In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Can I eat honey while pregnant?” and provide information on whether there are concerns about consuming honey, whether it can be safe for babies, precautions that have to be taken before having them, and the benefits of honey.
Can I eat honey while pregnant?
Yes, you can eat honey while pregnant. Honey has been used as a natural remedy for many ailments. Pregnant women might be tempted to consume honey during pregnancy. It can be added to tea, toast, or yogurt.
Do not mix honey with lukewarm water as beneficial enzymes present in honey can get destroyed. Consume them with cold water or add them to chilled foods.
Why are there concerns about consuming honey?
There are concerns about consuming honey because honey might contain bacterial spores called Clostridium botulinum. This bacteria can multiply in the gut which can lead to Botulism.
Botulism can cause paralysis and weaken limbs. However, consuming honey should not be an issue for children over the age of 1. Pregnant women can eat honey because their immune system can help protect them against Botulism.
If you have doubts about whether you can consume honey during pregnancy, you can ask your physician.
Can honey be safe for the baby?
Yes, honey can be safe for the baby. Pregnant women suffering from botulism after consuming honey were seen to be rare. Even in those rare cases, honey did not cause birth issues or pregnancy problems.
Botulinum toxin has a higher molecular weight which can make it difficult to pass through the placenta. As a result, it is safe to consume honey even if you are pregnant.
Can young infants be given honey?
Avoid providing honey to babies below the age of 1 year. This is because, in a mother’s womb, a baby is protected against bacteria by the mother’s antibodies. Babies are no longer protected when they come out of the womb.
The immune systems of babies are underdeveloped too. So, it is better to avoid giving raw honey to babies.
What precautions need to be kept in mind before consuming honey?
As a pregnant woman, there is no issue with consuming honey. However, certain conditions need to be kept in mind which are given below:
- Pregnant women who suffer from gastrointestinal issues (Crohn’s disease) or have recently undergone gastrointestinal surgery might find it uncomfortable to eat honey.
Such women are prone to suffer from more digestive issues on consuming honey. So, it would be better to consult your doctor before consuming honey.
- If your healthcare provider has recommended antibiotics, it is better to avoid consuming honey. This is because antibiotics wipe out good bacteria from the stomach. You can consult your healthcare provider regarding this or temporarily avoid having honey.
- If you suffer from gestational diabetes, consume honey in moderation. This is because excess consumption of honey can spike glucose levels.
You don’t need to avoid consuming honey. Honey is a good source of antioxidants and nutrients. It also has a lower glycemic index compared to other sweeteners. So, consume them in moderation.
- Do not give honey to babies less than 1-year-old.
- To be on the safer side, you can have pasteurized honey. Also, check whether honey is certified by a government authority.
What are some benefits of eating honey?
Honey helps in improving respiratory health. It can be mixed with celery seeds and then eaten. Honey is also a good source of antioxidants. This can help in neutralizing free radicals.
Honey has antibacterial properties as well. Honey can be recommended for insomnia. Drinking a glass of milk mixed with honey can help in sleeping well.
Mixing honey along with lemon and ginger can help in relieving cough and cold. It can be given to treat sore throats.
Some research studies have associated honey consumption with a lower risk of ulcers. It might reduce the growth of H.Pylori bacteria which can be responsible for the development of duodenal ulcers.
Honey can also be applied to the scalp or wounds. As honey is anti-inflammatory in nature, it can help in healing wounds. Honey can be diluted with water and then applied to the scalp. This can help in getting rid of dandruff.
How much honey can be consumed during pregnancy?
There is no proper amount that is recommended for pregnancy. However, it is important to keep in mind that only less than 10 percent of calories should come from sugars during pregnancy.
In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Can I eat honey while pregnant?” and provided information on whether there are concerns about consuming honey, whether it can be safe for babies, precautions that have to be taken before having them, and the benefits of honey.