3 Benefits of Eating Chard During Pregnancy

The consumption of chard during pregnancy is important, as it generates a series of health benefits for the mother and the developing baby.
3 Benefits of Eating Chard During Pregnancy

Last update: 12 September, 2022

Eating chard during pregnancy can produce a series of benefits due to its concentration of micronutrients. At this stage of life, the requirements of some vitamins and minerals are increased, so it’s crucial to satisfy them in order to ensure the optimal development of the fetus.

Before starting, it should be noted that during gestation, certain adjustments must be made on a dietary level to avoid possible poisoning that may cause damage to the baby. At this stage, the body is in a delicate moment and there are some bacteria that could cause miscarriages. For this reason, all raw foods of animal origin should be prohibited.

Benefits of chard during pregnancy

Here are the main benefits of consuming chard during pregnancy. Remember that it’ll be important to include it in the context of a varied and slightly hypercaloric diet to meet nutritional requirements.

1. Improves intestinal transit

It’s important to note that chard has a high concentration of fiber inside. We’re talking about a substance that’s not digestible, but that’s capable of increasing the volume of the fecal bolus. Thanks to this, a much more efficient intestinal transit is experienced, which reduces constipation, as evidenced by research published in the journal BMJ.

If we take into account that pregnant women suffer more frequently from this intestinal mishap, it’ll be important to ensure a sufficient intake of fiber.

Fresh chard.
Studies have proven that chard helps to improve intestinal transit and reduce constipation.

2. Chard prevents defects in the baby’s neural tube closure

At the same time, it’s important to mention that chard is a source of folic acid. The body of pregnant women requires a higher amount of this element, as it helps prevent defects in the closure of the neural tube, according to a study published in the journal BMC Medicine. In fact, supplementation with this nutrient is usually prescribed before pregnancy in order to minimize the risks.

3. It prevents gestational anemia

Likewise, chard has a high concentration of minerals in its interior, among which iron stands out. Situations of anemia aren’t uncommon in pregnant women due to an increase in total blood volume. In order to avoid such a problem, it’s essential to ensure that the diet contains a higher dose of iron. In addition, part of this should be administered with vitamin C, as it enhances its absorption on an intestinal level.

How to consume chard correctly?

To get the most out of chard, it’s best to consume it when it’s in season, that is, from October to April. In addition, it should always be eaten raw. Some cooking methods can denature proteins and vitamins and cause a loss of antioxidant compounds. Thus, their nutritional density is reduced and, with it, also part of their benefits.

This doesn’t mean that it can’t be cooked. It should simply be clarified that by including it in the diet in its raw form, for example, in salads, their benefits are maximized. You can always alternate between cooked and raw vegetables to maximize the positive effects of this type of product and ensure the 5 servings of fruits and vegetables that are recommended each day.

A leafy green salad.
It’s best to consume chard raw to enjoy all its benefits. It can also be eaten cooked, although it could lose some of its properties.

Storage of chard

It’s best to store chard out of direct sunlight at all times. The less contact it has with oxygen, the more it will maintain all its properties. This prevents oxidation of the various nutrients they contain. There’s always the option of chopping them to facilitate their handling, although it’s best for this process to be carried out until just before cooking or consumption.

Chard is very beneficial during pregnancy

As you’ve been able to see, the consumption of chard is totally indicated during pregnancy. Especially thanks to its concentration in folic acid and fiber. Both elements help to improve the well-being of the pregnant woman, and at the same time prevent problems in the development of the fetus. However, these aren’t the only important nutrients. It’s always advisable to have a balanced diet to prevent major problems.

Before concluding, we should point out what other lifestyle habits should be taken care of to achieve optimal fetal development. It’s always interesting to maintain a minimum level of physical activity, also during pregnancy. In this case, the effort must be adapted to the situation and to the characteristics of each woman, but in any case, it’s essential to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Otherwise, the risk of developing gestational diabetes increases.

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  • Tabbers MM, Benninga MA. Constipation in children: fibre and probiotics. BMJ Clin Evid. 2015;2015:0303. Published 2015 Mar 10.
  • McNulty H, Rollins M, Cassidy T, et al. Effect of continued folic acid supplementation beyond the first trimester of pregnancy on cognitive performance in the child: a follow-up study from a randomized controlled trial (FASSTT Offspring Trial). BMC Med. 2019;17(1):196. Published 2019 Oct 31. doi:10.1186/s12916-019-1432-4