Yes, pregnant women can go ahead and eat green olives because they are very nutritious. They can provide various important nutrients like fats, fiber, iron, calcium and antioxidants.
However, there are a few things to note when considering it:
- Moderation: While olives can be a very healthy addition to your diet, it’s important to eat smaller quantities. Eating approximately 5 to 6 pieces a day is suggested okay for pregnant women. Like many other foods, bingeing on it can lead to excess calories which may cause you to put on unnecessary weight.
- Sodium content: This food can be high in sodium due to the brining or curing process. Too much sodium can cause high blood pressure and other health issues. That’s why it’s rather best to enjoy it in moderation.
- Food safety: If your olives come from a deli, then ensure that they are properly stored and prepared to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses. This includes getting rid of ones that appear spoilt, have pits or an off-putting smell.
- Varieties: There are different types of this fruit such as the green and black types, and various preparation methods like stuffed and pitted. So when choosing, go by what you prefer the most considering any dietary restriction.
- If you have known allergy or sensitivities to olives or related foods such as the olive oil, be cautious and talk with your doctor before eating it.
Why am I craving olives when pregnant?
Pregnancy cravings are pretty common thing, and they can really be driven by various factors– both physical and psychological.
Even though we don’t have the whole story on why we crave certain things while pregnant, there are some pretty good guesses and factors that might shed some light on why you’re suddenly all about those olives or some other random foods during this special time:
#1 Hormonal changes
Pregnancy is usually linked with certain hormonal fluctuations that mostly affect the sense of taste and smell. These changes may make certain flavors more appealing or trigger cravings for certain foods like green olives.
#2 Nutritional Needs
Your body has an increased nutritional demand during pregnancy. And this may lead to cravings for foods that contain particular nutrients.
Olives for instance, contain healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants, which may be appetizing to your body’s changing needs.
#3 Cultural or Familiarity
Cravings can also be influenced by cultural or family traditions. If olives or olive-based dishes are commonly enjoyed in your culture or have positive associations from your past, this could contribute to your craving.
#4 Emotional factors
Pregnancy can be a time of increased emotions and stress. Some women turn to comfort foods like sour candies, or olives as a way to cope with emotional stress.
#5 Individual variability
Each woman’s pregnancy experience is unique and cravings can vary widely from one person to another.
Your personal tastes and preferences play an important role in determining your specific cravings.
Is green olives good for early pregnancy?
Green olives can be a great choice for your diet in those early pregnancy months, including the first and second trimesters.
You see, these little green gems are loaded with healthy fats- also monounsaturated fats that helps with inflammation and support heart health.
And there’s even more! They are like a treasure chest of vitamins and antioxidants, which aren’t just delicious, but are excellent way to make sure you’re getting all those good stuffs your baby needs everyday.
In fact, olives are reported to have a host of other benefits ideal for a healthy pregnancy. They may contribute to strengthening the immune system, promoting a better heart health and regulating blood pressure levels.
Eating these in early pregnancy can potentially help to prevent anaemia due to the high iron content.
However, it’s recommended to eat green olives in moderation, and as part of a balanced diet, especially when pregnant.
Benefits of olives during pregnancy
These fruits can be a healthy food choice for expectant mothers because they offer so many good nutrients.
Here are some reasons it can be a great addition to your pregnancy diet:
- Good source of vitamins and minerals like E vitamin, iron, calcium and fiber. These nutrients make a fantastic way to get your daily required nutrients.
- They contain monounsaturated fats which are usually considered healthy for the heart.
- Olives are full of antioxidants and phytochemicals which are helpful in protecting body cells from inflammation and oxidative stress.
- They are powerhouse of fiber. Fiber helps digestion and allows for free bowel movements, which is usually good in pregnancies.
- They can add flavor to your meals and make it easier for expectant moms to enjoy varied and nutritious diet. You can use as toppings on salads, pasta dishes or even snacks.
- Beneficial for baby’s nourishment and development.
- Olives are packed with Vitamins A and E which can reinforce and boost the immune system.
- Help in treating and preventing anaemia in pregnancies.
- When you need a much lower calorie option, then you can as well consider olives, as they can satisfy those cravings without the excess calories.
Best olives for pregnancy
When you need to choose a specific type of green olives to eat while pregnant, it’s a good idea to opt for varieties that cut back on the sodium and are processed in a way that preserves their nutritional content.
These types of olives are generally considered good options for pregnant women:
- Kalamata olives are very low in sodium as compared to the green and black ones. They also have a rich and distinct flavor which makes them a popular choice in Mediterranean cusines.
- Ligurian: These types are also known ad Taggiasca. They are usually small, milk and low in sodium too. You’d find them mostly in Italian dishes.
- Picholine: Very small green olives with mild flavor. They are often used as garnish in various dishes and have low sodium content as well.
- Natural or unprocessed ones: Look for olives that are labelled as natural or unprocessed as they tend to have less added sodium and fewer additives. These types are closer to their natural state.
- Fresh and homemade olives: If you have access to fresh ones, or can prepare them at home then you can certainly control the amount of salt for the brining. This as well perhaps allow you to reduce the sodium content to your liking.
It’s always important to go for olives sealed in containers and be sure to read the labels to check for their sodium content and additives.
Avoid ones that are very high in sodium and have added flavoring or preservatives.
Pregnant women can safely consume green olives but they should eat moderate amounts and make it part of a well-balanced diet.
While they offer some nutritional benefits like healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants, you should be mindful on the sodium content and if possible, go for lower sodium varieties to manage your overall sodium intake. Too much of sodium isn’t the best at this time.
As with any other food on this journey, individual tolerance and preferences may vary, so it’s important to listen to your body and reach out to your doctor or dietitian if you have some specific concerns.