Sprouts are highly nutritious. (Source: Getty Images)
Expecting mothers have to be extremely careful about their lifestyle and diet to ensure a healthy pregnancy. This means they need to follow a list of dos and don'ts when it comes to what they can eat or do. For instance, pregnant women are warned not to have raw sprouts, even though they are highly nutritious.
Dr Sonal Kumta, consultant, obstetrics and gynaecology, Fortis Hospital Mulund, told Express Parenting, "Sprouts have a lot of nutritional value. The protein content in them is significantly high. There are also significant amounts of vitamins, minerals and fibre which are beneficial for the body. Sprouts are good antioxidants; they detoxify the body and help in digestion. Sprouts are also alkaline so they help in reducing acidity in the body."
Sprouting is a process of germination. The container in which you sprout becomes moist and warm, making it an excellent site for anything to grow. So, if there is any contamination or infection including presence of E coli bacteria or Salmonella, they will also grow simultaneously, Dr Kumta explained. This bacteria, if it enters the mother's body, can cause illnesses that could even be fatal.
It's important to ensure taking good hygiene measures when having raw sprouts, the gynaecologist advised. Immunity is suppressed during pregnancy and expecting mothers should not really challenge that.
For pregnant women, it is safer to cook the sprouts before consumption. This will ensure the mother gets the desired nutrition without the fear of being infected.
Ready-to-eat sprouts are easily available today in the market. Dr Kumta, however, suggested that sprouting should be done at home to avoid health risk.
How to grow sprouts at home
For this, rinse the grain you want to sprout with warm water. Once the grains are properly soaked, throw away all the floating grains as they are dead and would not germinate. The grains should then be covered with a very fine cloth to prevent exposure to germs and flies, and kept at room temperature. Once the sprouts are ready, you have to either consume them soon or refrigerate to use them intermittently. Do not leave the sprouts out in the open for too long.