce your morning sickness, but it also will flavor your food and provide essential nutrients. Add minced ginger to roasted potatoes or sprinkle it over steamed vegetables such as snap peas and green beans. Stir shredded ginger into soup or chili recipes to add a new flavor to your old favorites. Fresh ginger also adds flavor to grilled fish such as salmon or trout.

Safety First

Always ask your doctor before adding fresh ginger to your diet. Discuss the risks and benefits of using fresh ginger to ease your morning sickness. If fresh ginger isn't doing the trick, some doctors recommend ginger supplements; however, taking ginger supplements in large doses is potentially dangerous and can cause miscarriage or menstrual bleeding, according to the book "The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy." Eating ginger in fresh form is unlikely to cause these problems because you would have to eat a huge amount of the herb at one time to match the megadoses in some supplements.

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