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Onions During Pregnancy – Benefits & Risks

April 21, 2023

Onions, the very smell of these can make a pregnant woman retch and throw up. They have such a strong pungent smell that cannot miss your nose. Tearing up while chopping onions is nothing new but pregnancy can make your eyes water even more. While some pregnant women prefer to completely avoid these onions, some love their crunchy texture and sharp taste. Is onion good for pregnant women? Here is everything you need to know about consuming onion during pregnancy.

Book an appointment with Ms. Abhilasha V for Nutrition advices and Diet plans.

Onions During Pregnancy

Onions are a staple vegetable in many households. Almost every dish you consume will contain onions in some form. It could be sliced, raw, cooked or pureed. Onion, despite its pungent smell, offers a distinct taste that adds flavor to a dish. You can definitely eat onion during pregnancy as long as your body does not reject it.

Onions contain useful nutrients like antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and even trace minerals. It also contains calcium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium and even folate, all of which are essential during pregnancy. To top it all, onions are low in calories, so you need not worry about gaining weight during pregnancy due to the onions you eat.

All the essential nutrients present in onions can help in the healthy development of the baby and aid the mother’s health too.

To Know More : Can I have pineapple and strawberries post giving birth?

Can I Eat Onion During Pregnancy?

Many pregnant women have this doubt due to the way their bodies react when they go anywhere near an onion during pregnancy’s first trimester. Be it freshly cut or sautéed, the strong smell can make many pregnant women nauseous.

The answer is yes, you can definitely eat onions, both raw and cooked, during pregnancy but do not overdo it. Eating too much of anything due to cravings or the nutrients they contain, is not a good idea, especially during pregnancy. You need a balanced diet that includes many fruits, vegetables and other sources of essential nutrients.

Benefits of Onion During Pregnancy

Are you put off by the smell of onions? Hate skinning or cutting them? Wondering if the onion is good during pregnancy? Here are a few benefits you need to take note of:

  • Boosts Immunity – Onions are a rich source of Vitamin C, which can help improve your immunity. Pregnancy can cause your immunity to weaken and onions can help with this.
  • Reduce Constipation - As your pregnancy progresses, you are bound to have digestive issues. Many pregnant women suffer heartburn and indigestion due to the growing baby. Onions contain high amounts of dietary fibre, which help in improving digestion and reducing constipation
  • Helps Maintain Health – Gestational diabetes and hypertension are common phenomena in pregnancy. Eating raw onions during pregnancy can help maintain your blood pressure and glucose levels.
  • Better Skin & Health - Being rich in vitamins and minerals, onions during pregnancy can improve your hair and skin.
  • Prevents Cancer – Onions contain large amounts of organic sulfur compounds which help break the free radicals that can cause cancer.

To Know More : Safe fruits that can be consumed during pregnancy.

Side Effects of Onions

Some of the not-so-favorable side effects of eating onion during pregnancy are:

  • Breathing Issues - A very rare side effect of eating onion is anaphylactic shock, which can affect your pregnancy.
  • Diarrhoea – The rich fibre in the onions can lead to diarrhoea at times if you overconsume onions.
  • Allergic Reaction – Some people can develop food allergies during pregnancy. This is again a rare side effect.

Types of Onions to Eat During Pregnancy

Can we eat raw onion during pregnancy? You can eat all varieties of onions during pregnancy as long as you are not allergic to them. If you are not too sure which onion smell or taste you would prefer during pregnancy, you can choose from the following:

  • Red Onions - Very commonly used a variety of onions, famous for their spicy sharp taste. They are rich in flavonoids and also act as blood thinners. If you want to add as harp taste to your foods and don’t mind a few tears while chopping them, you can add red onions to your regular diet.
  • White Onions - These are crunchy and have a strong smell. The aftertaste is not as strong as the red onions. So, if you are not very sensitive to smell but want a milder taste, you can add these white onions to your salads and other dishes. They taste best when eaten raw but taste good when cooked too.
  • Yellow Onions - Also known as sweet onions, these onions have a mild smell and a sweet taste. So, if you are sensitive to strong smells and tastes, you can use these onions instead.
  • Shallots - Though red, they are much smaller and taste less sharp than full-sized red onions. They add a good flavor to the dish and do not smell as strong as other variants.
  • Spring Onion - Both the onion and the green part can be used to add some great flavor to your dishes. Commonly used in Chinese and Mediterranean dishes, spring onions add a nice crunch to the dishes, making them the perfect seasoning.


Eating onion during pregnancy – be it cooked or raw, can be very beneficial for the mother and the fetus. However, if you are unable to tolerate the smell or taste, you can always skip it. Many women manage to meet their nutritional requirements during pregnancy without eating onions.


1. Is onion good during pregnancy?

Yes, you can eat onion during pregnancy as long as you wash it well. Ensure you clean the black residue and eat freshly cut or cooked onions only.

2. Is it healthy to eat raw white onions?

Yes, you can wash the onion and eat it raw or cooked. White onions are a healthy addition to your pregnancy diet.

3. Is onion good for the first trimester?

You can eat onions during your first trimester of pregnancy as long as you do not have a versions toward the smell or taste of onions.

Want to consult the Best Nutritionists/Dietitians in India? Please find the links below.
  1. Best Nutritionists/Dietitians in Bengaluru
  2. Top Nutritionists/Dietitians in Chennai
  3. Best Nutritionists/Dietitians in Mumbai
  4. Top Nutritionists/Dietitians in Pune
  5. Best Nutritionists/Dietitians in Chandigarh
  6. Top Nutritionists/Dietitians in Gurgaon
  7. Top Nutritionists/Dietitians in Noida
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