Evidence Based

Can I Eat Eggplant During Pregnant? Safety & Benefits

Susan Adeosun, Dr.

Published at 00:36

Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN

Medical reviewer

Eggs are a protein-rich meal option for pregnant women. Photo: Nattaro Ohe/shutterstock

Nutrition plays a crucial role during pregnancy, supporting the mother’s and baby’s health and development. But it raises questions for expecting mothers. What you eat can significantly impact the pregnancy journey.

Eggplant, also known as aubergine, is a nutrient-rich vegetable with a unique taste and texture. It’s commonly found in Mediterranean, Asian, and Middle Eastern dishes, adding flavor and depth to various recipes. Most women can relate to feeling hunger pangs in early pregnancy, but can they enjoy eggplant safely during pregnancy? This blog will discuss the nutritional benefits, potential risks, and expert opinions to provide you with a well-informed perspective on whether eggplant should be a part of your prenatal diet.

Should You Eat Eggplant During Pregnancy

  • Eggplants are rich in essential nutrients like fiber, vitamins C and K, potassium, and folate, which are beneficial during pregnancy.
  • When cooked thoroughly, eggplants are generally safe to eat during pregnancy.
  • Pregnant women should ensure that eggplants are properly cooked to avoid any risk of foodborne illness.
  • It’s always advisable for pregnant women to consult their healthcare provider regarding dietary choices to ensure they meet their specific nutritional needs and any individual considerations.

Can You Eat Brinjal During Pregnancy?

Is It Safe To Eat Eggs While Pregnant
Is It Safe To Eat Eggs While Pregnant? Photo: Shidlovski/shutterstock

Eggplants, or brinjals as some call them, are vegetables known for their glossy, deep purple skin and unique, somewhat spongy texture when cooked. They belong to the nightshade family of plants, including tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers.

Eggplants are commonly used in various cuisines worldwide, particularly in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Asian dishes. They can be grilled, roasted, fried, or used in stews and curries, offering a versatile ingredient for cooking.

To the question of the day, eggplants are totally safe to eat during pregnancy. There are many diet choices, like how to detox your body while pregnant, but there’s no need to worry about eggplants stirring up your body in unexpected ways. 

Research shows that vegetables like eggplant help pregnant women deliver healthy babies[1]. Some old tales about eggplants triggering early labor or kickstarting your menstrual cycle are floating around, but there’s no scientific evidence to back up those claims.

They are helpful for pregnancy because they contain a very balanced nutrient profile and do not trigger any pregnancy-related conditions like gestational diabetes. They won’t spike your blood sugar levels, so you can still enjoy them without any guilt. 

So, feel free to include eggplants in your pregnancy menu. Roast them, grill them, stuff them — get creative with it. Just remember to balance them out with other nutritious foods to keep everything in check. 

If you have any doubts or concerns, speaking with your healthcare provider is always a good idea.

Health Benefits Of Eating Eggplant During Pregnancy

There is no harm in researching if a meal works for your pregnancy. For instance, “Is pomegranate good for pregnancy?” is another common query that women often search for. But here, we have documented the benefits of eating eggplants during pregnancy. 

Rich In Nutrients

Eggplants are low in calories but high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals such as folate, potassium, and vitamins C and K. Folate is particularly important during pregnancy as it helps prevent neural tube defects in the developing fetus.

The full nutrient profile[2] of 1 unpeeled raw eggplant includes:

  • Calories: 137 calories.
  • Carbohydrates: 32.2 grams. 
  • Sugar: 19.3 grams. 
  • Protein: 5.37 grams.
  • Fat: 0.986 grams. 
  • Fiber: 16.4 grams. 
  • Calcium: 49.3 mg. 
  • Iron: 1.26 mg. 
  • Potassium: 1.25 grams.

Antioxidant Properties

Eggplant contains phytonutrients like nasunin, which has antioxidant properties[3] that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants combat free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells in the body. 

This is beneficial for both the mother and the developing baby. Antioxidants also prevent the occurrence of chronic diseases like cancer[4].

