Pregnancy can be a beautiful yet emotionally draining time. If you’re like I was, you spend much of your day focusing on ways to nourish you and your developing baby better.
One of the most frequent questions I get asked is the benefits and risks of eating olives in pregnancy. The good news is, overall, olives are very healthy to consume during pregnancy!
This short article will dig a little deeper into the benefits and potential risks of olives during pregnancy.
What are Olives?
Olives are a fruit… yep, that’s right! Olives are small fruits that grow on olive trees. They belong to a group of fruits known as stone fruits, or drupes. They’re related to mangoes, peaches, and almonds. Olives are commonly enjoyed as a snack with cheese or used as an ingredient in salads, stews, and sandwiches.
Their taste can vary by type but often taste salty, rich, and slightly oily. Olives, along with pickles, are commonly craved by women during early pregnancy when morning sickness sets in.
Related: If you’re having severe morning sickness, also known as hyperemesis gravidarum, check out my diet tips here.
Are Olives During Pregnancy Safe?
Yes! Olives during pregnancy are safe. In fact, they may be beneficial for both you and your child.
New research shows that a mother’s diet while pregnant has the potential to influence the metabolism, eating habits, and food preferences of the developing child. Olives are a staple component of the Mediterranean diet.
Studies show that women who follow a diet pattern similar to that of a Mediterranean diet during pregnancy could be beneficial for their children. Researchers found that moms who ate a diet high in inflammatory foods like red meat, processed foods, and dairy were more likely to have a child with a higher weight during adolescence.
Why Am I Craving Olives During Pregnancy?
Food cravings for certain foods like olives in pregnancy are often related to fluctuations in hormone levels. For example, olives are high in sodium. So, if you’re craving olives, your body may be telling you that it needs more sodium (salt).
Nutritional Value of Olives
- Calories: 116
- Protein: 0.8 grams
- Carbs: 6.3 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
- Fiber: 3.2 grams
- Fat: 10.7 grams
- Saturated fat: 1.4 grams
- Monounsaturated fat: 7.89 grams
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.91 grams
- Sodium: 735 milligrams
Potential Risks of Olives During Pregnancy
Due to the potential for listeria to survive many cured olive preparation methods, some studies suggest choosing full heat treatment to ensure safety. Olives that are heat-treated are usually found in jars or tins and are softer to bite.
Additionally, avoid olives from buffets or delis as this may increase the risk of cross-contamination.
Olives are also usually high in sodium. High salt intake can be harmful if you have certain health conditions. Moreover, it can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure during pregnancy, or gestational hypertension, can increase your risk for preeclampsia.
Health Benefits of Olives During Pregnancy
Olives are a great source of calcium, copper, vitamin E, and iron which are all vital nutrients to support your and your developing baby.
Overall, olives are a healthy pregnancy snack. First, they are lower in cholesterol than many foods. The majority of the fat in olives comes from oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat that has numerous health benefits, including improving heart health. They’re also high in fiber, which can promote regular bowel movements and increase satiety.
Olives are also chock-full of antioxidants that work to fight inflammation and neutralize free radicals.
What is the Difference Between Black and Green Olives
While it may seem like they are nearly two different small fruits, the only real difference is how ripe they are. Green olives are unripe and black olives are ripe!
They also share very similar nutritional values, making them both a great snack choice during pregnancy.
The good news is you can definitely enjoy olives during pregnancy. In fact, they actually are a much healthier option than many foods we often crave while we are growing a tiny human!
However, you’ll want to stick with heat-treated olives and avoid olives from the deli or a buffet to decrease the risk of cross-contamination.
1 thought on “Olives During Pregnancy: A Complete Guide”
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