Let’s know about Nuts during pregnancy. When a woman is pregnant , her eating habits change for better health. Naturally it should as well as consuming a healthy diet on a regular basis is of utmost importance during pregnancy. If you are pregnant , you may need extra vitamins , minerals and other specific nutrients to encourage the healthy growth and development of your baby . Eating a balanced diet is the best way to ensure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs to support your baby .You consume them all. There are also certain foods that are essential to include in your pregnancy diet. Nuts and dry fruits are also recommended for pregnant women as these foods provide many benefits to both the mother and the baby . But is it completely safe to include them in your diet ? Know here !
Is it safe to eat nuts during pregnancy ?
Nuts are rich in vitamins , minerals , fiber and amino acids , which makes these foods very important to include in a pregnant woman’s regular diet. Nuts contain important vitamins like ‘B1 ‘-‘ B9 ‘, ‘ C’ , ‘ K’ , ‘ E’ and ‘H’. They can easily satisfy hunger which can prove helpful during pregnancy. These characteristics make dried fruits safe for consumption during pregnancy, but as with everything, caution is needed with nuts and dry fruits, as excessive consumption during this time can lead to a number of problems. So , consume it but in moderation!
Benefits of eating dry fruits during pregnancy
Calcium , magnesium , potassium , zinc , selenium and anti – oxidants are all found in nuts. These nutrients are also a good option to satisfy hunger, which can be a great snack for pregnant women.
- Nuts are rich in dietary fiber which helps in relieving constipation during pregnancy. Constipation and various other problems occur during this period due to hormonal changes, but these problems can be prevented with the help of a high fiber diet , which includes nuts.
- Iron is important for a healthy pregnancy and dried figs , dates and nuts can help you meet your daily iron requirement.
- Dry fruits can provide you with adequate amounts of Vitamin A which is essential for the development of teeth and bones of your baby.
- Vitamin ‘C’ is also found in nuts and it helps in absorbing iron and is also essential for your immune system.
- Potassium found in dry fruits and nuts regulates blood pressure and enhances muscle control.
- The magnesium present in dry fruits and nuts helps in the proper development of nerves and bones in your baby.
- The natural sugars present in nuts are easily digestible and provide a good amount of energy to your body.
- Nuts like prunes or dates are known to strengthen the muscles of the uterus , which aids in a smooth delivery. It also reduces the chances of bleeding after delivery.
- Consuming nuts by the mother during pregnancy is believed to help reduce the risk of asthma and wheezing in babies.
- Vitamin ‘E’ in nuts helps in the development of the baby’s cells and lungs. It helps in controlling your blood sugar as well as protecting the baby from asthma.
Are there any side effects and dangers of consuming nuts ?
Nuts are completely safe to consume in moderation during pregnancy. However , if you consume it in excess , you may be at risk of various health problems , such as :
- Gastrointestinal problems , such as gas , flatulence and diarrhoea.
- Nuts are rich in calories which can lead to excess weight gain.
- Because nuts contain a natural sugar called fructose and this can cause tooth decay if you do not maintain proper dental hygiene.
- Some nuts , such as raisins, have a high glycemic index that can cause a rapid energy boost by raising blood sugar and an equally rapid lowering of sugar, which can lead to fatigue sooner.
- Sometimes the problem of allergy to dry fruits can also arise.
Although nuts are healthy, it is important to keep some precautions in mind while consuming nuts during pregnancy.
- Choose sun-dried nuts instead of plant-processed nuts. This way you can avoid a toxin called acrylamide, which is found in foods that have been heated for long periods of time. It is a carcinogen ( an early form of cancer ) and can have adverse effects on the nervous system and fertility.
- Check whether the nuts you buy have added sugar separately. Nuts do contain some amount of natural sugar but some brands also have added sugar and should be avoided at all costs.
- Sometimes , preservatives are added to packaged nuts and seeds. These may contain sulfur dioxide which can cause allergies or respiratory problems.
- The process of drying these fruits causes an increase in calories. So you need to be careful about how much nuts you consume in order to regulate your calorie intake.
- Try to buy organic and preservative – free nuts from reputed vendors and buy only as much as you can eat in a month.
- If you buy nuts from local vendors , check for insects , mold , or dirt. You can even taste it before making up your mind to buy.
- To prevent spoilage, store nuts in a clean and dry air tight container and refrigerate .
How many nuts can you eat in a day ?
Nuts have a lot more calories than fresh fruits. So , during pregnancy you have to be careful about what you eat. It is advised that you do not eat more than 100 grams of nuts in a day during this time. For example , you can eat four to seven almonds , four halves of walnuts , two dates and about eight pistachios at one go . It is also recommended that you eat nuts before noon to help the body absorb the nutrients better.
Recommended Nuts During Pregnancy
Pregnant women are advised to consume almost all dry fruits. If you are pregnant then make sure that you include the following nuts in your diet regularly during this special time in your life.
|Nuts||Nutrients||calories / cup ( approximate amount of calories in one cup)||how does it help|
|Almond||Calcium , Magnesium , Protein , Riboflavin , Vitamin ‘E’||529||Controls blood pressure in pregnant women.Helps develop baby’s teeth and bones.Prevents low birth weight baby and promotes brain development.|
|dried apricot||Fiber , Vitamin ‘A’ , Copper , Vitamin ‘E’||381||Prevents constipation.Boosts the immune system.Improves the functions of muscles and different parts of the body.Reduces the risk of pre – eclampsia.|
|Raisin||iron and fiber||488||Prevents constipation.|
|Walnut||omega 3 fats _ _ _||720||Helps in the development of the baby’s brain and vision.|
|nuts||phosphorus||640||Ensures normal heart rate.|
|dried apples||fiber , potassium||208||Improvement in bowel movements.Improving muscle function.Controls blood pressure.|
|Pistachio||copper _ _ _||330||Helps organs and muscles function smoothly.|
|Dates||fiber||502||Promotes digestion and controls weight gain.|
|dried figs||fiber||371||Keeps away constipation and heart disease.|
|Groundnut||protein||828||Maintains the correct weight of the baby at birth.|
|Dried bananas||vitamin C’||360||Increases immunity.Protects from heart disease.|
Some tips for consuming nuts
There are many misconceptions and myths surrounding the consumption of nuts during pregnancy. Some nuts like cashews , almonds , apricots , dates , raisins , dates , walnuts and pistachios can be beneficial for a pregnant woman . Since nuts are nutritious , you should include them in the recommended amounts in your diet each day. Here are some ways you can do this :
- Most nuts are beneficial for pregnant women and can be eaten raw. It can be taken as a healthy snack when you feel hungry during pregnancy.
- Nuts and nuts can also be added to salads , sandwiches and desserts such as pudding or custard.
- Nuts can help prevent morning sickness to some extent, so blending them with yogurt can keep nausea and vomiting at bay.
- Boil water in a pan and soak the dry fruits for about half an hour. This water can be used for the whole day. ,
- You can make some sweets at home from nuts , just grind dates and walnuts and roll them in some grated coconut , you can also store it in the fridge to eat. It can be consumed for about 10 days.
- Some types of nuts may be difficult to bite or chew. So , before you eat them, soak them in boiling water for about ten minutes.
Pregnancy is a time when you should eat healthily and take care of your health and that of your baby. It is important not to get overwhelmed when choosing food. Relatives and family members will always give you advice on what to eat and what not. Consult your doctor and get information about what is best for you and your baby.