Is it safe to eat raw honey during pregnancy, especially during first trimester? Read this article to know if there are any honey in pregnancy side effects. you will also get to learn of the amazing benefits raw honey can have, especially among pregnant mothers.
Eating Raw Honey during Pregnancy – is it safe?
Honey is widely known both as a sweetener and healthy food that can be utilized during pregnancy. Many women worry about taking honey because of the fear of infant botulism, a deadly disease caused by a type of bacteria (Clostridium botulinum) that is present in honey.
It is important to understand that infant botulism cannot be transmitted from mother to the unborn child because adult intestines are very acidic to facilitate the multiplication or transmission of these toxins.
The adult form of botulism, known as “adult Intestinal toxemia” is very rare. Women should, therefore, embrace honey as a highly nutritious food that can immensely benefit them instead of focusing on the myths or negative stories about it.
READ MORE: Raw Honey Dangers – Botulism
However, is also advisable that you understand the nature of “intestinal toxemia”, the adult form of infant botulism, so that expectant mothers should report and get treated. This form of bacteria is also found in soils and water.
Foods should be properly cooked at temperatures more than 121 degrees for at least three minutes.
Apart from raw honey foods with low acidity, for example, green beans, corn beets, and asparagus are also susceptible to this bacteria, and should be cooked appropriately.
Improperly handled baked potatoes and fermented or home-canned fish are also prone to the bacteria.
Pay close attention to honey storage, refrigeration or temperatures when handling all foods to avoid infections or providing a favorable environment for a harmful organism to grow or multiply. All honey or other food containers should be heat-treated.
As stated earlier the possibility of raw honey–related illnesses are minimal. Nevertheless, pregnant mothers experiencing any abnormalities after taking raw honey should seek medical attention.
Such complications include:
- general body weakness,
- difficulty in swallowing,
- double vision, and
- difficulty chewing
The checks would be to ensure that they do not suffer from any honey related allergies or bacterial infections.
Should You Eat Raw Honey while Pregnant?
Yes. Eating raw honey during pregnancy is recommended for expectant mothers because of its high nutritional value and health benefits. Raw honey contains more than 180 different substances, mostly of sugars.
Besides, honey also contains minerals, proteins, enzymes, vitamins, aroma polyphones amino acids and many others.
The high sugar content is a good source of energy for women during pregnancy. Although most of the sugars are collected from nectar, some of it is formed by enzymes, honey acids and the ripening process.
Suitable Dosage or Amount of Honey for Pregnant Mothers
Raw honey is also healthier for mothers, because it is easily digestible, thus providing instant energy. A daily dose of between 20 and 30 grams is recommended.
Honey also contains about 0.5% protein, mainly in the form of amino acids and enzymes. Amino acids are biologically important organic compounds mainly containing nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen and carbon.
All these elements are essential are important in the synthesis of other foods. The body needs amino acids because it cannot assimilate proteins from other sources in their original state.
This, therefore, makes raw honey an essential item in the processing of other foods taken during pregnancy.
Amino acids are also important in the production of sulfur, a very important element in protection against costly, painful and sometimes deadly diseases such as arthritis.
Sulphur cannot be taken directly as a dietary supplement because it requires several other compounds to be successfully introduced into the blood stream.
Raw honey contains most of these compounds and is therefore very crucial in the processing of, not only sulfur but many other nutritional compounds.
Amino acids are also very critical in the control of many cellular processes in the body. This makes it an important nutritive necessity for pregnant women. Some of the cellular processes are important in the repair and treatment of body tissues internally and externally (on the skin).
The external function is what makes it a popular item among beauticians and dermatologists. Studies have proved that amino acids are essential in the formation of firm nails, strong hair and beautiful skin.
Benefits Honey During Pregnancy
- Helps in digestion process: Enzymes present in raw honey help pregnant women in pre-digestion of food, therefore, avoiding stomach problems. Enzymes are important for nutritional support. There are several types of enzymes that facilitate the digestion of diverse but specific foods.
- Improves nutritional health: The lack of enzymes can, therefore, cause nutritional deficiency among expectant women, not necessarily because they do not take foods rich in the needed nutrients, but as a result of enzyme deficiency. Raw honey plays a big role in the provision of many types of enzymes.
- Boosts appetite: Raw honey boosts women’s appetite during pregnancy. This is because honey contains several aroma-building compounds that make it an important in the food industry. It is advisable that you use honey at least in one of your meals every day.
- Boosts Immune system: Raw honey is also important because it boosts your immune system. It contains anti-virus, anti-bacterial, antioxidants and anti-fungal properties. It is for this reason that it is recommended in the prevention and treatment of many diseases.
- Lowers Cholesterol Levels: It has been proved that raw honey lowers cholesterol levels by about 13%. High cholesterol levels are responsible for cardiovascular problems in the body. This makes raw honey a very effective tool in the prevention and cure of heart diseases.
- Helps in Diarrhea treatment: In addition, it helps in the treatment of diarrhea. Honey is used to fight viruses or weaken bacteria that cause diarrhea.
Raw Honey Pregnancy Diet
Having a jar of honey at home or place of work throughout your pregnancy or all times is very important.
- Drink one or two tablespoons of honey dissolved in a warm class of water three times a day to prevent or cure coughs or flu. It softens cough and significantly reduces flu symptoms.
- Mixing two tablespoons of raw honey in a warm glass of black tea reduces stomach upsets. This solution should be taken three times in a day.
- Replace sugar in your diet with raw honey. Sugar is known to be one of the causes of obesity and diabetes among expectant mothers. Every gram of sugar is converted to 2 grams of fat. Use honey in place of sugar anytime you take tea or coffee.
- You can also use it in place of sugar when cooking any other food. Raw honey mixes well with other foods, in the same way sugar does. You can spread honey on a snack, whole meal toast cracker, or natural yogurt.
- During pregnancy, you should try to reduce or completely remove junk food from your diet. Cut out crisps, fried foods, diet fizzy drinks or pastries, takeaways other processed foods.
- This can be substituted with honey together with high-octane foods such as brown bread, vegetables and plant proteins.
Prepare honey banana muffins. This will require;
- 3 big bananas
- 1 egg
- 1tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 5 tsp raw honey
- 250g whole meal flour
- 2 tsp butter
- 1 chopped banana
The procedure to make a diet for raw honey during pregnancy or for a pregnant mother is:
- Beat the melted butter, egg, mashed bananas and oil then leave it for about ten minutes in a bowl.
- Mix the bicarbonate soda, baking powder, salt and wholemeal flour.
- Spoon the batter to twelve muffins after adding the flour to the banana mixture. Put each banana slice on each muffin and bake for between 20 to 25 minutes at 190c.
If you are overweight and need to lose excess weight during pregnancy, use raw honey with lemon, at least twice daily, but ensure you have protein foods in every meal.