Should I Avoid Alfalfa Sprouts During Pregnancy?

by Kelsey Casselbury

Alfalfa sprouts in bowls

Pedro Antonio SalaverrA-a Calahorra/iStock/Getty Images

Fresh produce should be a staple in a pregnant woman's diet because of the abundance of vitamins and minerals they provide. There is, however, one key exception: Alfalfa sprouts. Though sprouts can be part of a healthy diet during other life stages, the risk of foodborne illnesses such as salmonella, listeria and E.coli means pregnant women should avoid this food.

Risk of Disease

Since 1996, at least 30 cases of foodborne illness hav been attributed to raw and lightly cooked sprouts, according to FoodSafety.gov. Although pregnant women are not an increased risk of contracting these illnesses, they can be damaging to the fetus if the mother falls ill. In rare cases, salmonella can trigger a miscarriage, says NSW Food Authority. Rinsing the sprouts does not reduce the risk; if you must consume them, cook the sprouts thoroughly first.

Photo Credits

  • Pedro Antonio SalaverrA-a Calahorra/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Kelsey Casselbury is a freelance writer and editor based in central Maryland. Her clients have included Livestrong, School Nutrition magazine, What's Up? Media, American Academy of Clinical Chemistry, SmartBrief and more. She has a formal education in personal training/nutrition and a bachelor's degree in journalism from The Pennsylvania State University.