Heart Health

Eggplants contribute to heart health in pregnant women by helping to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and improve cardiovascular function[5]. Eggplant is a good source of dietary fiber, which plays a crucial role in heart health. 

Also, eggplant contains potassium, an essential mineral that plays a key role in maintaining normal blood pressure levels. Potassium helps counteract the effects of sodium, a mineral that can increase blood pressure when consumed in excess. Potassium helps lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension, a major risk factor for pregnant women.

Digestive Health

Your digestive health can also greatly benefit from eggplants. The fiber content in eggplant can aid digestion and prevent constipation, a common issue during pregnancy. 

Fiber helps add bulk to stool and promotes regular bowel movements. Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy due to hormonal changes and pressure on the digestive tract from the growing uterus. Eating adequate fiber from foods like eggplant can help alleviate constipation and promote digestive comfort during pregnancy. 

Also, high-fiber foods like eggplant tend to be more filling and can help promote satiety, which may be beneficial during pregnancy to manage appetite and prevent excessive weight gain. 

Blood Sugar Control

The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood sugar levels after consumption. Foods with a low GI are digested and absorbed more slowly, resulting in a gradual and steady increase in blood sugar levels. 

Eggplants have a low glycemic index, which means they do not cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. Instead, they provide sustained energy and help prevent fluctuations in blood sugar[6] levels, which can be particularly good for pregnant women, especially those with gestational diabetes or at risk of developing it.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy and can lead to complications for both the mother and the baby if not properly managed. One of the key ways to manage gestational diabetes is to control blood sugar levels through diet and lifestyle modifications. 

Adding low-glycemic foods like eggplant to the diet can help pregnant women with gestational diabetes better regulate their blood sugar levels and reduce the need for insulin or other medications.

Ways To Add Eggplant To Your Diet

Adding eggplant to your diet is delicious and a great way to reap its nutritional benefits as a pregnant woman. And it does not have to be boring; there are many exciting recipes to use in your diet.

 Here are some tasty ways to enjoy eggplant:

  1. Grilled Eggplant: Slice eggplant into rounds or lengthwise, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then grill until tender and slightly charred. You can enjoy it as a side dish or add it to sandwiches or wraps.
  2. Baba Ganoush: This Middle Eastern dip is made by roasting eggplant until soft, then blending it with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. Serve with pita bread or fresh veggies for a healthy snack or appetizer.
  3. Stir-fry: Add sliced eggplant to your favorite stir-fry recipe for a hearty and nutritious addition. It pairs well with other vegetables, tofu, chicken, or shrimp, and absorbs the flavors of the sauce beautifully.
  4. Eggplant Curry: Cut eggplant into cubes and add it to your favorite curry recipe. It adds a wonderful creamy texture and absorbs the spices and flavors of the curry sauce perfectly.
  5. Eggplant Lasagna: Use thinly sliced eggplant in place of noodles in your favorite lasagna recipe for a low-carb twist. Layer it with marinara sauce, ricotta cheese, spinach, and mozzarella for a delicious and nutritious meal.

Eggplant Sandwiches: Roast or grill thick slices and use them as a hearty filling for sandwiches or wraps. Add your favorite toppings, such as avocado, lettuce, tomato, and hummus, for a satisfying meal on the go.

Side-Effects Of Having Eggplant While Pregnant

While eggplant is generally safe to consume during pregnancy, there are a few considerations regarding potential side effects:

  1. Allergic Reactions: Some women may have allergies to eggplant[7]. though this is relatively rare. If you experience symptoms like itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing after eating eggplant, seeking medical attention is essential.
  2. Gastrointestinal Issues: Eating eggplant in excessive amounts might lead to gastrointestinal discomfort such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea, mainly if you’re not used to consuming high-fiber foods. Moderation is key to avoiding such issues.
  3. Pesticide Residues: Like other fruits and vegetables, eggplants may contain pesticide residues if not properly washed or if conventionally grown. Opt for organic eggplants or thoroughly wash and peel conventionally grown ones to minimize exposure.

