Animal Liver when processed into food does have a distinctive taste. In addition, this type of innards is also dense in nutrients that can help meet daily needs.
Unfortunately, liver and processed products containing liver are foods that are not recommended for consumption by pregnant women. This is because the nutritional content in it is potentially dangerous for pregnancy. So, in order to understand more why the liver is not recommended for pregnancy, come on, see further explanation below.
Animal Liver Nutrition Content
Basically, the liver is a high-nutrition food. In fact, some of its nutritional content can help meet the daily needs required by pregnant women. These include iron, vitamin A, protein, and folic acid which are available in abundance.
During pregnancy, protein and folic acid play an important role in supporting fetal growth. Meanwhile, iron plays a role in ensuring the formation of sufficient hemoglobin in the blood so that it can prevent anemia which is quite common in pregnant women.
Meanwhile, vitamin A is also available in very large quantities. This is beneficial for the development of the baby’s eyes and bones, maintains the immune system, and maintains the metabolism of pregnant women.
Why should pregnant women avoid Liver consumption?
Unfortunately, despite being high in nutrients, the liver contains vitamin A in the form of retinol. This content can be very dangerous for the developing fetus in the womb. For example in beef liver.
Reported by Baby Center, one serving of beef liver contains more than seven times the daily recommended intake of vitamin A for pregnant women. This amount may be different for liver from other sources, such as chicken, pork, or goose. However, even though it is small, the content of vitamin A in the liver is still dangerous because it is in the “preformed” form, namely retinol.
The Baby Center and Mom Junction pages reported that high levels of retinol can potentially cause miscarriages and birth defects, especially in the first few months of pregnancy. These defects can take the form of mutations, or even lead to the development of cancer cells.
In addition, vitamin A is also fat soluble. This means, when the body doesn’t need it, vitamin A will be absorbed and stored in the body. If the level is too high, it can be toxic.
Should completely avoid Animal Liver consumption during pregnancy?
In fact, there is no “official” recommendation for avoiding the liver completely during pregnancy. Taking a small serving once or twice a month may not be considered harmful, as Baby Center explains. However, avoiding them would be the best course of action, added the Mom Junction page.
Furthermore, if you are planning a pregnancy or are pregnant in the first trimester, you should stay away from liver consumption. Meanwhile, if you are pregnant in the final trimester, you should be careful about consuming it.
During pregnancy, adequate intake of vitamin A is also necessary. If you are recommended to increase your intake of foods rich in vitamin A, foods rich in vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene can be the solution. These include carrots, broccoli, cabbage, pumpkin, spinach, mangoes, or papayas–rather than retinol ones like liver.
Apart from liver, you may also have to avoid other processed liver products, such as cod liver oil supplements, shark liver oil, liver sausage, or liver pate. Also, avoid using skin care products that contain retinol.
Liver consumption during pregnancy is not completely prohibited. However, avoiding them may be the best option during pregnancy to avoid more serious risks.
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