Can You Eat Eggplant While Pregnant?

If you are pregnant, you probably find that you spend a lot of your time googling what you can and can't eat. While it's likely you understand that you should steer clear of undercooked meat and alcohol and that things like caffeine and high-mercury fish should be consumed in moderation, there are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to eating while pregnant, per Healthline.

There are a few rare items that you may not be aware of, like staying away from raw sprouts, and there are things you'll come across that will have you wondering if it is, in fact, safe for your unborn baby. Eggplant is a great source of nutrition as it contains antioxidants that protect our cells. It is especially great for those with diabetes as it can help balance blood sugar (via WebMD). But, still, you may have come across articles or a friend telling you to avoid the big purple fruit (yes, it is a fruit) while pregnant. But can it actually be harmful?

Eggplant is safe to eat in moderation

If you are craving eggplant parmesan from your favorite Italian restaurant, go for it! Just think twice before ordering it every single night. According to MomJunction, eggplant has folate, which is great for your new baby's brain development. It also helps with digestion and can lower cholesterol and blood sugar, making it a great option for pregnant people. On the flip side though, it can also lead to preterm labor if consumed in large quantities, although the research on this is slim.

The most concerning aspect of eggplant is eating it raw. According to Pregnancy Food Checker, it contains solanine, which can be toxic when eaten too often. When cooked, solanine is killed off, so that eggplant parm you love is perfectly safe. Pregnant people may also be allergic to eggplant and can experience unpleasant side effects like itchiness, hives, and stomach pain, per MomJunction. But eggplant may also have a bit of magic for pregnant folks hoping to go into labor. 

Eating eggplant may help induce labor

People who are late in their third trimester and are suffering from back pain, inability to sleep, and more unpleasant side effects are likely looking for ways to speed up the labor process naturally. According to Healthline, exercising, having sex, and eating spicy foods are some of the most common ways people can try and induce labor. A lesser known option is eating eggplant. While no studies show a direct correlation between eggplant and labor, one specific restaurant has become famous for their eggplant dish, which has been credited for many, many people going into labor after eating it.

According to What to Expect, Scalini's, located near Atlanta, Georgia, has become famous for their "eggplant babies." Tons of folks who are desperate to not be pregnant anymore have given their dish credit for inducing their labor just 48 hours after eating it. In fact, if you walk into Scalini's, you'll see a wall of over 300 photos of those "eggplant babies" proving that the dish does work, per Romper. While it could be due to the spices or merely a very large coincidence, if you're hoping to induce labor, it can't hurt trying this eggplant recipe, which, although quite tedious, can be made at home. Even if labor doesn't start, it is still a delicious meal to enjoy.