The occasional consumption of eggplant is unlikely to cause harm during pregnancy. However, listening to your body and monitoring for any adverse reactions is essential. If you have any concerns or experience unusual symptoms after eating eggplant, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice.


Eggplant, with its rich nutrient profile, is definitely a valuable addition to a pregnant woman’s diet. It offers numerous health benefits, including being a good source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

While eggplant is generally safe to consume, it’s essential to be mindful of potential allergic reactions. As always, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider for personalized dietary recommendations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to eat eggplant during pregnancy?

Yes, eggplant is generally safe to consume during pregnancy and can offer nutritional benefits when included in a balanced diet.

Can eggplant trigger early labor or menstrual cycles during pregnancy?

No scientific evidence supports claims that eggplant can trigger early labor or menstrual cycles during pregnancy.

What nutrients does eggplant provide for pregnant women?

Eggplant is rich in fiber, vitamins C and K, potassium, folate, and antioxidants, all beneficial for maternal and fetal health during pregnancy.

Are there any side effects of eating eggplant while pregnant?

While rare, some women may experience allergic reactions or gastrointestinal discomfort from consuming eggplant. It’s essential to monitor for any adverse reactions and practice moderation.

Dr Susan Adeosun (MPH, MD) is a Medical Doctor and Public Health enthusiast. She has over five years’ worth of experience in public health and preventive medicine and is a firm believer in the famous phrase by Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus, “prevention is better than cure.” Her journey through public health, combined with her love for writing, has resulted in the publication of several health articles on various blogs, websites, and peer review journals.


MANA adheres to strict sourcing guidelines, avoids most tertiary sources, and uses only professional resources updated to contain accurate and current information. We majorly rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research from reputable medical associations. For more information regarding our editorial process, please refer to the provided resources.

  1. Murphy, M., Stettler, N., Reiss, R. and Smith, K. (2014). Associations of consumption of fruits and vegetables during pregnancy with infant birth weight or small for gestational age births: a systematic review of the literature. International journal of women’s health, [online] pp.899–899. doi:https://doi.org/10.2147/ijwh.s67130.
  2. Usda.gov. (2024). FoodData Central. [online] Available at: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169228/nutrients [Accessed 14 May 2024].
  3. Noda, Y., Takao Kneyuki, Igarashi, K., Mori, A. and Packer, L. (2000). Antioxidant activity of nasunin, an anthocyanin in eggplant peels. Toxicology, [online] 148(2-3), pp.119–123. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/s0300-483x(00)00202-x.
  4. Aune, D., Keum, N., Giovannucci, E., Fadnes, L.T., Paolo Boffetta, Greenwood, D.C., Tonstad, S., Vatten, L.J., Elio Riboli and Norat, T. (2018). Dietary intake and blood concentrations of antioxidants and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer, and all-cause mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. ˜The œAmerican journal of clinical nutrition, [online] 108(5), pp.1069–1091. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy097.
  5. Nishimura, M., Suzuki, M., Takahashi, R., Yamaguchi, S., Kazufumi Tsubaki, Fujita, T., Nishihira, J. and Nakamura, K. (2019). Daily Ingestion of Eggplant Powder Improves Blood Pressure and Psychological State in Stressed Individuals: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study. Nutrients, [online] 11(11), pp.2797–2797. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11112797.
  6. Fatemeh Yarmohammadi, Mahboobeh Ghasemzadeh Rahbardar and Hosseinzadeh, H. (2021). Effect of eggplant (Solanum melongena) on the metabolic syndrome: A review. [online] 24(4), pp.420–427. doi:https://doi.org/10.22038/ijbms.2021.50276.11452.
  7. Ovidiu Berghi, Vrinceanu, D., Romica Cergan, Dumitru, M. and Costache, A. (2021). Solanum melongena allergy (A comprehensive review). Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, [online] 22(4). doi:https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2021.10495.

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